As we get into more complex cloud computing solutions, the need for governance is back on the radar screen.
Although most have not noticed, there has been a focus lately on management and governance of clouds. The approach is logical. Provide the ability to set policies within a cloud computing system, private, public, or hybrid, such as polices that drive security, proper use, or most importantly, compliance.
We're beginning to see these types of cloud governance systems within most private cloud computing technology offerings, including those from VMWare and IBM. However, the larger story here is the rise of the smaller players that provide this functionality in more open and heterogeneous ways.
There are two flavors here. First, is the old guard SOA governance technology, such as solutions from Layer 7 or Amberpoint (now a part of Oracle). These solutions provide runtime SOA governance solutions, meaning that they both create and operate policies that exist around services, cloud or not. While not created specifically for the cloud, they have morphed in that direction just as SOA has morphed towards the cloud.
In the new guard side, we have solutions such as Abiquo, who provides a cloud management and governance solution that's able to span many different types of virtualization systems/hypervisors. Again, they support the ability to create and enforce polices from the cloud management product, as well as providing other management features leveraged through a well-designed abstraction layer.
This is a huge hole that cloud computing has had. Indeed, without strong governance and management strategy, and enabling technology, the path to cloud computing won't be possible.