The much hyped cloud service is still regarded with suspicion. There is fear and a disproportionate hesitancy in making the final decision to ride the cloud. Yet, quietly behind the scenes, cloud computing is maturing. Cloud service aggregators are gaining footholds and consolidating their bases. They are getting ready to take the world by the storm.

What is cloud service aggregation? The cloud service aggregator pulls together different services and packs them attractively as a single offering. Gartner labels these service providers “Cloud Brokers”! But, simply put, a cloud service aggregator is a service provider who offers a number of services as a package.

Cloud services differentiate themselves with conviction that “no one size fits all”. The cloud service gains a market share on the strength of this belief. So, the packages may contain basic offerings and specialized offerings. The specialized offerings are all different and the targeted at different segments of the market, while basic offerings may be the same across a set of cloud service providers.

The standard cloud service may offer the following services

1. File storage and recovery services
2. Document management services
3. Self Service Administrative interfaces
4. Location and device independence.
5. Scalability
6. High availability
7. Multi tenancy
8. Plan based or consumption based billing
9. Web portal
10. Reporting, notifications and audit trials
11. Platform independence
12. Agent or agentless cloud architecture

Specialized cloud services may include

1. Tiering and archiving services
2. File versioning and multiple version storage
3. Continuous, incremental or scheduled backups as required
4. Bare metal recovery on same or similar or new hardware
5. Multi-dimensional, multi tiered billing system
6. Capacity based licensing systems
7. SLA management and monitoring system
8. Integration with other kinds of communication and backup systems
9. Disaster recovery plans and replication services
10. Mobile computing
11. File synchronization
12. Data deduplication, compression and encryption

A few cloud service providers may aggregate cloud products to suit the needs of specific businesses such as Accounting or health care. Private and hybrid clouds may be constructed to meet the demands of a group of clientele such as Governmental bodies.

The bottomline is that the aggregations are intended to benefit the customer!