TM Forum Details Cloud IaaS Requirements

TM Forum--an association that includes technology vendors such as HP and IBM, as well as more than 750 of the world's largest service providers in the communications, media and cloud service markets--has just delivered what it calls the industry's first set of Enterprise-Grade External Compute Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Requirements. Put together by the association's Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council (ECLC), the document includes guidelines for terminology; requirements for external pr

January 28, 2011

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TM Forum--an association that includes technology vendors such as HP and IBM, as well as more than 750 of the world's largest service providers in the communications, media and cloud service markets--has just delivered what it calls the industry's first set of Enterprise-Grade External Compute Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Requirements. Put together by the association's Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council (ECLC), the document includes guidelines for terminology; requirements for external private clouds in commercial, technical and operational terms; the business case for external private clouds; and sample use cases. It also details how business and technical agreements between enterprise customers and cloud service providers should be defined and managed to maximize benefits for both parties.

Focused on enabling best-in-class IT for service providers in the communications, media, defense and cloud service market, TM Forum created the ECLC in 2009 to provide a forum for enterprise cloud users to share requirements and drive the development of best practices and standards that will remove the barriers to deployment and adoption of cloud services. Its list of members includes Deutsche Bank, Boeing, ING, Dassault Systemes and Northrop-Grumman.

Incorporating the input from the top cloud innovators and thought leaders, this document is intended to create a way forward for the industry that separates out the vital needs from the noise, says Matt Edwards, director of the enabling cloud services initiative at TM Forum. "We're looking to drive standards and best practices around real-world needs. We're focused on what customers really want us to be focused on."

Cloud products, services and initiatives have been coming fast and furious, which is no surprise according to MarketsandMarkets. It says the global cloud computing market will be worth $121.1 billion by 2015, up from last year's $37.8 billion.

HP just announced another step in its cloud aspirations, while IBM recently announced plans to develop a smart cloud storage architecture. Both of these vendors, along with CA, Cisco, and Microsoft, are part of TM Forum's Cloud Services Initiative. Edwards says that everybody is trying to figure out how best to be involved with cloud computing, and that what's going on today will be very different from what will be happening in three to four years. Getting vendor buy-in is the next step, he says.

Based on end users' experience and requirements, the document is intended to assist cloud service providers and technology suppliers to determine customer demands, drive direction on standards and best practices, and remove barriers to adoption. Vendors need to map their product and service offerings against those requirements.

There's never been a similar initiative in any other industry, says Edwards. "We're in the right place at the right time to drive best practices and standards in the right direction as quickly as possible."
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