Cloud Marketplace (Helix Nebula Cloud Exchange - HNX)

Cloud offers are continually growing, providing an increasing level of choice and hopefully creating a healthy marketplace which will keep prices low and quality high. However, CIOs are rightly under pressure to make the correct choice, since changing cloud provider is an expensive business. Each cloud has its own API and value proposition and it isn’t easy to switch. So how can you take advantage of this world of choice without risking important changeover costs? And how can you take the time to reach such a difficult decision without causing a delay in implementation? Having the possibility to federate several clouds under the same broker or facade would alleviate the risk of choosing the wrong cloud.

Furthermore, being able to use a wider range of cloud providers can be a smart strategic choice to ensure optimum up time. Indeed cloud services are not infallible, therefore using more than one basket is a sensible solution to alleviate the risk of breaking all your precious eggs. Being able to use different cloud providers can also mean having better geographical coverage in terms of application placement. For example, being able to deploy applications in specific countries or regions can be important.

Another important benefit is scale. A federated cloud resource is much more likely to scale better than a single provider, allowing peaks of demand to be more easily be absorbed, even with a very short-notice request.

What if you could provision to many different clouds, using the same interface? What if you could describe application deployment logic in a cloud-neutral way, allowing applications to be deployed on any or many clouds in exactly the same way? What if selecting a cloud provider was as simple as selecting a roaming mobile operator?

This is exactly why the Helix Nebula public/ private partnership chose SlipStream to implement its federated provisioning engine for its Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX). Users, such as CERN, ESA and EMBL, now describe their application deployments in SlipStream, using simple scripting, and simply choose the cloud to which they want to deploy . HNX currently includes cloud offers from Atos, Interoute, Ultimum, Exoscale, DEAC and T-Systems, with several cloud providers expected to join the service.

With a simple, yet effective, service catalogue feature, SlipStream users can easily compare cloud capabilities, capacity and pricing, and then select the cloud service they want to use. On their side, cloud providers can regularly update their service catalogue, to ensure their service remains competitive.

Finally, the Helix Nebula collaboration re-skinned SlipStream, providing an integrated user experience, including colour, logos and documentation.

Get in touch with the SixSq team if you want to know more about the cloud connector licensing scheme and how web UI re-skinning can be done to suit your organisation’s branding.

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