DMTF Cloud Computing

Industry-wide, the standardization effort is being coordinated through The Distributed Management Task Force, Inc., (DMTF33) a not-for-profit organization devoted to developing management standards and promoting interoperability for enterprise and Internet environments. Winston Bumpus, VMware’s director of standards architecture and DMTF president, formed the Open Cloud Standards Incubator together with others as a committee within DMTF. The Open Cloud Standards Incubator (OCSI) was to focus on ways to facilitate operations between private clouds within enterprises and other private, public, or hybrid clouds by improving the interoperability between platforms through open cloud resource management standards. The group also aimed to develop specifications to enable cloud service portability and provide management consistency across cloud and enterprise platforms. As the Web site states:

The DMTF Standards Incubation process enables like-minded DMTF members to work together and produce informational specifications that can later be fast-tracked through the standards development process. The incubation process is designed to foster and expedite open, collaborative, exploratory technical work that complements the DMTF mission to lead the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management initiatives and standards.

The current incubator leadership board currently includes AMD, CA, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Rackspace, RedHat, Savvis, SunGard, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

The DMTF works with affiliated industry organizations such as the Open Grid Forum, Cloud Security Alliance, TeleManagement Forum (TMF), Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

OCSI Standardization Efforts

Scope and benefits of OCSI.(Courtesy Distributed Management Task Force, Inc.)

Scope and benefits of OCSI.(Courtesy Distributed Management Task Force, Inc.)

The management standards developed within DMTF deal predominantly with IaaS and help manage clouds that provide infrastructure as a service. One OCSI initiative is Virtualization MANagement (VMAN): A Building Block for Cloud Interoperability.34 VMAN standards address packaging/ distribution, deployment/ installation, and management of cloud IaaS that rely on virtualized systems. Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a DMTF standard for packaging and distributing virtual appliances. A virtual appliance is a prebuilt software solution, comprised of one or more virtual machines that are packaged, maintained, updated, and managed as a unit. OVF enables portability and simplifies installation and deployment of virtual appliances across multiple virtualization platforms.

The issues relating to interoperable clouds are discussed in OCSI’s white paper. This white paper describes a snapshot of the work being done in the DMTF Open Cloud Standards Incubator, including use cases and reference architecture as they relate to the interfaces between a cloud service provider and a cloud service consumer.

The main use cases being addressed are:

  • How building on standards provides flexibility to do business with a new provider without excessive effort or cost.
  • How multiple cloud providers may work together to meet the needs of a consumer of cloud services.
  • How different consumers with different needs can enter into different contractual arrangements with a cloud provider for data storage services.

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