The near future evolution of the cloud computing can be hypothesized in three subsequent stages: stage 1 "Monolithic" (now), cloud services are based on independent proprietary architectures; stage 2 "Vertical Supply Chain", cloud providers will leverage cloud services from other providers; stage 3 "Horizontal Federation", smaller, medium, and large cloud providers will federate themselves to gain economies of scale and an enlargement of their capabilities. Currently, the major clouds are planning the transition to the stage 2, but how to achieve the stage 3 is unclear because some architectural limitations have to be overcome. In this paper, considering a general cloud architecture, we highlight such limitations and propose some enhancements which add new federation capabilities. In order to address such concerns we propose a solution based on the Cross-Cloud Federation Manager, a new component placeable inside the cloud architectures, allowing a cloud to establish the federation with other clouds according to a three-phase model: discovery, match-making and authentication.
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