The Early Days of Federated Cloud Computing

Slowly but surely, providers of cloud computing platforms are starting to choose up sides

Today Computer Sciences Corp. is announcing that it has partnered with Skytap to deliver application testing services via the cloud. Skytap is trying to pioneer what it calls an OEM approach to cloud computing under which IT service providers will resell its cloud computing services.
Under the terms of the CSC deal, Skytap’s CloudLab platform for application testing in the cloud will be made accessible to CSC customers via the CSC Gateway, a portal that CSC developed that allows customers self-service access to cloud computing services.
To be sure, CSC is developing its own cloud computing services. But ultimately CSC and most other cloud computing providers will be offering a mix of services that they have either chosen to develop themselves or resell on behalf of some other provider. As far as the customer is concerned, all these services will appear unified. But in reality, they will be a set of federated services delivered though a shared self-service portal.

Whether a cloud computing provider develops a particular service on its own or not is almost irrelevant as long as the ultimate provider is reputable. So while customers should have some level of transparency into their cloud computing service provider, the fact remains that federated services are the future of cloud computing.
In fact, that federation, notes Sundar Raghavan, chief product and marketing officer for Skytap, will not only take place between service providers; it will also be extended out to the private clouds that are either built by customers or managed on their behalf.
We’re not quite at the point where application workloads can dynamically move across all these federated sets of cloud services, says Raghavan. but we’re much closer than most people think.