The great cloud governance grab of 2013

With CA buying Layer 7 and Intel buying Mashery, the cloud action is becoming all about the APIs

CA is buying Layer 7 for its API management and governance capabilities. And Intel is buying Mashery, another API management provider. Furthermore, Mulesoft just received a fifth round of VC funding, to the tune of $37 million, for its API management capabilities.

This part of the cloud computing space is red hot, which is why the larger providers out there are looking for good API/service governance technology.

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If you're a regular reader of this blog, I don't have to tell you how important service governance is to the use of public and private cloud-based resources. I suspect that many people in IT -- and at the vendors trying to serve them -- are coming to the same conclusions now, as cloud projects become cloud operations. Service/API management becomes an easy-to-define value.

There are many forms of governance for cloud computing. One is runtime service-level governance, a technology provided by Layer 7 and a few others that tracks and manages services during design and operations. These tools typically allow you to write and place policies around cloud services, which lets you control access and provides easier paths to reuse.

Mashery, which is now becoming part of Intel, provides an API partner portal that measures and reports on API traffic. This includes a distribution network for scaling a service, typically around service externalization types of work. Apigee, an API/service management provider similar to Mashery, provides a platform for driving developer adoption while helping IT understand usage, manage traffic, and scale the use of API/services.

Other approaches to cloud governance include offerings from companies like ServiceMesh, which provide policy-enabled services orchestration so that enterprises and providers can use services in an on-demand, self-provisioning model. In other words, they put things that change into a configurable domain, providing centralized control of core-solutions development processes in a way that can help drive more agility within enterprises and service providers.

The critical message here is that without good a good governance and service/API management strategy, your cloud project is likely to fail, no matter if you're using someone else's cloud or building your own. Governance approaches and governance technology, in one shape or another, are critical to the success of cloud computing -- period.

Enterprises and larger technology players now understand this fact, which is why the search is on at key governance providers to add more clud-related offerings to their portfolios. We'll see more details -- and more capabilities -- as the year unfolds.

This article, "The great cloud governance grab of 2013," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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