Teaming Up to Take Back the Cloud: How Federation is Disrupting the IaaS Market
Now more than ever, service providers have a fair shot at offering flexible, profitable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud offerings that can compete with the big guys, like Amazon. However, to succeed, they need to ensure they make the most out of their infrastructure, so they can meet both enterprise and SMB needs alike, without having to maintain huge data centers all over the world. The reality is, not all clouds are created equal, and today’s customers demand the highest levels of scalability, reliability and cost efficiency.
Having the right hardware, software and management platforms in place is, of course, essential to building the right cloud for your customers. However, the ‘average Joe’ service provider is still struggling to keep up with a global customer base, greedy for storage and bandwidth, and has limited infrastructure with which to scale their services and expand their business. However, service providers can overcome these obstacles through a federated model. In a federation, cloud providers are teamed up so that they can share idle capacity in their data centers, allowing them to scale well beyond their normal means and access customers outside their original geographic reach.
No longer just a textbook theory, a cloud federation enables service providers to monetize spare capacity, buying and selling resources in a common marketplace to maximize cost efficiency. When resources aren’t just sitting idle in data centers, but, instead, being utilized where and when they are needed, every service provider in the federation gets the most bang for their buck, and so do their customers. A federation will allow cloud computing to live up to its full potential, providing the kind of scalability and resource efficiency that made businesses start looking to “the clouds” in the first place.
If service providers hope to hold their own, and grow market share in the increasingly competitive and commoditized cloud market, they need to be able to satisfy customers that have been spellbound by the likes of Amazon – and that means being better than Amazon. Since not everyone can afford dozens of data centers across the globe, the federated cloud is key to empowering service providers and giving them the reach and capacity they need to satisfy a highly demanding, global customer base.