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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Open Cloud Standards – Part 1

Posted by Winston Bumpus
Director of Standards Architecture

There has been a lot of discussion in the press and at various events in the past months regarding Open Standards for Cloud Computing. As a VMware employee and with my role as president of the DMTF,  I have a unique view of these emerging standards efforts. VMware supports the idea of cloud standards and has already made good progress on some key pieces. As one of the original authors of the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification, VMware has already shown its leadership and support for working with the industry to drive interoperability standards. In fact VMware believes that interfaces should be open so customers can have choice and improved interoperability while service providers  can differentiate on functionality and performance of their services.

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) just announced the release of OVF 1.0 as a DMTF standard and suggested that OVF just might be a key building block for cloud computing interoperability.  Other interfaces and protocols also need to be standardized, which is why VMware announced its intention to submit its key elements of the vCloud API to an existing standards organization for the basis of developing an industry standard at VMworld Europe in February. We believe that the combination of standard packaging and deployment format along with a standard open API will go a long way to enabling cloud market growth.

VMware agreed to be part of the Open Cloud Manifesto. This document and discussion, while providing a very minimal set of principles to agree upon, will form a basis for initial agreements as the standards for this new computing paradigm are developed. We don’t believe there will be a single standard or standards body that will standardize all aspects of cloud interoperability.

I had the privilege to participate in the Strategies and Technologies for Cloud Computing Interoperability
(SATCCI) held in Washington DC area on March 23 hosted by the Object Management Group (OMG). Representatives from several standards organizations and communities were present, including the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) the Open Grid Forum (OGF), the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF) and others. We agreed that one organization could not develop all of the standards needed, but that the various standards organizations and communities should work together by communicating which parts of the stack we would each address.

I will provide more background on the work going on in the DMTF and other standards organizations to drive new levels of interoperability in Cloud Computing in my next post.