Access and Feeds

Sky Computing: Making Multicloud a Piece of Cake

By Dick Weisinger

More than 94 percent of businesses are using at least one cloud service, according to Right Scale. And Statista estimates than more than 50 percent of corporate data is in the cloud. With businesses finally becoming comfortable with using the cloud for infrastructure, applications and data, it probably comes as no surprise that vendors are already looking for what will be the next shiny new thing.

That’s where ‘Sky Computing‘ comes in. Sky Computing basically makes a multi-cloud environment easy to use. It’s a term coined by UC Berkeley computer science professors Ion Stoica and Scott Shenker.

Stoica explained the idea of Sky Computing to, saying that sky computing consists of three layers: compatibility, intercloud, and peering. On the ‘intercloud layer’, it’s possible to have applications run across multiple cloud provider infrastructures. The intercloud layer is going one level up from the compatibility layer. Ideally, with the intercloud layer you specify the preferences for your job — say I want to minimize costs, or minimize time, or I need to process this data locally — and the intercloud layer will decide where to run your job to satisfy these preferences.”

Sky Cloud providers will be needed to provide the new kind of virtual cloud management. Sky clouds are more about routing and they themselves offer little if any real infrastructure because infrastructure like servers and databases are being managed on a lower cloud layer by standard cloud providers.

Stoic speculated that “based on economics theory, presumably clouds that are second or third in the market — like Google — will be most likely to do it (offer sky cloud services), because this is one way for them to get more market share. If they provide a faster or cheaper infrastructure, the sky would make it easier for them to get more workload from other clouds.”

IBM’s vision for Sky Computing explains it like this: “Sky computing will provide easy access to the latest technologies, such as edge computing or quantum algorithms, while concealing the underlying complexity of the computing resources and technologies required—including computing capacity, scalability, availability, storage, and data security. For enterprises, the burden of interconnecting cloud services from different layers of the cloud computing stack—such as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and more—will become irrelevant and simply cease to exist.”

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