As we all know, this can lead to an alphabet soup of acronyms, and confusion over what exactly a particular term means. When a well-respected voice jumps in to declare, "Here's what we're going to call this, and here's what it means," the result is usually a positive one.
For example, what should we call service providers who offer dedicated, value-added connectivity services to support enterprises moving to the cloud? In a recent white paper, Accedian (following MEF original terminology) referred to virtual private cloud connections (VPCCs) as this type of service, and the providers offering them as VPCC providers.
VPCC is, to be fair, quite a mouthful. So, we're pleased to notice that--thanks in large part to Gartner--the industry seems to be standardizing on the somewhat simpler term cloud services brokerage, or CSB.
Gartner's IT Glossary now includes an entry for Cloud services brokerage (CSB), defined as "an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service via three primary roles including aggregation, integration and customization brokerage."
While that definition is somewhat esoteric, it is nonetheless helpful and others have started using it (with slight variation) to describe value-added cloud connectivity services. For example, Open Cloud Connect recently used the term cloud service brokers in a DataCloud Congress event session description, referring to "on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, and resource pooling to ensure customers do not face limitations or disruptions."
In that session description, the concept of cloud brokerages was discussed in a very similar way to how we discussed virtual private cloud connections in our white paper; Open Cloud Connect noted that "the CSB model provides an architectural, business and IT operations model to manage different cloud services within a federated security, administration and support framework. Service providers such as network providers, IT distributors, financial services companies and others, are ideally positioned to act as gateways between enterprises’ private and public cloud networks and datacentres."
Regardless of what you call it, this concept and its implications is going to become increasingly important as the IT/telecommunications industry continues to evolve.
For more insight into not only the definition of cloud services brokerage, but the implications of this new trend, read our white paper; it explores the migration of business services to the cloud, required service attributes for VPCC/cloud brokerage connections, and the importance of full lifecycle performance assurance and optimization to deliver on those requirements.