Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cloud Peering for Service Providers

Been doing some thinking around some of the opportunities for cloud providers to provide the seamless ability to utilize other "compatible" cloud service providers capacity as a kind of "cloud overdraft" protection. So it occurred to me, the concept already exists and is a core part of how the Internet already functions. Yes, It's called "Peering", I'm calling my little spin on this concept "Cloud Peering"

Wikipedia describes Peering as "a voluntary interconnection of administratively separate Internet networks for the purpose of exchanging traffic between the customers of each network." Now replace "Internet Networks" with Public cloud service / hosting providers and you start to see the opportunity.

Generally Peering relationships involves two more networks coming together to exchange traffic with each other freely, and for mutual benefit. But in the case of Cloud computing, instead of traditional user traffic, on demand cloud capacity can be made available in bulk or by metered usage.

Some other Cloud Peering motivations could include.

  • - Cloud Service provider Overdraft protection aka Cloud Bursting (Smaller hosting providers seamlessly overflowing to larger ones, Random small cloud provider Inc, bursts to AT&T cloud through whitelabel agreement)
  • - Increased redundancy (by reducing dependence on one or more cloud providers).
  • - Increased capacity for extremely large amounts of traffic (distributing traffic across many cloud providers).
  • - Increased routing control over your traffic. (Sudden spikes from London? No problem, scale using UK cloud resources)
  • - Improved perception of your network (being able to claim a "higher tier", mostly for marketing purposes, possibly QoS or SLA related).
  • - Ease of requesting for emergency aid (from friendly peers, when sh*t hits the fan).
Also, following the same model as traditional Peering, Cloud Peering could follow one of the following three categories:
  • - Transit (or pay) - You pay money (or settlement) to another network for Cloud access (or transit).
  • - Peer (or swap) - Two networks exchange traffic between each other's customers freely, and for mutual benefit.
  • - Customer (or sell) - Another coud pays you money to provide them with Cloud access.
Again, just random thought with a little help from wikipedia.
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