cloud portability

Cloud portability is the ability to move applications and data from one cloud computing environment to another with minimal disruption. Cloud portability enables the migration of cloud services from one cloud provider to another or between a public cloud and a private cloud.

Consumers of cloud services may seek cloud portability so that they can migrate services to a new provider in response to a price increase or a breached service-level agreement. Other customers may seek cloud portability capabilities to fulfill a business need, such as moving cloud-based resources to another provider that is geographically closer to the consumers of the cloud service.

Cloud portability requires interoperability among cloud providers, which means that one cloud provider must be able to replicate the application environment that the previous cloud provider had established for the service.

Standards bodies, industry consortiums and vendor partnerships have begun developing technology to enable interoperability among cloud providers. The IEEE has formed a working group to develop a set of interoperability standards -- the IEEE P2301 Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles. Several vendors and providers have formed the open source OpenStack initiative, which is developing a cloud operating system that would provide some of the interoperability required for cloud portability. Individual vendors have also formed partnerships to create technology for cloud portability. Virtualization and cloud infrastructure vendor VMware and Google have partnered to create cloud portability tools for Java developers.

This was last updated in October 2011

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