TOSCA standard makes cloud more portable

Jennifer Scott News
16 Jan, 2012

Numerous tech big guns, including EMC, CA and IBM, back the new specifications for moving cloud services between providers.

A new standard to ease the movement of services between clouds has been unveiled today, with support from some of the tech industry’s biggest hitters.

CA, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, IBM, Red Hat and SAP are among the 13 firms backing the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA), which aim to “enhance the portability of cloud applications and services” both from in-house systems to cloud models, and between different providers.   

What the specs offer is a template for Virtual Cloudsviders to use when it comes to their applications and services. This means it will be easy for a customer to transfer their resources between clouds running on the same template and to understand the behaviour of each service, giving clarity to what is on offer.

This is only the beginning though, as the not-for-profit founders of the standard – OASIS (Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) – promise to continue work on TOSCA, with templates being provided for particular applications in the future.

"Ultimately, this will benefit the consumers, developers, and providers of cloud-based solutions and provide an essential foundation for even higher-level TOSCA-based vocabularies that could be focused on specific solutions and domains," read a statement from OASIS.

"2012 represents massive growth and opportunity as the market shifts to more mainstream deployments of the cloud computing model," added Roland Wartenberg, director of business development at Citrix. 

"Along with this growth, there is an increased need for industry led initiatives that ensure openness and interoperability exist at all levels of the cloud.  With the TOSCA initiative, OASIS is elevating the cloud standards discussion beyond the API and addressing some of the key lifecycle issues around an open cloud ecosystem."

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