Cloud Computing Open Standards: Topology, Orchestration, and Open Services

Many of today’s Cloud Computing consumers are frustrated with the lack of interoperability and flexibility when it comes to being able to host cloud computing workloads across either public, private and or hybrid clouds, as well as when there is a desire or need to migrate cloud workloads across cloud instantiations as implemented by differing vendor technologies.

Interoperability: The ability for disparate systems, and or organizations to work together. For business and or mission systems, this means the ability to exchange and interpret information and or data. In a cloud environment, this can mean the ability to shift workloads from one cloud to another.

Flexibility: Sometimes referred to as business / mission agility, flexibility has to do with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In a cloud environment, this can mean leveraging all available resources as needed in order meet business / mission goals and objectives.

The lack of interoperability and flexibility is a legitimate frustration, and should also be a concern for those that are getting ready to invest in design, integration, test, and fielding of new cloud workloads for their organizations.

Today’s Cloud Computing workloads are diverse. Examples include email, middleware and platform services, and J2EE application and services based architectures leveraging n-tier implementations. Many of these workloads leverage well known patterns. What has changed is that Cloud Computing offers the ability of an organization to scale their workloads to meet changing demands – elasticity. Another thing that has changed is the rate of change. Today’s competitive environments demand that an organization possess the ability to rapidly change to meet dynamic changes in the environment (business and or mission).

The ability for an organization to be agile in today’s cloud computing environments requires leveraging the ability to orchestrate resources (compute, storage, network, service desk, etc.), workloads, and services within the cloud.

Development, integration and test, and operational phases of projects need to be both agile and efficient. Organizations need solutions that ease integration efforts, by allowing effective and efficient use of their engineering, development, test, and operational tooling though the ability to share and use linked data

Open standards are key to interoperability and flexibility. There are two specific sets of standards that set out to address the challenges discussed above: Oasis Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA); and Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC).

TOSCA: OASIS TOSCA works to enhance the portability of cloud applications and services with attribution across application and infrastructure cloud services, relationships between the parts of the service, and operational behavior (e.g. deploy, patch, shutdown, etc.). TOSCA enables higher-level operational behavior to be associated with cloud infrastructure management .

OSLC: An open community for building practical specifications for integrating software. The initiative is creating a family of web services specifications for products, services, and other tools that support all phases of software and product lifecycle . The OSCL specification is moving to Oasis.

Are you interested in how to leverage reusable workload patterns and IT process automation, deliver interoperable open cloud services with support for open standards, and in leveraging pre-built images, patterns, and process / configuration automation?

To find out more about Cloud Computing, Orchestration, Patterns, TOS4456_IBM_Federal_Banner_403x403-300x300CA, and OSLC, come visit us at the Federal Cloud Innovation Forum on Oct 3rd, 2013 at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Washington DC.

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dewey dyer


thanks for this and other contributions to our community. This complements well your contributions in security, enterprise architectures and analytics.


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