As cloud providers are rolling out new services, customers may find themselves locked in in the cloud: Their data are alive and well in their favorite cloud SaaS provider, but what happens when they decide to switch? Cloud data exchange APIs are still in infancy and cloud providers offer limited or no data portability services.
Google offers the Secure Data Connector service, a software service residing in customer premises and allows data exchange with the cloud. IBM on the other hand have a series of appliances for XML data transformation and mediation, SNIA is working on the CDMI initiative, but convergence to a common ground is nowhere to be seen yet.
Ironically, convergence in cloud data portability may come from where it is least expected: Social networking. As social networks become a necessity for Internet users, there is an increasing need to migrate contacts, profiles and social graphs from one network to the other. We expect social networks to develop a common interoperability API among them to allow their users to port information from one to another and gradually to converge to a common protocol for data exchange.
By: Antonis Valakas, Analyst for upcoming report “Google in the Cloud”