Support for capturing service agreements and the means to modify service agreements are (almost) completely lacking in all current cloud offerings. Without this support costly manual intervention is required when service requirements change. This represents a significant barrier to the uptake of the cloud by organisations who understand that change is an inevitable aspect of any business.
Arjuna Technologies have focused their efforts on this particular problem for a number of years and have developed ‘Agility’, a framework for the management of dynamic service agreements and of policy that responds to the creation, modification, maintenance and deletion of those agreements. The framework does not attempt to define some standardised ontology but is instead open and extensible, leaving the semantics of a service agreement entirely in the hands of the parties concerned. Agility enables service agreements to be changed, as they inevitably will need to be, over the lifetime of a service and opens up opportunities for sophisticated brokering between clouds offering differing quality of service and of cloud federation which enables partners to share services in a controlled manner.
Agility is an overlay that is deployed as a stand-alone server run on each organisation which is to interact and provides a means to capture existing and future relationships with other organisations. (Note that an organisation might be an independent enterprise, a department or even an individual). Agility enables organisations to be connected together into a 'Federation' in which cooperation occurs through mutual agreement but within which each party retains independence.
In addition to managing service agreements, each Agility server may interact with its organisation's underlying infrastructure. Agility might not interact at all, simply recording the relationships between the organisations. However, the organisation can use Agility to monitor the infrastructure, in order to report on conformance, or to actively ensure conformance e.g. by driving resources.
Agility may enable cooperation between an organisation and its:
Agility enables organisations to connect together into a Federated Cloud - delivering cooperation with accountability and control.