A Cloud Broker acts as an intermediary between the Cloud provider and its customer, and can provide interfaces to easily manage Cloud services from several different providers. Find out everything you need to know about this, as well as some of the best Cloud Broker software.
As the Cloud market evolves and the offering becomes more diverse, it can be difficult for consumers and businesses to navigate their way through it. The number of cloud vendors is growing, and new features can make integration difficult in some cases. That’s where Cloud Brokers come in.
Cloud Broker: what is it?
A Cloud Broker is an intermediary between the Cloud service provider and the user. Rather than dealing directly with a Cloud Service Provider, a company wishing to use such services can turn to a Cloud Broker.
Depending on the customer’s needs, industry, and budget, the Cloud Broker will review different vendors to select the most appropriate one. Typically, the Cloud Broker will also provide the customer with advice and information on how to use Cloud Computing to achieve their goals. Therefore, he can also suggest different types of cloud services.
Subsequently, the customer can contact the service providers selected by the broker. However, some brokers also offer to negotiate contracts directly with the providers. Moreover, the Cloud Broker may decide to distribute the services between several vendors to reduce costs as much as possible. This is a multi-cloud strategy.
Some of them go even further, providing their customers with proprietary interfaces that allow them to use Cloud services from multiple vendors without any difficulty as if they were all provided by the same vendor. This is also known as a « cloud aggregator ».
Finally, some Cloud Brokers offer additional services to their customers such as data duplication, encryption, or data transfer to the Cloud. This type of Cloud Broker is also sometimes referred to as a « Cloud Enabler ».
What are the best Cloud Brokers?
There are many different Cloud Brokers. Here are a few of the most renowned.
AWS Service Broker
Among the most renowned are AWS Service Broker. This is actually the Cloud Brokerage solution from Amazon Web Services. As an open source solution, AWS Service Brokerage enables easy integration of AWS services with third-party applications such as Red Hat OpenShift, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, SUSE Cloud Application Platform and Kubernetes.
Users are able to manage all their Cloud applications and resources directly from a unified interface. Note that an AWS account is required to use it. A free trial offer allows you to use certain services for 12 months. However, you will then need to delete your account or contact Amazon for pricing.
Founded in 2006, Appirio is developing its CloudWorks solution to connect software as Cloud SaaS services from different vendors such as Google, SalesForce or Workday. The goal? Facilitate the management of data, users and processes on different SaaS.
In addition, with its SalesWorks solution, Appirio enables users to benefit from relevant and up-to-date customer data in real time. These insights can be automatically assembled and used to make better decisions.
Acquired by IBM in 2016, Bluewolf is a Cloud Broker relatively more expensive than its competitors. However, it provides additional functionality in order to create the best experience for customers and employees.
In particular, the software is able to create reports and analyze trends to allow sales forces to focus on customers. In addition, its IA Now Service Agent Assist makes it easy to find information in data from multiple sources. An AI Now Watson Converstion Chatbot Pilot is also capable of handling even the simplest customer queries.