Joint Cloud Computing: How Can Organizations Benefit From This New Trend?


When the demands of a cloud-dependent company exceed the capacity of a single cloud, several cloud providers may be required. The arrival of Cloud 1.0 introduced lower IT costs and on-demand service availability. However, it is fair to say that the globalisation of cloud services has not been without its fair share of difficulties. To lessen the challenges and reduce cost, Joint Cloud can be the way forward. Let’s see what exactly it is and how organizations can absorb the benefits offered by this technology. 

Cloud technology behemoths have begun to collaborate in order to expedite the go-to-market cycle and capitalize on each other’s unique selling points. It’s a partnership between cloud service providers that will help joint clients with their migration capabilities and application operations across various cloud platforms. Competitors Oracle and Microsoft recently formed a partnership that combines their strengths and provides the best of both worlds. Similarly, tech company Avaya recently announced a collaboration with Microsoft to develop a joint cloud communication solution. 

Joint Cloud is a modern computing platform that encourages developers to design cross-cloud services through software-defined interaction and cooperation across different cloud service organizations. Furthermore, container platform automation capabilities handle multi-cloud access, providing enterprises with a compelling solution to work with various cloud providers, infrastructure, and cloud types.

Aron Brand, the CTO of CTERA, explained this new age phenomenon as “a new generation of computing model which facilitates providing cross-cloud services through integration and cooperation among different cloud providers.” While this term is currently used mostly by academia, some of the required components of joint cloud computing already exist in the commercial sector, said Brand. 

“Take for example the concept of a global file system, which creates a single namespace, globally accessible file system, overlayed on multiple object storage providers – which can be located in different clouds, regions and operated by different service entities. A global file system eliminates vendor lock-in by allowing transparent data movement across cloud providers; enables boundless storage capacity, while providing comprehensive control over and visibility into this global distributed data. Using the global file system as a foundation, service organizations can develop federated applications that span heterogeneous clouds and data centers, including edge devices,” he added.

“From our point of view Joint Cloud Computing is an extension of what we would call a ‘multi-cloud’ strategy,” commented Sathya Sankaran, COO of Catalogic Software. “The current discussion around joint cloud computing/multi-cloud is all about building infrastructure that makes it easier to communicate between applications running on different clouds, migrate loads (data and applications) between various clouds, and manage loads in various clouds,” he said.

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Joint Cloud Is Trending in 2021

Even though it’s a decade-old phenomenon, the year 2021 has further accelerated the growth of Joint Cloud computing, helping it become one of the most trending cloud computing technologies of the year. Let’s look at some of the recent developments in this space.

Thales and Google Cloud have partnered up to establish Joint Cloud offering in France together

Thales and Google Cloud collaborated in October to co-develop a French hyperscale cloud product. With this new service, French businesses and government agencies will have access to all of the capacity, security, agility, and autonomy that the two entities’ respective technologies have to offer.

Google Cloud and Genesys expand their Joint Cloud Contact Center 

The two companies recently announced their partnership on new AI, deep learning, and data analytics applications. They have a number of objectives in mind. Automating customer service, providing predicted customer satisfaction, and AI-driven verification are just a few examples. Besides, the plans include creating new conversational routes that use Google Search, Maps, and other tools.

Woori Financial modified Joint Cloud platform to speed up their digital transformation

The joint cloud infrastructure has supposedly assisted in advancing the company’s digital innovation since its deployment in February. It optimally manages the group’s IT assets and cloud space, enhancing the divisions’ synergy in digital-based companies.

Expected Challenges Joint Cloud Can Help Address

At times, cloud-dependent organizations require more than just one cloud provider as the needs surpass the capacity of a single cloud. We see events like Black Friday that demand tens of thousands of times more resources than normal days, straining a solitary cloud vendor, which is either unable to provide the requested resources or must provide IT resources based on access demand. This might result in higher costs and lower IT resource use, which contradicts cloud computing’s primary purpose of increasing IT resource utilization.

The advent of Cloud 1.0 has enabled reduced IT costs and on-demand availability of services. But, it won’t be wrong to state that there have also been certain challenges with the globalization of cloud services. In a research conducted by IEEE on JointCloudOpens a new window , a few challenges associated with Cloud 1.0 were identified. These were: 

    1. Different cloud providers manage their own infrastructures independently. It is a critical challenge to provide interconnection of multiple resources in different domains. Therefore, the interconnection and guaranteed quality of service in Joint Cloud should be achieved by a series of negotiations. 
    2. As the services become more diverse and the dependencies among them tend to be increasingly complex in modern applications, references among services are becoming more common. In this case, a single cloud can hardly deploy each of the required services and meet the performance requirement of the user. The current single-cloud deployment manner dramatically increases the cost of development and maintenance of the cloud, and causes unstableness of the newly deployed services. Therefore, there should be frameworks and mechanisms to enable the references and consolidation of different services among multiple clouds. 

