InterCloud vs. Internet: What’s Missing in Cloud Computing?
As more and more clouds go live, it’s time to think about how they will need to interconnect and interact. InterCloud is a new terminology coined for cloud computing after Internet for networking.
Vint Cerf, the “father” of the Internet, said recently that the cloud is much like networking in 1973 when computer networks couldn’t connect or interact. He called for open standards for cloud computing so that InterCloud can become a reality.
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It’s hard to design standards when people are still trying to reach a consensus on defining what a cloud is in the first place! The good news is that as an industry we went through a similar process for the Internet. So we can learn from that experience.
The idea is simple: look at basic building blocks we have for the Internet and think about their equivalent for the InterCloud. Believe it or not, InterCloud and Internet share many common characteristics. The following table summarizes some of these.
|Format||ASN.1||OVF + ?|
|Protocols||OSI, TCP/IP, etc.||?|
|ID||IP address/host name||?|
|Killer use cases||Email, Web||System provisioning, Dynamic scaling|
Let me emphasize the key difference between the Internet and the Intercloud —the Internet moves data and the InterCloud moves computing workloads. With virtualization and other high level virtual machine technology, computing workload is essentially data. Viewed in this fashion, that would mean the InterCloud can leverage the Internet as a high level application.
As you see from the table above, there remain many question marks where we do not yet have InterCloud equivalents to the Internet. That is something we need to think about and work on moving forward.
Let me know what you think. Do you have suggestions for equivalents?