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Cloud computing faces two business-related issues. First, the management of clouds requires not only technical skills but also the understanding of the business side of these systems. Traditional distributed systems research did not require this understanding, simply assuming that all components involved are willing to cooperate according to the resource allocation algorithm prescribed. This cooperation assumption is not valid anymore if clouds are commercial. Secondly, the demand of cloud customers can cause demand spikes at any time, raising the questions on how to allocate the limited resources. Consequently, a real-time view of the provider's business with respect to revenue streams and costs becomes essential for cloud providers. Such a system helps them to respond in an economically efficient way. From the user perspective, the understanding of the different offerings of clouds is also becoming none-trivial, requiring a support in selecting the best-fitting cloud service. A solution to these two issues is the use of business economics. The objective of this work is to lay out a concept and design of a business support service platform, which is called Cloud Management Cockpit (CMC), which uses business economics for giving decision support to providers for managing clouds and for using clouds. The applications of the CMC are laid out in three scenarios. They highlight the usefulness of the CMC business support models and demonstrate how CMC enables platform interoperability, service composition, and reduces complexity of clouds.
Date of Conference: 26-28 Sept. 2011