Cloud Computing: 5 Emerging Standards

These major cloud computing standards efforts offer insight into how vendors may handle cloud interoperability

Meanwhile, she advises, you can guard against vendor lock-in by pushing back against your vendors, not simply taking their integration tools and using them without evaluating others. And you can educate yourself about emerging cloud interoperability standards. These include:

The Open Cloud Manifesto. This set of principles defines cloud computing and steps for keeping cloud systems interoperable. About 300 vendors have endorsed it, pledging support for such ideas as cloud systems offering scalability on demand and cloud vendors providing "a high degree of transparency" into their operations.

Open Virtualization Format. This specification, proposed by the Distributed Management Task Force, aims to make virtualization simpler by having vendors agree to metadata formats for virtual machines. Members include Citrix, IBM, Microsoft and VMware—which, according to Hurwitz, has a heavy hand in guiding this specification.

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. The group that developed XML is working on specs for cloud deployment, management and security. An initial meeting about identity management was held in April. Members include CA, IBM, MIT and Red Hat.

Open Cloud Computing Interface. The Open Grid Forum proposed this standard application programming interface for cloud infrastructure systems in May 2009. The public comment period remains open.

Trusted Cloud. These are security standards for cloud computing, including identity management, under development by the Cloud Security Alliance. Novell and eBay are among its supporters. Vendor certification criteria are expected by the end of the year. Hurwitz says the group has excelled "not just promulgating a specification but laying out the bigger cloud security landscape."

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