A Call to Action for Virtual Machine Interoperability

Open Data Center Alliance introduced a new VM interoperability usage model, and Intel finds it a step in the right direction because a basic level of VM interoperability will help cloud subscribers and providers reduce complexity and cost as well as improve the performance of IT services.

Jake Smith is a member of Intel’s Data Center Group focused on virtualization and cloud computing technologies. Currently working to drive standards and interoperability of cloud computing, Jake has experience in introducing new technologies in the server, storage and mobile markets.

Jake Smith, IntelJAKE SMITH

Virtualization is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts here at Intel. We began our virtualization efforts 10 years ago, and since then we’ve worked to build platforms that enable virtual machines (VMs) to take advantage of our virtualization architecture.

To that end, we work with a very broad alliance of industry leaders to ensure that VMs operate seamlessly, and with high performance, on the Intel virtual-machine control structure (VMCS) architecture. And we’re an active member of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), an industry group that creates standards that promote multi-vendor interoperability.

Given this focus, we welcome the new VM interoperability usage model from the Open Data Center Alliance, an independent consortium that works to provide a unified vision for data center and cloud infrastructure requirements. The usage model spells out actions and processes to further the development of interoperable VM management solutions.

Alliance's Model is Positive

While it has never been Intel’s role to ensure interoperability between the VMs from different software providers, we think the Alliance’s call to action is a good one. The consortium has made it incumbent on solution providers, technology providers, and software companies to ensure that the VMs that they build going forward have a degree of interoperability.

That’s an  ambitious goal. As the Alliance notes in the introduction to the usage model, VM interoperability “would greatly simplify the complexity of handling multiple cloud platforms and minimize the issues of managing workloads that are hosted on internal cloud platforms or within several different public cloud platform offerings.”

At the most basic level, the Alliance wants to see standard ways to:

  • Check the interoperability of VMs
  • Move or copy an existing VM from one cloud platform or provider to another cloud platform or provider
  • Ensure that all operational activities can be conducted with the same syntax across different hypervisors or between two cloud providers

Those are all steps in the right direction. A basic level of VM interoperability will help cloud subscribers and providers reduce complexity and cost and improve the performance of IT services. Flexibility and choice are keys to a healthy ecosystem. It is great to see the Alliance taking a leadership position in advocating interoperability of a fundamental data center technology.

To learn more about the usage model for VM interoperability, download the PDF from the Open Data Center Alliance.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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