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The State of Cloud Standardization

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Cloud computing has created a situation in which companies are scrambling to take advantage of the new technology, save money, and improve performance and efficiency. Unfortunately, like most developing technologies, there are not yet a set of standards from which providers can operate. This has led to the rise of competing organizations, each of which is trying to create that set of standards that will help speed the adoption of cloud technologies.

Let’s take a look at three of the groups out there today who are working on cloud computing standards:

1.    The Cloud Standards Customer Council. This group has just recently announced its steering committee, and it’s backed by IBM. Other members of this one include Citigroup, Deere & Co. and Costco Wholesale.

2.    The Open Data Center Alliance. Intel is backing this one, and it includes perhaps the most impressive list of alliances. Among the groups working with the Open Data Center Alliance are BMW, Deutsche Bank, Marriott International, Disney Internet Labs, JPMorgan Chase, and Shell. China Life and China Unicom also hold seats on the steering committee for this one.

3.    The Cloud Security Alliance. This group, which is pushing for major security standards, includes Coca-Cola as well as eBay.

The advantage to having multiple organizations is both competitive and collaborative. As each group develops its standards, the other groups will likely adopt standards that are complementary. In the end, having several groups working on standards will help each of the groups reach their goals, and see each contributing a significant, well-defined portion of the overall industry standards. It’s most likely that the various standards will converge at some point.

Among the more interesting areas of concern is the issue of usage models. The idea, which is being worked on by the Open Data Center Alliance, will help IT managers as they negotiate with cloud vendors, and will address many issues that tend to keep users from jumping into cloud solutions.

Ultimately, standardization is going to start to take form as it always does in IT. Cloud standards will make cloud solutions more secure, more available, and structured in such a way as to encourage more widespread adoption.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.