How to Create an Agnostic Cloud

The future cloud model will be truly abstracted. Numerous new types of connections help shape your cloud. Bill Kleyman looks at how to create a truly agnostic cloud.

Bill Kleyman

March 11, 2014

5 Min Read
How to Create an Agnostic Cloud



It’s time to look at the cloud as an agnostic ecosystem.

In today’s inter-connected global infrastructure, cloud computing has created new ways to compute and process information. Originally, we had a few cloud models that had specific use-case and solid fits. Now, the entire data center and cloud landscape has evolved.

Mobility has become the new normal.

A new “on-demand” generation spans both the user and the modern organization. Small and large enterprises are all looking at various cloud services to help them grow and evolve with the needs of the industry. All of this introduced a new way to look at the cloud, and the data center that supports it.

Traditionally, we saw cloud models emerge with specific uses. Private, public, community and even hybrid cloud platforms enabled organizations to do great things. But what does the future cloud infrastructure look like? What if you want to leverage critical services spanning numerous platforms? How can you create intelligent interconnects which leverage numerous resources regardless of where they’re located?

This is why it’s time to start looking at the cloud model from an even higher level. It’s time to look at the cloud as an agnostic ecosystem capable of handling any service, on any device, any time, and anywhere.

Moving forward, organizations are going to look at new technologies which help them connect existing resources with powerful cloud platforms. Today, solutions are beginning to emerge and take shape which help create an agnostic cloud – one that can truly look at underlying resources and allow your manipulate them as needed.

  • Software-Defined Technologies (SDx). If you haven’t read our Official DCK Guide to Software-Defined Technologiesyou should take a look. This is the platform for building an agnostic cloud. These are new types of virtual services that can sit on any hypervisor at any location all over the world and still be able to intelligently communicate with critical resources. SDx is not just a buzz word. There are very real technologies behind these platforms. Software-defined networking has the potential to revolutionize both data center and cloud interconnectivity. VMware’s NSX and Cisco’s NX-OS technologies completely abstract the network layer to allow for greater efficiency throughout the entire data center. Other technologies like software-defined storage (see Atlantis ILIO USX) effectively abstract the storage layer. Now, you let the controllers do the disk work, while the virtual layer allocates capacity or performance workloads to the appropriate storage repository. The point is to establish that logical layer that simply utilizes whatever resources you present to it. This applies to security, your cloud, and even the software-defined data center.

  • The Hybrid Cloud Methodology. The future cloud model will pretty much be a hybrid platform. However, it’s not in the sense that you may traditionally define it. An agnostic cloud is a hybrid cloud. However, it’s not just a combination of public and private. Future cloud models will have all sorts of services pointing to a management platform that will control resources, users, and critical workloads. Begin to evolve your thinking of the hybrid cloud where a variety of outside services can actually help your environment operate even better. There’s a good reason that the data center market is booming. Cloud platforms have allowed a number of traditional data center providers to offer new types of services. The idea behind an agnostic cloud revolves around simple access to cloud resources regardless of where they are. It’s this scenario that you begin to explore the powerful data center operating system which integrates into all of your distributed nodes to handle the environment at the upper-most layer – all the way down to automated resources control.

  • Cloud Automation. Take a look at what technologies like CloudPlatform and OpenStack are doing. These technologies are creating a logical management layer for your entire cloud infrastructure. They don’t care where it’s located or what’s sitting underneath. These solutions care about automation and cloud efficiency. With these management platforms, you’re able to create powerful multi-tenant cloud environments based on best practices and workload automation. The beautiful piece here is that this technology can span data centers, regional offices, and entire countries. Intelligent load-balancing and resource allocation allows for very smart delivery of applications, desktops, and entire workloads to a very distributed workforce. The cloud management layer manages what you present to it – whether that is sitting in Amazon AWS or at one of the IO Data centers. The management of these systems is becoming much more abstracted and much more powerful. Cloud control and automation spans the traditional definition of cloud to create an agnostic management environment capable of empowering both your users and your organization.

There is so much more data being passed through the data center that something had to evolve. This agnostic cloud layer allows organizations to not focus on the type of infrastructure they have, but rather how to deliver content more securely and optimally to a dispersed end-user environment. Through 2018, more users and devices will come online. More information will pass through your data center and this content will be a lot richer.

Traditional, concepts around computing are slowly fading away. The latest Cisco Visual Networking Index report clearly shows that data traffic will reach some truly amazing milestones within the next five years.

  • Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018.

  • The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population by 2014.

  • Due to increased usage on smartphones, smartphones will reach 66 percent of mobile data traffic by 2018.

  • Tablets will exceed 15 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2016.

  • There will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks (on to Wi-Fi) than remain on cellular networks by2018.

All of these new metrics indicate that organizations will see a massive increase in cloud utilization and mobile data traffic. To positively impact your user environment, begin to look at your cloud model from a much higher level. Start to build your agnostic cloud to help support your next-generation infrastructure.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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