Standards Across Cloud Service Models
Cloud computing is being adopted by all size organizations, this is a revolutionary shift in information technology that is transforming the way we work and is clearly illustrated with cloud solutions like Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and Concur for SaaS, Microsoft Azure and Cloud Foundry for PaaS, and Amazon EC2 and Rackspace for IaaS. Standards for how these different types of cloud service models work together will provide cloud consumer's value.
Standards Within Cloud Service Models
Within each layer of the cloud service model (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), open standards help prevent vendor lock-in.
Open standards and standard APIs are all about portability, the most applicable open standards to cloud computing are those adopted by the non-profit Open Cloud Initiative (OCI), a non-profit advocate of open cloud computing that was launched at OSCON in 2011.
OCI's requirements for an open cloud are:
- Open Formats: All user data and metadata must be represented in open standard formats
- Open Interfaces: All functionality must be exposed by the way of open standard interfaces
DMTF’s Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a packaging standard designed to address the portability and deployment of virtual appliances which demonstrates an open standard. OVF enables simplified and error-free deployment of virtual appliances across multiple virtualization platforms.
Some other notable open cloud compute initiatives for IaaS include:
Cloud Foundry is an example of an open platform as a service; providing a choice of clouds, developer frameworks, and application services.
For Software as a Service, open standards apply at the application level. Very little of the standards work here is cloud-specific, so those standards are beyond the scope of this paper. For example, a cloud-based word processing application should support standards for document portability; the requirement for standards support in a word processing application has nothing to do with whether the application is running in the cloud.
Standards Between The Enterprise
Open standards that define how an enterprise application communicates with resources that are deployed in a hybrid cloud deployment model will enable greater integration with little to no changes in enterprise architecture. Figuring out how to integrate cloud computing with existing architectures and development paradigms will be a major challenge in the PaaS service model when used in a hybrid cloud deployment.
Standards Within An Enterprise
Standards within an enterprise will be determined by governance, portability, audit requirements, security, and risk management. These requirements will be the foundation of the standards that will be applied between the enterprises and the cloud.
In my next post, we will dive into the different levels and categories of APIs. The Cloud Taxonomy, Standards Taxonomy, and API mechanisms will provide us with the underpinnings for looking at the Cloud Case Use Group's use case scenarios.