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Is Cloud Interoperability a Myth?

Transformation Infrastructure

By pwsadmin | September 26, 2020

Hybrid IT enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators need to physically configure hardware to support a specific software application, which describes the function of a composable architecture. This type of transformative infrastructure is foundational…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 25, 2020

A survey of 2,000 executives conducted by Cognizant in 2016 identified the top five ways digital transformations generate value:      Accelerating speed to market      Strengthening competitive positioning      Boosting revenue growth      Raising employee productivity      Expanding the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers   Digital transformation is also a cultural change. Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation Since cloud…

Embrace Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 22, 2020

From a business perspective, differentiating business processes and quality customer service are central to overall success. Business leaders must therefore clearly identify and measure how information technology contributes to the value of every key business process. They must also know how to most cost effectively use IT when the task is merely the management of…

Computer Vision Advances Zero-Defect Manufacturing

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

by Kevin L. Jackson Electronics manufacturers operate in a challenging environment. It’s hard enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating rate of change in the industry. Now customers want increasingly specialized product variations in less time and of higher quality. Meeting this demand for increased product variation can seriously impact the bottom line. Such variability increases…

Real-Time Analytics Power the Roadway of the Future

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

By Kevin L. Jackson The complexities of citywide traffic are pushing the limits of existing transportation management systems. Outdated infrastructure is based on proprietary, single-purpose subsystems, making it costly to acquire, operate, and maintain. And current roadways are simply not prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles. Enter the SPaT Challenge, an initiative encouraging cities and…

Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges…

SourceConnecte! Marketplace With A Mission

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Earlier this year, GC GlobalNet launched a new breed of B2B e-commerce sites. Curated by Kevin L. Jackson, SourceConnecte (with an “e”) went live with three strategic goals in mind: Efficiently leverage modern social media technologies to facilitate value-based interactions between enterprise buyers and vetted suppliers; Establish a protected interactive environment capable of supporting high-value B2B e-commerce negotiations…

Potential vs. Reality: Is Edge Computing Real?

By pwsadmin | January 19, 2020

Edge computing provides compute, storage, and networking resources close to devices generating traffic. Its benefits are based on an ability to provide new services capable of meeting stringent operational requirements by minimizing both data latency and the need for bandwidth. Based on Google trend data, searches for the term has also grown substantially over the…

Enabling Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | December 22, 2019

Digital transformation integrates technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundamental purpose is to create and deliver innovative and industry-changing products and services to a global customer base. This outcome requires the seamless two-way flow of data and information between internal business processes and external processes that interact with customers, business…

The ThinkShield Story Part 1: The Challenge

By G C Network | October 24, 2019

The cybersecurity challenge seems to be growing daily. Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are becoming more destructive while the corporate world’s response seems to resemble a deer in headlights. Recent examples of this dangerous state of affairs include[1]: A data breach of a US Customs and Border Protection surveillance contractor that led to…

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As the industry matures, cloud computing will increasingly rely on interoperability in order to grow and deliver more value to industry. Assuming this is a fact, what does it mean when eighteen major OpenStack vendors come together to work through the challenges involved with achieving enterprise interoperability? Events at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona helped provide a window into the promise of tomorrow’s interoperable environment.
In cloud computing, interoperability generally refers to the ability of service models from different cloud service providers to work together. Specifically:
·         Infrastructure-as-a-service
o   Access Mechanism – defines how a service in cloud may be accessed by users and/or software developers,
o   Virtual Resources – service delivery as a complete software stack of installing a virtual machine,
o   Network – addressing and API,
o   Storage – management and organization of storage,
o   Security – authentication, authorization, user accounts and encryption,
o   Service-Level Agreement – architecture format, monitoring,
·         Platform-as-a-Service
o   The exchange of data and services among different platforms hosted on different infrastructures on cloud;
o   Data compatibility among different platforms,
o   Portability between platforms
o   Data transfer procedures (i.e. packing, copying, instantiating, installing, deployment and customization)
·         Software-as-a-Service
o   Interoperability among applications in the same cloud,
o   Data exchange and operation calls in applications on different cloud-computing environments
o   Software programs that are distributed in different cloud environments and integrate data and applications in cloud in a unified way, and
o   Migration of applications from one cloud environment to another
If this isn’t enough of a challenge, one would also need to specifically address the many embedded and overriding interoperability aspects, including:
·         Technical interoperability – development of standards of communication, transport and representation;
·         Semantic interoperability – the use of various different terms to describe similar concepts may cause problems in communication, execution of programs and data transfers;
·         Political/Human interoperability – the decision to make resources widely available has implications for organizations, their employees and end-users;
·         Interoperability of communities or societies – there is an increasing need to require access to information from a wide range of sources and communities; and
·         International interoperability – in international matters, there are variations in standard, communication problems, language barriers, differences in communication styles, and a lack of common basis.
 As one may imagine, the rapid growth of cloud computing and the global proliferation of service providers has created an intractable many-to-many interoperability quagmire that can never be tamed. Knowing this, the Openstack Interop Challenge looks toward cultivating success by leveraging the open source cloud technology as a common integration layer.  Participants include AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, DreamHost, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OSIC, OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware. The goal was to publicly demonstrate how OpenStack delivers on the promise of interoperability across on-premises, public and hybrid cloud deployments.


Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis, argues that 
interoperability doesn’t start at the infrastructure layer. 


Although you would expect this strategy would greatly simplify the integration challenge, contrarian views are out there.  One of the most vocal is Boris Renski, co-founder of Mirantis and member of the OpenStack board of directors. He believes interoperability does not necessarily start at the IaaS layer. He believes that applications can be built to be interoperable across different infrastructure platform. Quoting his OpenStack Summit keynote:

“Even across Mirantis-powered OpenStack clouds like AT&T and the Volkswagen cloud, they are both based on the same distribution, but the underlying reference architectures are dramatically different…Volkswagen can’t throw something at AT&T and it will just work.”

In this post I’m happy to report though that the participating OpenStack cloud vendors were able to announce a successful completion of the interoperability challenge. While this success is clearly a baby step on the long and treacherous road to cloud interoperability, it is worth noting because this modest achievement also led to the creation of automated tools for the deployment of applications across a variety of OpenStack environments.The effort also generated significant collateral on cloud computing interoperability best practices and is expected to drive even further interoperability collaboration across the Openstack community.


This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit Point B and Beyond.

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

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