IBM researchers come out with 'cloud of clouds’

  • Concerns about security, reliability and vendor lock-in have inhibited widespread cloud adoption
  • IBM says its patent-pending invention overcomes these concerns via an ‘InterCloud’ technique

IBM inventors have developed new cloud storage software that the company claimed provides a simple interface for clients to securely migrate data across multiple clouds, while keeping it confidential and secure.
Organisations across all industries, including banks, retailers and government, are embracing cloud computing to drive business innovation and growth, but underlying concerns about security, reliability and vendor lock-in have inhibited widespread cloud adoption, IBM said in a statement.

IBM’s patent-pending invention overcomes concerns about data resiliency, security and service continuity via an innovative technique called ‘InterCloud,’ which seamlessly stores and moves data across multiple clouds.
IBM researchers come out with 'cloud of clouds’The InterCloud method employs a ‘cloud-of-clouds’ approach that invokes the resilience of separate clouds to offer stronger protection against service outages and data loss than any single cloud can deliver, the company claimed.

“Our cloud-of-clouds invention can help clients avoid service outages and security incidents that impact the reliability and security of individual clouds,” said IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou (pic).
“We are adding multiple levels of redundancy and reliability by making cloud migration and backup easier and faster than is currently possible,” he added.

Enabling the cloud-of-clouds

IBM scientists have developed a software toolkit called InterCloud Storage (ICStore), which enables storage systems to access and use third-party private and/ or public clouds for data migration, backup or file sharing.

ICStore uses an ‘object storage’ interface that permits clients to drag and drop files to be backed up or shared on the cloud(s) of their choice – independent of the vendor.
ICStore explicitly addresses space efficiency, data synchronisation, and metadata coordination when storing data redundantly on object storage, IBM claimed.
Once a cloud fails, the backup cloud immediately responds and ensures data availability – transparently to the user. No synchronisation or communication among cloud clients is needed due to the innovative approach that adds redundancy and tolerates failures.

Softlayer, an IBM company, is the default storage provider for ICStore and it provides the object-based interface. ICStore and SoftLayer enable clients to overcome limits in their cloud storage capacity by dynamically routing to an alternative storage system – such as easily migrating from a remote public-cloud to on-premise private-cloud, optimising the overall efficiency of data storage management.

IBM scientists have developed patent-pending algorithms for ICStore which were published in a paper titled Robust data sharing with key-value stores at the IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN).
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