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2013 Predictions: Open Cloud Standards

It has been about three years since we started this journey to create interoperable cloud standards, and we’ve seen so much progress made by the industry.

  • OVF 1.1 became the first national and first international standard for virtualization and clouds.
  • The industry recently released the Cloud infrastructure Management Interface Standard (CIMI) as well as an OVF 2.0 specification on the way.
  • We saw the launch of a number of interoperability events that start to test early implementations of cloud interface specifications.
  • OVF is now supported by industry players beyond VMware, including Citrix, Microsoft and Amazon

2013 will be an important year for cloud as customers continue on their journey from virtualized datacenters to a hybrid cloud model. Many organizations have implemented some cloud infrastructure – some private and some public cloud – and I believe customers will look at how to pull all of this together via hybrid cloud. When implementing a hybrid cloud environment, customers will view performance, functionality, portability, security and standards as increasingly important attributes.

We’ve also seen the cloud market and available solutions grow rapidly in 2012, including tools, platforms and interfaces. I predict customers will continue to maintain a close focus on the interoperability of their cloud solutions in 2013, even more than in previous years. Customers today want choice and do not want to be locked in to a single platform or vendor – so when running multiple clouds (VMware, AWS, OpenStack), interoperability will be key to a successful multi-cloud environment.

As I said in a previous blog, I think our industry will continue to make good progress in 2013 on interoperability testing – and more products will start supporting a set of open standard interfaces. However, I do not see a debate or the consolidation to a single set of standards happen in 2013. I expect that the debate will continue and that it may be until 2015 before we see industry and customer agreement on those standard and required interoperability interfaces.

It’s never a dull moment in the land of cloud standards, and I’m looking forward to witnessing and being a part of the progress that will take place in 2013!


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