Cloud portability is the ability to move cloud computing products or applications from one cloud provider to another vendor without triggering any major migrating issues. It thus allows switching of services and solutions between any two or more cloud vendors or from public cloud to private cloud within a cloud infrastructure. It is pertinent to all service models of cloud including IaaS, PaaS, SaaS or hybrid and can be implemented in both public and private cloud. Typically, it occurs in public to public or public to private transfers.
Cloud portability may be necessitated by the consumers due to any factors like price increase by the existing vendor or any breach in SLAs. It can also be required if the vendor services are unsuitable to the business demands of the consumer. The primary requirement of cloud portability is the interoperability of services between the two cloud vendors i.e. the new cloud provider should be able to allow easy migration by replicating the cloud applications onto their infrastructure which the existing cloud provider had created over the period.
Cloud portability is gaining momentum with many vendors and service providers forming an open source OpenStack initiative where they have created a cloud operating system that could facilitate smooth cloud portability.