Customers need to designate a specific backup cloud-services provider

There’s been a flurry of vendors offering up open APIs they say can be used by other vendors to promote interoperability in the cloud.

The latest was from Red Hat with its Deltacloud API designed to promote interoperability among public and private clouds applications and services. The intent is to smooth out the differences among virtualization vendors’ platforms so developers can write one version of an application, say, and not have to worry what other platforms it might or might not work with.

This common interface is also important for transferring data smoothly among clouds that are based on different virtual platforms.

Red Hat is trying to reach a laudable goal, but it’s not ideal. It’s one company promoting an answer that, in order to work, requires the cooperation of other vendors and service-provider customers of those vendors to present the API for others to use. Whether others will cooperate is uncertain.

Recently, VMware promoted its own API that has all the good intentions of Red Hat’s and all the problems.

The link to security is that these APIs promote the interoperability needed to move data among clouds, something enterprises need to consider if they are going to entrust sensitive data to the cloud. They have to be able to get it back easily if they are going to place it there at all.

Standards are needed, but there are only voluntary efforts underway that lack consensus and clout. The result is a mix of efforts that will rely on market forces and influence to sort things out, a messier and longer process.

Meanwhile, customers of cloud services and products need to think ahead to the time when they need to transfer data among clouds and make sure they have a specific backup provider lined up that interoperates with the primary provider.

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