Almost by definition solution providers are going to be regularly dealing with hybrid cloud computing environments that typically expose different application programing interfaces (APIs) that need to be mastered. In fact, a recent study from CompTIA suggests that customers are already moving workloads not only in an out of clouds, but also between them at a fairly rapid rate.
To facilitate that process, many solution providers already rely on open source software such as the Dasein Cloud project to create an abstraction layer written in Java that enables developers to write applications that work on multiple clouds using a common layer of metadata.
Now there is also another option that solution providers can add to their cloud integration toolbox. CloudRail has launched CloudRail for Cloud Storage Services, which allows solution providers to build applications capable of invoking multiple backend cloud services via a common API.
CloudRail CEO Felix Kollmar said what distinguishes CloudRail is that the translation of various cloud APIs takes place on the endpoint rather than in the cloud itself. This results in reduced latency and better overall performance than relying on open source software running in the cloud because each client has a peer-to-peer connection with any given cloud, said Kollmar.
Currently providing support for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, Kollmar said CloudRail for Cloud Storage is clearly extensible to other platforms. In fact, one of the benefits that CloudRail provides is that it keeps track of all the updates to various cloud APIs, as opposed to waiting for an open source community to update a particular community project.
The issue that most solution providers are currently wrestling with in the cloud is that each different customer has their preferred one. In addition, it's more than likely that customers will soon be asking solution providers to create applications that invoke multiple backend cloud services. The end result is that solution providers supporting multiple customers have to master an array of APIs. By relying on higher levels of abstractions solution providers can take that complexity issue off the table all together.
There’s no doubt at this point that cloud computing is going to be hybrid affair for the foreseeable future. The challenge facing solution providers in the years ahead will be figuring ways to navigate new and existing clouds as quickly as possible. After all, what's currently the most popular cloud environments today may not necessarily be the same tomorrow.