Two standards groups team up to simplify cloud management

The Open Data Center Alliance and the Distributed Management Task Force have joined forces to accelerate the development of industry standards for managing cloud computing infrastructures.

Initially, the collaboration effort will focus on interoperable management of virtual machines regardless of data center location. The aim is to help create an easier path for cloud workload migration, officials from the two organizations said.

Adoption of efficient cloud solutions is estimated to save global IT operations budgets $25 billion, according to ODCA forecasts, and simplified cloud management is a critical aspect of achieving increased efficiencies. The Open Data Center Alliance is a group of more than 300 companies that represent more than $100 billion in annual IT spending.

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Virtual machine management is estimated to represent 60 percent of the IT overhead of a physical server, so simplified management across enterprise and public cloud implementations represents a major opportunity for increased operational efficiency, the officials said.

“Transparent oversight to include security, financials, and performance of cloud workloads across a federated cloud environment is critical to broad adoption of cloud computing,” said Curt Aubley, Lockheed Martin vice president and chief technology officer for Cyber Security & NexGen Innovation.

The partnership combines DMTF’s knowledge in systems management standards with ODCA’s expertise in customer-driven usage models. This provides the organizations with the opportunity to ensure the standards they develop – such as the DMTF’s work-in progress cloud infrastructure management interface (CIMI) specifications -- will meet customer needs, said Winston Bumpus, DMTF president.

Initially, the organizations will work on enhancements to the DMTF Open Virtualization Format specification, a packaging standard designed to address the portability and deployment of virtual appliances.

Improvements to the specification will address specific requirements dictated in the ODCA’s VM Interoperability usage model. The organizations have also begun investigating standard approaches to software licensing within cloud environments, another critical opportunity to accelerate broad cloud application deployments.

The Open Data Center Alliance and DMTF are working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to speed up the adoption of standards for interoperability, portability and security in the cloud.

NIST released for public comment a draft “road map” designed to foster federal agencies’ adoption of cloud computing on Nov. 2. The U.S. Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap also will support private-sector cloud efforts, improve the information available to decision-makers, and facilitate the continued development of the cloud computing model, NIST officials said.

In support of its mission, the ODCA has delivered the first customer requirements for cloud computing documented in eight Open Data Center Usage Models which identify member prioritized requirements to resolve the challenges facing cloud adoption. Find out more at

Cloud computing is an on-demand model that give users access to a shared pool of computing resources with minimal management intervention and cloud provider interaction.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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