The alliance expects to provide guidance on such issues as how to decide where to run a workload based on an enterprise’s security requirements and how to implement “proximity-based storage to minimize latencies caused by delivery of data of processors from disk. It will even address how to provide policy-based power management in a cloud data center.
The group has been organizing since April and will offer the requirements to meet "five prioritized usage models" of cloud computing with the first version of its "vendor-agnostic usage model" roadmap. It will supply the 1.0 version of the roadmap in the first quarter of 2011.
For example, one usage model will describe the unified networking required for cloud computing, where multiple network protocols for communications and storage are merged, to reduce the number of ports and amount of equipment needed to establish a cloud. The network, file and block protocols under consideration are Fibre Channel over Ethernet, iSCSI, NFS, or CIFS, running over 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
The Alliance will have five Technical Workgroups to define requirements for usage models. The Infrastructure Workgroup will address usages of cloud infrastructure, including sending workloads to a cloud, running them, storing results and consuming network bandwidth; it will also cover how different devices may be used to access the cloud. It will be the group responsible for addressing the issues of unified networking.
The Management Workgroup will address how clouds should be managed from both the provider and user perspective. The Security group will address user security concerns that tend to limit cloud adoption, including data security and identity management.
The fourth workgroup will define cloud services "and the ways in which they may be used," to give cloud buyers concrete business models around which services are being and will be organized in the future. The Government and Ecosystem Workgroup will examine the impact of government regulations on cloud computing; it will also examine whether licensing practices aid or impede faster cloud adoption, according to the announcement. Intel said 20 vendor partners, including Terremark, stand ready to provide concepts and guidance to the alliance. They include Microsoft, HP, Dell, Nokia, AT&T, Citrix, VMware, Red Hat, Cisco, Novell and Parallels.