Robert B. Cohen is director of the Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council of the TM Forum.
Today’s service providers and cloud infrastructure vendors are looking to the cloud to help them meet demand for digital-based services, and best practices for the cloud are an essential part of meeting that demand.
Recently, after a lot of hard work by everyone involved, The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) and TM Forum took a giant step forward for Compute Infrastructure as a Service (CIaaS) best practices by publishing a suite of documents outlining requirements for CIaaS. Our collaboration work not only provides a comprehensive IT view on enterprise-grade CIaaS requirements, but it also includes insight from some of cloud computing’s earliest adopters, many of which are members of TM Forum's Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council (ECLC).
Requirements Vendors Should Provide
These reports identify requirements that vendors should provide for the users purchasing their services. They also provide business models and use cases for CIaaS. Eventually, both the ODCA and the TM Forum hope that these requirements will evolve into a number of standards that make it easier for end-users to obtain more efficient CIaaS, and ultimately help to enable a robust, open and vibrant cloud marketplace.
The first report is a Joint Statement by TM Forum and ODCA on requirements for CIaaS and recommends ensuring highly flexible service, pay-per-use-pricing and virtualization as key elements in CIaaS, and identifies a range of performance characteristics that end-users would prefer.
The second document is ODCA’s Master Usage Model (PDF). It describes CIaaS scope, workloads, deployment models and service attributes. It also identifies the business drivers for CIaaS as a development and test, load stress test environment, grid and high-performance computing, standalone and enterprise traditional compute environment and enterprise cloud-aware production environment.
The members of TM Forum’s ECLC contributed the other documents in this series which includes approximately 150 requirements for enterprise-grade CIaaS; a business model; and a case study that illustrates how to exchange hardware and software for virtual machines from at least two different vendors.
All of these documents are available free to the public from both the Open Data Center Alliance’s and TM Forum’s websites. They are just the first step in publishing materials developed by both organizations.
In the future, the two groups also plan to collaborate closely in the development of TM Forum’s Catalyst’s projects-—short-term projects that focus on creating standards-based solutions for some of the most urgent operational and IT challenges in the industry, and culminate in live demonstrations at TM Forum’s Management World events.
While these documents are just the first step in our partnership, the cooperative relationship between ODCA and TM Forum allows both of our organizations to recommend the steps necessary to improve cloud services and overcome the challenges of managing complex, digital services.
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