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Daryl Plummer at Gartner has coined the term "Cloudstreams":

So, here comes Cloudstreams. The cloud has made the need for integrating between services (someone told me, “if you’re over 30 you call it an ‘API’, and if you are under 30 you call it a ‘service’”) more evident than ever. Companies want to connect from on-premises apps to cloud services and from cloud services to cloud services. And, all of these connections need to be secure and governed for performance. In short, what they want are flexible, well-defined, integrations of services at the API level using policies to orchestrate the data, messages, and invocations associated with those services. That is a Cloudstream.

Well, it’s actually more than that. A Cloudstream is a packaged integration template that provides a description of everything necessary to govern, secure, and manage the interaction between two services at the API level. It requires an appliance (Humor me. Call it a cloud broker appliance) to act as a gateway between services that is delivered in hardware, software, or managed (cloud) service form. Cloudstreams can be opened and maintained by XML appliances, SOA appliances or gateways, or any intermediary technology that can broker cloud and SOA services.


Got to love that observation about "APIs" and "Services". The concept of the "Cloudstream" is a neat way to describe interactions between on-premises and the Cloud, and between Cloud services and other Cloud services, by thinking of everything as a Cloudstream.

Consider a recent Vordel deployment to connect a portal up to Google Apps (Gmail in particular) using Single Sign-On to Google. A neat way to think of this is as a "Cloudstream" from the portal up to Google Apps.

Another example is taking new sales leads from an on-premises ACT system and pushing them up to SalesForce.com as a Cloud Stream. The Cloud Service Broker is the "plumbing" for the Cloudstream (to follow the water analogy). Here at Vordel we look forward to the "Cloudstream" term gaining ground as a simple way to understand the flow of data between on-premises and Cloud services (or "APIs" for under-30s :-) ).

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