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IBM invents ‘cloud of clouds’ to allow cross-cloud data migration

IBM has invented an interface that allows users to send data across multiple clouds securely, eliminating "lock-in" and potentially opening up the cloud space.

The patent-pending invention would potentially encourage growth and innovation in the sector and lead to wider cloud adoption by allowing easy and reliable transfers of data across cloud platforms.

"Our cloud-of-clouds invention can help clients avoid service outages and security incidents that impact the reliability and security of individual clouds," said Evangelos Eleftheriou, head of the Storage Technologies Department of IBM Research.

"We are adding multiple levels of redundancy and reliability by making cloud migration and backup easier and faster than is currently possible."

Currently, vendor lock-in is thought to be one of the main factors inhibiting widespread cloud adoption. How IBM's software toolkit overcomes this issue is by using an "object storage" interface that allows users to drag and drop files to be shared on the clouds of their choice, regardless of vendor.

Despite operating across multiple platforms, IBM claims that the cloud-of-clouds method can offer the combined resilience of separate clouds to provide better protection against service outages and data loss than any single cloud can deliver.

The interface is provided by SoftLayer, a company acquired by IBM in June for an estimated $2 billion (£1.3 billion). Should the invention live up to its potential it will strengthen the IT giant's position as one of the global leaders in cloud computing technologies.

Earlier this week IBM announced that it will be utilising the technology of its Watson supercomputer as a development platform for software providers to create a new generation of apps.