The appliance model is an extension of agent-based services. There are some concerns with this model, mainly that an external entity has control of an agent within the data centre. But, in general, this models appears to enjoy market acceptance, especially in cases where a standards-based approach is not available.
The alternative, standards-based model, uses the same brokering model but here the broker is under the control of enterprise IT and not the provider. It relies on the same principles of abstraction we've come to recognise with virtualisation and SDN as being beneficial to agility in the network and data centre. It puts a layer of control between resources and users to enable more flexibility not only in access control and identity management, but also in making routing decisions with respect to those resources.
That layer of control within enterprise IT is unlikely to go away. Control (governance) is a legal and operational necessity for enterprise IT. In future, enterprises may juggle multiple cloud environments, balancing data between them for superior resilience, business continuity and pricing offers—often referred to as 'supercloud'—and this can be extremely complex. As cloud use becomes more involved, control and access will become more critical so that cloud is an asset, rather than a challenge.
Mohan Veloo is Senior Director, Field System Engineering, Asia Pacific and Japan, at F5 Networks.
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