Cloud and Data Center

Forrester Offers Status Report on Cloud Standardization

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  June 04, 2012

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

We hear a lot about the cloud these days. Indeed, many suppliers and customers are jumping on the cloud bandwagon. But standards aren’t keeping pace with the forward momentum of the market. However, there is movement on this front, and standards are expected to play a growing role in cloud technologies in the future.

According to James Staten and Lauren E. Nelson of Forrester Research (News - Alert), there’s been plenty of involvement by hundreds of industry players – including early market leaders, open source communities, and standards organization contributors – in cloud standards. They site work by the Cloud Security Alliance, which tends to focus on security, interoperability and portability; the Distributed Management Task Force, which is working on interoperability APIs; and the National Institute of Standards Technology, a government group working to define cloud terminology.

Other efforts on the cloud standard from, Forrester notes, come from the TechAmerica Cloud2 group; the Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council, a TM Forum (News - Alert) effort that aims to overcome barriers to cloud adoption; the Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum, a network protocol-focused effort out of Japan; and a couple working groups with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which are working on applying existing standards and creating interoperability standards for the cloud.

However, Forrester pronounces that cloud standardization won’t happen in a significant way until 2015 because cloud operators aren’t ready to adopt them, standard adoption typically involves lengthy formulation and approach processes, and existing IaaS stacks and management tools are helping fill the gap.

Says Forrester, “implementations like Citrix CloudStack look to help bridge the API gap by presenting a superset API that provides some compatibility and pass through of APIs that calls to the AWS, vCloud, and eventually OpenStack APIs. RightScale, Kaavo, BMC, and other cloud management vendors deliver a single platform and/or SaaS (News - Alert) solution that lets end users access multiple IaaS clouds from a single UI in lieu of interoperability standards. Finally, monitoring tools such as Rackspace’s (News - Alert) Cloudkick fill the monitoring gaps within the marketplace for both public and private solutions.”


Edited by Stefania Viscusi