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Benefits Offered By Joint Cloud

Both academia and industry have begun to examine partnerships amongst independent public cloud providers to overcome these difficulties. Cloud 2.0’s core element is cooperative cloud computing, which removes the barrier between numerous clouds. Let’s look at some of the benefits that make Joint Cloud a perfect fit for organizations.

Large Capacity

With the increasing expansion of data buffers and the heterogeneity of customer tastes, one cloud provider can scarcely meet all of their needs. Joint Cloud is an effective way to coordinate autonomous cloud peers to deliver a high-level of storage service. However, the storage services must strike global balances between accuracy and consistency under various conditions and needs by exploiting resources that are scattered across diverse cloud peers. 

Paul Repice, VP of sales, Datadobi said, “Gone are the days where enterprises rely on one single storage vendor for their data. Today, 92% of organizations either have a multi-cloud strategy in place or are moving in that direction, and over 80% of large enterprises have already adopted a hybrid cloud infrastructure. These trends make sense because the pandemic encouraged global enterprise companies to adopt effective, proven cloud technologies offered by market-leading brands due to the lack of need for sudden infrastructure spending. The availability of cloud-based file storage offered a cost-effective, quick fix and an apparent win-win for businesses under pressure to adapt on the fly.

To make the change back to the office smoother, organizations must work with vendor-neutral solutions that can handle the scale and complexity of large storage environments in 2022. When evaluating a particular vendor, IT teams need to check the compatibility with hyperscalers, preserve data integrity throughout any data management projects, and make sure that the vendors offer access to a comprehensive support team. With these building blocks in place, organizations can make the best use of cloud and on-premises storage in the long term.”

High Performance

Joint Cloud computing is a new research project spearheaded by Chinese institutes to address the computing challenges associated with various clouds. Customers’ diversified and changing cloud resource needs are fulfilled by Joint Cloud through delivering virtual cloud resources (VC). The Joint Cloud users may use an internet browser to write, debug, and execute activities in their work environment without worrying about minimal issues like framework deployment, setup, and parameterization. This working environment is based on a customized VC that offers the most appropriate resources from the underlying clouds. This architecture might smoothly traverse different clouds, allowing apps to elastically scale out and utilize fresh resources from third parties to deal with load demand issues.

Cost Efficiency

Over the last several years, there has been a tremendous surge in corporate investment and expanding research interest in the Internet of Things. The synergy between traditional cloud and edge cloud is already underway to give quality service to varied consumers, spurred by the application demand from the Internet of Everything in the future. However, because of the high marginal operating and maintenance expenses, traditional clouds must continue to collaborate. JointCloud computing is a new computing paradigm that supports collaboration within heterogeneous clouds. JointCloud intends to make it easier for many cloud vendors to work together to deliver effective cross-cloud services. Also, it is cost-effective because it focuses on vertical cloud resource integration and horizontal cloud vendor collaboration.

Conclusion: There’s great promise in Joint Cloud but cloud giants are still hesitant

The first edition of cloud computing (Cloud 1.0) is gradually being phased out in favor of the second (Cloud 2.0). The novel JointCloud efforts, which were lately financially backed by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology as part of the National Key Program for Cloud Computing and Big Data, is the latest generation of computing paradigm for Cloud 2.0 that enables businesses to customize cross-cloud services.

JointCloud aspires to bring together key cloud providers in China and those from across the world to create a joint cloud network. Unlike previous Cloud 2.0 projects such as SuperCloud and InterCloud, JointCloud is the initial stride toward creating an expanding community where all cloud providers may utilize the specified service infrastructure to deliver deep cooperation, and customers can design services above the virtualized cloud.

“There are plenty of opportunities for vendors to help multi-cloud customers, but we don’t see the big managed cloud providers doing much to help customers, other than enabling their management consoles to manage infrastructure in other clouds (thus putting their management tools on top),” says Sankaran from Catalogic Software.

“We do note that it’s in their interest to keep customers locked in rather than have their services totally commoditized. We don’t see enthusiasm for a  push on standards and tools for joint cloud computing. Although that’s not to say that some industry standards couldn’t eventually help here. We think Kubernetes and containerized workloads will also help to some extent, because it provides somewhat of a standard platform layer.”

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