Cloud services brokers sound better than they really are

It’s an attractive story: Public cloud services that can allocate applications and services to users through a cloud broker. These brokerage systems sit between the consumers of cloud services and the services themselves.

Brokers can gather data about the cloud service — including cost, efficiency, and functionality — to help you make better decisions about which cloud service best meets the needs of the cloud service consumer. You can place many public and private cloud services behind the broker, then have it broker to the best service for your application.

Though attractive, the sales pitch is a bit different from the reality. Most cloud-based applications have to be localized for the cloud platform they use. If you’ve allocated EC2 and S3 instances from AWS and you use the cloud-native features of that platform, then you’re pretty much locked onto that platform. You’re not able to easily use other cloud services, such as those from Microsoft or Google, all of which means a cloud service broker won’t help outside the use of generic cloud services.

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