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Looking for a Cloud service that exactly fits your needs? Try Contrail


Lorenzo Gonzales badge.pngLet’s say you are an enterprise cloud user looking for a service that solves your technical or business problems. Some requirements are mandatory, from the business or from regulators; others are more flexible, or can only be approximately defined. In addition, you’d like to search for some “last minute” offering to save money, just as if you were searching for a plane ticket on standby. After all, the technology of travel arrangements offers tremendous flexibility in meeting your needs – why shouldn’t cloud be the same?


Unfortunately, enterprise cloud users can’t access anything remotely similar. Or at least, NOT UNTIL NOW.


Yesterday I was proud to be a speaker at the Contrail Cloud Computing Business Day in Rome. Contrail is an innovation project co-funded by the European Commission, now ending after 40 months of intensive work of a consortium led by the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) with participation by HP. The goal of the project is to provide an open-source framework to enable federation of service providers and deliver services based on Service Level Agreement. With this SLA-based federation approach, providers can maximize their market reach while users can trust and easily use services in an open cloud market.


The questions that Contrail started from were: “How can we ensure flexible procurement and better control of service level agreements for cloud users? How can we help providers to maximize their market reach and optimize resource usage?” According to the feedback I gathered from the attendees, Contrail now has good answers, as was demonstrated by the use cases implemented by consortium partners and presented at the end of the event.


The presentations and open discussions raised awareness about some key aspects of cloud federation, especially those focused on specific needs we have in European Union:


  • Interoperability based on open standards, such as OpenStack, and enterprise-grade service level agreements. These are at the core of both the Contrail platform and HP’s strategy.
  • Instant access to the service you need. This is a critical success factor for cloud adoption. The challenge that Contrail is addressing is how to search for it.
  • Compliance. In the EU, SLAs cannot disregard regional and national constraints, as local laws, regulatory or technical requirements


Cloud federation in Europe is not surprising at all. Federation is a concrete reality in the European Union in a variety of fields, from electricity to commerce. The reason for the success of these efforts has been collaboration, in order to standardize across the region. Why shouldn’t that happen in the digital world too – in the cloud?


Do you feel ready to be part of European Cloud journey? What’s your secret sauce for success in finding and provisioning the right Cloud service? Let me know what you think … and stay tuned!


Read more about HP Converged Cloud Services.


To learn more about me and how I can help you get the best results from Cloud, visit my HP Expert profile.

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