Cloud
Commentary
4/29/2009
11:18 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Incubator Aims to Cook Up Potential Cloud Standards

A group of heavyweight tech vendors have assembled to put cloud interoperability and security specifications on a fast track to standardization

A group of heavyweight tech vendors have assembled to put cloud interoperability and security specifications on a fast track to standardizationAs enterprises adopt cloud computing, there are growing calls for standards to define and unite this nebulous technology category. In response, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has announced the Open Cloud Standards Incubator. Though not a standards group, the incubator will generate specifications that can be delivered to an official body to get fully baked.

The incubator aims to tackle three key areas: interoperability between private and public clouds, security, and cloud resource management. Cloud resource management includes the ability to control elements such as memory, CPU, billing issues, and quality of service for applications and infrastructure that run outside the enterprise data center. The incubator boasts an impressive roster of technology heavyweights, including virtualization kingpins VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.

The Open Cloud Standards Incubator carries more weight than the Open Cloud Manifesto, which lays out a series of general principles for the cloud, but lacks the impetus to translate those principles into an operational form. By contrast, the incubator may see its efforts become working standards. In fact, one of its first goals is to extend an existing DMFT virtualization standard to the cloud. That standard, OVF, defines mechanisms for packaging and deploying virtual appliances.

However, for an organization aiming to unite private and public clouds, its present configuration is remarkably light on public cloud providers big or small. In particular, Amazon and Google are noticable in their absence.

"As we move forward, we hope to have more of the cloud service providers participate," says Winston Bumpus, president of the DMTF and Director of Standards Architecture at VMware. "We anticipate that members will reach out to them."

Bumpus says the incubator can fast-track its specifications because it leverages existing resources, such as legal and intellectual property agreements, that would have to be created from scratch by an ad-hoc group attempting to create similar pre-standard specifications.

The incubator has set an ambitious goal of delivering a variety of specifications in just one year, including a cloud taxonomy. "A lot of the difficulty in standards is common terminology," says Bumpus. "We think it's a good exercise to have the discussion so we can go forward on the same page." He says the group may adopt, with adjustments, a taxonomy being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a U.S. federal standards agency.

Bumpus also notes that while the DMTF sponsors the incubator, the resulting specifications could be submitted to other standards bodies, such as SNIA or the IETF.

As of press time, the current leadership board of the incubator includes AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Oct. 20, 2014
Energy and weather agencies are busting long-held barriers to analyzing big data. Can the feds now get other government agencies into the movement?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.