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FCW : January 2013
Cloud brokers: Simplifying cloud management The Obama administration s cloud- rst strategy, data center consolidation directive, and security certi cation process for cloud products and services all point agencies toward greater cloud adoption. Indeed, the policies and programs that seek to spark cloud acceptance are now largely in place. What s lacking, how- ever, is a de nitive statement on how to coordinate cloud resources. Over time, agencies will likely end up juggling their own private clouds, public clouds provided by com- panies such as Amazon and multiple software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. As a result, the concept of the cloud broker has emerged as a way to deal with increasingly complex cloud environ- ments. A cloud broker, also called a cloud services broker- age, basically creates a buffer between the customer and the cloud solutions. Bob Bohn, cloud program manager at the National Insti- tute of Standards and Technology, said a broker "can take a complex situation for a consumer and make it manageable." Why it matters Agencies have begun to explore the cloud broker model. Last year, the General Services Administration and the Defense Information Systems Agency issued requests for information to learn more from industry about cloud brokers. GSA has received voluminous feedback. Stanley Kaczmar- ExecTe c h BY JOHN MOORE Agencies are exploring cloud brokers as a way to manage increasingly complex cloud environments. Some are even becoming brokers themselves. 28 January 2013 FCW.COM What's next: The future of cloud brokers TECHNICAL INNOVATION Vendors will develop the ability to dynamically and securely move work- loads between cloud service providers, which is essential for boosting cloud adoption, said Anil Karmel, NNSA s deputy chief technology of cer. CHANGES IN BUSINESS MODELS Vendors will aggregate and sell mul- tiple cloud offerings to consumers as a service so they can change the cus- tomer s relationship from one-to-one to one-to-many, Karmel said. SHARED AGENCY BROKERS NNSA of cials want other agencies to be able to take advantage of its YOURcloud broker, said Chris McFea- rin, an IT specialist at NNSA. Therefore, the agency used the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program s standardized approach to security assessment as a benchmark and are seeking provisional authorization for YOURcloud under FedRAMP. It s a trend that other agencies are likely to follow. Technology leaders at the Energy Department s National Nuclear Security Administration anticipate the following developments in the cloud broker arena: