Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

SDOs 'Battling' For Cloud Supremacy?

It seems there is no shortage of standards and requirements principles for cloud computing, with the latest to join the fray being the Open Cloud Principles (OCP) document just published by the Open Cloud Initiative (OCI) at the OSCON 2011 Open Source Convention. Google turned up 896 million references to "cloud," 81 million to "cloud computing" and a mere 79,400,000 to "cloud computing standard."

In early June, 280 companies joined together as the Open Data Center Alliance and released a set of proposed standards for cloud providers. That was a day after the members of the Cloud Standards Customer Council, which included Lockheed Martin and Citigroup, announced a project to create a Practical Guide to Cloud Computing.

April was another busy month for cloud standards, with news of the latest developments on the OpenStack Compute for developing a cloud-based server environment and OpenStack Object Storage for cloud-based storage. The IEEE jumped in with its Cloud Computing Initiative and the approval of two new standards development projects: IEEE P2301, Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles, and IEEE P2302, Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation. And back in January, the TM Forum, an association of vendors such as HP and IBM and large service providers, delivered the industry's first set of Enterprise-Grade External Compute Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Requirements.

However, another standards developing organization, the Clouds Standards Customer Council (CSCC), is taking exception to OCI founder and president Sam Johnston's comment that vendors are trying to lead the way with initiatives like the CSCC. CSCC's Richard Soley, whose day job is chairman and CEO of the Object Management Group (OMG), which is an SDO, says he regrets that standards is in the name. The important thing about CSCC is end users, he says, bringing them together and helping each other make the transition to the cloud, generating priorities and requirements for moving to the cloud, and sending them to standards organizations.

There are more than 200 members currently, with only a half-dozen being vendors, and CSCC will never make standards, he says. If it was about making standards, he already has OMG, he adds.

Founded in 1989, OMG promotes the theory and practice of object-oriented technology in software development and is supported by more than 800 members. Its charter includes the establishment of industry guidelines and object management specifications to provide a common framework for application development. OMG's primary goals are the reusability, portability and interoperability of object-based software in distributed, heterogeneous environments.

CSCC is very happy to work with standards groups, says Soley, and a dozen have already signed up. If anything, there aren't enough cloud standards, he says, although he gives kudos to the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), calling it very clear and well-tested.

The issue isn't about standards, but pushing vendors to support open standards, he says. "Anybody trying to solve the problem for end users to move from one cloud to another ... making it easier ... we're in favor of."

See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Specialized Clouds (subscription required).