Monday, April 27, 2009

Industry Led Cloud Standards Incubator Launched

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry currently led by: AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, RedHat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems, and VMware together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced that it has formed a group dedicated to addressing the need for open management standards for cloud computing. The “Open Cloud Standards Incubator” will work to develop a set of informational specifications for cloud resource management.

As virtualization technology continues to be more rapidly adopted, it is emerging as a common enabling foundation for delivering software solutions into IT environments along with the potential to lower IT costs and improve operational efficiencies. While deploying virtualization technologies it is also critical to have comprehensive management capabilities associated with the implementation. Along with the adoption of virtualization, more and more enterprise IT customers are looking at the cloud computing paradigm to better deliver services to their customers.

"Ensuring interoperability among clouds is essential to the proliferation and adoption of cloud computing among developers and enterprise users," said Lew Tucker, CTO, Cloud Computing, Sun Microsystems. "Sun is committed to bringing open and interoperable clouds to market and is joining other leading vendors in actively engaging in this new DMTF effort."

No specific standards currently exist for enabling interoperability between private clouds within enterprises and hosted or public cloud providers. DMTF’s Open Cloud Standards Incubator will focus on addressing these issues by developing cloud resource management protocols, packaging formats and security mechanisms to facilitate interoperability.

“The new DMTF Open Cloud Standards Incubator is a step forward in enabling interoperability and portability between compute clouds,” said Dr. Stephen Herrod, CTO of VMware."The ultimate goal is to provide customers choice as to where they can most efficiently and safely run their applications. This may be in an internal cloud within their own datacenter or in clouds managed by external providers. With our anticipated launch of VMware vSphere 4, we take a step in this direction with full support of the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). Furthermore, we are committed to working with our partners in developing and supporting the other critical standards that will enable this open cloud computing vision."

What you will notice is there are no smaller startups or "cloud specific" companies such as Google or Amazon included. At first glance this looks like a list of the old boys of tech. I can't help but wonder if this will help or hinder the adoption. An open development process is critical to the success of any standards that may get created by this group. The last thing we want is to be forced to adopt a set of technical standards because our partners are telling us we need to. I'd rather see broad adoption from the smaller and bigger players alike as the driving factor when looking to implement a new set of technology standards.

My questions to the DMFT

How can we as a community help with this initiative? Are all contributors required to join the DMTF? Also, I didn't see in any of the press release info what the time frame is for the development of these standards?

For more info, see:

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