DCML On The Fast Track - InformationWeek

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5/25/2004
09:03 AM
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DCML On The Fast Track

The head of the trade organization for the technology says it's the missing link in utility computing.

DCML is "the missing link to utility computing," and the announcement this week at CAWorld 2004 in Las Vegas of the release of the burgeoning technology's first framework specification should set the stage for increased standardization of the management of heterogeneous data-center networks, says Louis Blatt, president of the DCML trade organization.

Blatt, who's also senior VP of infrastructure management for Computer Associates, says release of the framework specification only seven months after the creation of the Data Center Markup Language initiative, indicates industry adoption is on a fast track.

With four governing members--CA, EDS, Opsware, and Tibco Software--plus more than 50 members and 160 participating companies, DCML has grown rapidly since its formation in October, Blatt says.

DCML is intended to create interoperability between various components of company's enterprise by providing a systematic, vendor-neutral way to describe the data-center environment, functional relationships between data-center components, and policies governing the management of the environment. By creating a blueprint of the complete data-center infrastructure with all its component relationships, dependencies, configurations, operational policies, and management processes, DCML gives businesses the power to more efficiently provision and mange the data-center environment, Blatt says.

The framework specification will now be sent to the various working groups within DCML for feedback, he says, which will be used to help formulate the final specification.

Any specific standards to be set surrounding DCML will be done by an existing standards body. The DCML organization has been in contact with a variety of standards bodies, which are considering participation.

The DCML 1.0 framework specification defines the conceptual data model in which data-center elements will be described and how the data model is extended to represent those specific elements. It also defines processing rules for interpreting DCML document instances, and the semantics, grammar, structure, and other organizational aspects on which to build extensions, such as networks, servers, applications, and services.

Just as TCP/IP and HTML help unite the Internet community, DCML proponents believe its specification based on an XML-based standard can do the same thing for data-center management, Blatt says. "We have an ambitious goal of automating management of the data center," he says. "But there are a lot of hardware and software vendors who want to do this."

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