Cloud Computing User Requirements Published

The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has published its first set of IT user requirements for cloud computing to accelerate adoption of the model.  The ODCA was formed by 70 business members including BMW, Shell, UBS and Deutsche Bank in 2010.  Membership has grown to over 280 companies with a collective IT spend of over $100 billion annually.

OCDA’s 8 usage models are the first documented customer requirements for the cloud, outlining the most pressing issues preventing cloud adoption.

  1. Security Monitoring: This usage model fundamentally helps to address the same overarching challenge as Provider Security Assurance.  Once you have established a standard framework for security capabilities, you also need to be able to determine that service providers are meeting the levels promised. Enterprises need mechanisms that allow real-time monitoring of security level delivery to organizational and regulatory policy.
  2. Security Provider Assurance: This model answers what is needed for security assurance.  It outlines granular specifications needed from every solution provider in order to enable security, by utilizing a tiered model of gold, silver, bronze and platinum classifications for service delivery differentiation.  It enables competitive offerings which trade-off features.  There are implications at each level of stringency, and the customer has a standard way of determining the stance of every cloud provider.
  3. IO Control: Requires HW/SW mechanisms to allow data center managers to specify exact bandwidth per VM and total amount of network I/O per user based on policies.  This will lead to increased efficiency of system use, and extends policy-based management of data center resources.
  4. VM Interoperability: This Usage Model specifies which areas need to be resolved through creation of new management interfaces that are consistent across all hypervisors to work with OVF to enable true interoperability of hypervisors.  Availability of this capability would allow enterprises consistent VM policy management internally and in the cloud.
  5. Regulatory Framework: This is a compilation of government agencies and regulatory bodies from around the world, which will provide a better understanding of the full scope of policy implications to any requirement documented by the Alliance.  A holistic approach to use of the cloud weighing both technology attributes and policy are equally important, and a unified view of regulations will help create more efficient engagement with regulatory agencies, potentially saving enterprises significant investment in the unilateral engagement pursued today.  This first framework is not fully comprehensive but will expand over time.  The current Usage Model provides a reference to a sample of industry, local, federal and international regulatory bodies, regulations, laws, and standards spanning industry domains such as government, banking brokerage and financial services, health/pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications.
  6. Carbon Footprint:  To create consistency of carbon reporting, enabling improved differentiation of green service providers.  The initial focus of this Usage Model covers the carbon footprint of a specific workload as it executes (i.e. the power it takes to execute, power sources to run in the data center, etc.).  Additional requirements will be addressed in the future.
  7. Service Catalog: The service catalog addresses today’s fundamental issue on how to measure what services are being delivered and what attributes exist for the service.
  8. Standard Unit of Measurement for IaaS:  This Usage Model aims to create a consistent and transparent view of cloud services, including measurement of the cost benefits of the cloud, through definition of the framework and attributes that metrics candidates should have.  This will also help with SLA determination.  This document describes the creation and use of Standard Units of Measure for quantitative and qualitative measures which, between them, describe the capacity, performance and quality of the service components.

The Alliance expects the industry to respond to the outlined requirements with initial roadmap integration within 6 months enabling initial deployments within 18 months. The resultant acceleration in over $50 billion in cloud service investment is expected to reduce $25 billion in IT operational efficiency through cloud adoption.

Get the document here.