Many industry experts believe that Cloud computing is the future of IT and most CIOs plan to invest heavily in this technology. Let us look at three top trends that are shaping the Cloud computing landscape.

Cloud Service Brokers

While many analysts and industry experts classify IT service providers and B2B provider firms as Cloud Service Brokers, we would like to bring in a different perspective of what a CSB could mean. According to us, a Cloud Service Broker is an architectural pattern that can be implemented by organizations to manage their relationships with different Cloud service providers. It is a reusable pattern, similar to a real-life Broker which brings multiple parties together to make a deal. This pattern is valuable in situations where there is a mix of private and public cloud providers for a given need.

It could also mean a company, people or a group that assists enterprises looking for cloud adoption, in negotiating multiple contracts with multiple cloud service providers (multiple payments, multiple data streams and having to monitor multiple providers). While there is definitely merit in working with such CSB companies, they may not form the only definition or an all encompassing definition of the function or element of what a Cloud service broker is. These companies do have a lot of experience dealing with multiple Cloud Service Providers and bring best practices to make it safe, easy and less expensive to adopt the cloud.

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The Cost of Cloud

Version 1.0 of Eazy 2 received good feedback from the cloud computing community and validated the app’s key feature of tracking cost on AWS. One of the inputs we received was to enable multiple logins. Further, our own use of the app had increased and we were eager to improve the tool. Work started on building an iteration in November and by the second week of December a newer cooler way to measure EC2 instances was only a click away.

We put out an android build a couple of days ago with multiple logins and resolved a few bugs. Feel free to check it out. Several new users have joined us and we’re heading into 2013 with a list of new features in the next versions. The Apple version should be live in a week or two.

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Eazy 2: Whiteboard blueprint

Eazy2 is a child of necessity. This is a log of how and why it was created. Our clients have incredibly complex requirements and the abstract nature of the cloud by default becomes the least of the many challenges. One of the key requirements during such a project was to keep track of costs on AWS and a tight reign on the number of machines we activated on the cloud. We needed -a solution to manage EC2 instances, quantity and cost wise quickly and effectively -a central solution that was easy to access by several technical and business folks -…and a simple solution that wouldn’t divert us from the main goal for too long.

There was nothing out there that met all of these criteria. We just had to build our own bridge to cross this little river. Our mobile applications team and cloud team (part of the Center of Excellence at THBS) put their heads together and created an internal tool to address management of EC2 instances. By Day 2 there was a method to the madness. The picture above is one of the earliest blueprints of Eazy2, it includes most things in our wishlist at the time.

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Eazy2 Vesrion 1

As we started to learn the tool we built, we realized this would be of help to others in the cloud computing space. The minimalist UI made the tool suitable for external use by a diverse audience as well. There were no “in -jokes” or THBS specific jargon. A quick internal discussion followed where we decided to release a full-fledged mobile app to the cloud computing public on both Android and iOS.

We chose to release the app free of cost for several reasons. Our team found a solution that we think many of our colleagues, cloud compatriots, and fellow travelers would appreciate. In other words, our friends. We wanted this app to reach as many of them as possible and help make their tasks easier. We value their feedback and input on Version 2 far more than the revenue trickle.

The second being that Torry Harris Business Solutions deals with significantly more complicated cloud based solutions than one app. Eazy 2 was about 5% of the overall solution that we were working on, and our business focuses on providing services with that kind of scale. The creation of this wonderful app was a welcome byproduct of a long project and it was not something we set out to sell. Eazy 2 will be free for the foreseeable future. And the greatest advantage of that is that now we are united by common cause to improve the operational efficiency of the technology, which is really what we’re about in the first place.

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