Cloud Broker 2.0 continued and a side bar DOH Windows Phone market smaller than originally projected. (Oh really…)

clip_image002I am not blowing my own horn. But I did say more than 3 years ago that the Windows Phone business was at best limping if not dead. Ok, I actually said #windowsphoneisdead back then but suddenly I am right. I guess I was right all along. But based on this press release Microsoft agrees with me now. The windows phone market was never what they thought it would be. In reality as a long time pocket pc phone user once I transitioned to the iPhone and Android world I knew the Windows Phone was dead. There are more new applications added to the iPhone market in a week than to the MS market in a month or quarter. You cannot live in a world where the developers don’t flock to your platform.

Cloud Broker 2.0

clip_image004Now back to our regularly scheduled cloud broker conversation. The images of brokers and brokerages always have the broker as in the one on the left here between the company and the cloud. Instead I would argue that isn’t a good broker model. You are in the transaction business in that model where your profit margin is driven by the number of transactions your customers have with cloud service providers.

Brokers instead should be directly connected to the customer. As I said in my article Broker is the new DMZ I believe that organizations will move away from the DMZ model of the dawn of computing to a model where the broker will provide the DMZ services. That would include (see list below) the solutions listed below and as the market evolves many others

· Virtual Directory Service: There would be no more federation systems that extend to partners and to CSP’s instead the broker would provide a virtual directory service. That service (like the exceptional product Radiant Logic) would abstract the directory in the core (customer) from the cloud. The Virtual Directory would have the federated and directly connected solutions going forward allowing the customer to manage one directory for infinite connections.

· Firewall systems: intelligent firewalls with security professionals that see 1000’s of attacks a day applying rules and protection at a much higher level than possible for on premise professionals.

· CIRT services: So the customer can be notified of malware and other forms of attacks that use protocols like email to move through the system.

· IDS systems: Intrusion Detection Systems will allow for rapid evaluation of inbound traffic, relaying information to the CIRT Team, the customer team and the external protection team so that changes can be made quickly. Defense in depth allows the organization to only have to shift one component resulting in the hacker not being able to penetrate.

· Flowing water systems: The concept of mesh or fabric networks between the broker and the customer provides an interesting security option. Where today there is the concept of a network connection the mesh or fabric network can have 100 confections in the same space. Using that model to then randomize the pipe being used at any one time forces attackers to guess right many times during an attack. Plus if you set the randomization to a short time period in the end the hacker will only be right for a short time and then have to guess right again.

clip_image006The sad thing is all these ideas and many other ideas on how brokers could change the world were written on a whiteboard 3 years ago. A series of meetings held about how to improve an existing concept resulted in the broker 2.0 model being designed on a whiteboard. In the end we called it a series of “the art of the possible” meetings.

With the broker as defined by NIST as an aggregator of cloud services it become a utility pricing transaction model. Where you pay for the connections you need. In the Broker 2.0 model there is a new market opened. This is the ability to pay once and for that receive the services listed above. You get peach of mind and a solution designed for your organization. A single service catalog for your users and one for your administrators that allows you to literally grab the services your organization needs securely abstracting the cloud service providers completely.

More to come…


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.