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How do you select a cloud orchestration platform?

How do you select a cloud orchestration platform? What are some pros and cons of different models?

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Let's assume we are talking about a multi-tenant environment that uses virtual machines (VMs), storage, virtual appliances and networking, and these resources need cloud orchestration platforms. Services could range from cloud-based IT and Anything as a Service (XaaS) to other revenue-generating applications, such as the Internet of Things, hosted real-time collaboration or rich mobile communication services. Sometimes the cloud platform that's being orchestrated is the service, and in other cases the platform is hosting higher-level applications that are the operator's internal services. Orchestration matters equally in both cases.

Providers should consider how much orchestration functionality they want already prepackaged in the platform versus how much functionality they want to provide based on their own other suppliers' developments. The more prepackaged a platform is, the faster a provider can move -- albeit down a somewhat constrained path. With a more loosely coupled and open platform, a cloud provider has more freedom to create a customized and possibly differentiated approach to designing its offerings.

For more information on cloud orchestration platforms:

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This was first published in January 2014

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