I read an interesting post on the Elastic Vapor blog about a cloud interoperability effort, designed to make interop and portability between clouds a reality.
Portability between clouds is clearly a problem, especially if you need to replicate an environment or application within your enterprise. You are effectively stuck, if not actually locked-in to the cloud provider you sign on with.
According to the post, the "unified cloud interface" (aka cloud broker) will serve as a common interface for the interaction with remote platforms, systems, networks, data, identity, applications, and services.
A common set of cloud definitions will enable vendors to exchange management information between remote cloud providers.
The unified cloud interface (UCI) or cloud broker will be composed of a specification and a schema. The schema provides the actual model descriptions, while the specification defines the details for integration with other management models. UCI will be implemented as an extension to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) specifically as an XMPP Extension Protocol or XEP.
For cloud adoption to continue, users have to feel comfortable with the fact that they can move their data. The unified cloud interface is an important step in the process.