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The Importance of Open Cloud Standards

The web as we know it today is very different from its pre-standards self. Before today’s standards, there were online services but no broad connectivity between those services and their users. With the introduction of html, http, and DNS we saw an explosion of shared information, resulting in the robust internet experience we enjoy today.


The next set of standards under development will revolutionize compute and data sharing in a similar fashion. This next generation of standards is being developed for cloud computing and will drive fundamental changes in the way we consume computing resources.


The field of medical research provides a compelling illustration of this fact. In the pre-internet age, a medical research laboratory had to purchase specialized, high capacity computing for their research. Research activity was confined to the set of resources owned and maintained by the laboratory. Today, thanks to online providers, these researchers can take advantage of cloud-based computing resources that are maintained, configured, and amortized elsewhere. Funding and expertise is focused on the core competency of research.  The real leap that cloud standards are poised to offer is the ability for the researcher to retrieve, manipulate, and move their work between cloud providers seamlessly. This drives overall cost of computing down, while increasing the choices and performance of the researcher. In a cloud computing environment the researcher can also take advantage of an ecosystem of shared standard tools, plus easily and cost-effectively engage in shared research environments.


There are global benefits to cloud computing standards, as well. Cloud computing will be implemented and used by consumers of IT resources all over the world, and global interoperability will be very important. While broad cloud computing needs may be technologically the same, geographic and governmental requirements may differ. Over the next several years, national and global standards for cloud computing will be developed and will enable IT administrators to meet unique local requirements while maintaining global interoperability.


Consumers of IT resources benefit from open cloud standards


Open cloud standards provide three important benefits to IT organizations:


  1. Increased Choice: Open standards give customers the freedom to choose the products that work best with their tools and work in their environment. Constraints around specific interfaces disappear and decisions can be based upon performance.
  2. Reduced Cost:  Open standards lower costs by reducing the complexity and number of tools required to support an environment.  Training is also more efficient in this environment.
  3. Improved Interoperability:  Ultimately, users want to integrate their business systems and the infrastructures that support them. Open standards enable that integration which drives greater business agility and responsiveness.


Open cloud standards are not enough


In addition to open cloud standards, we believe in open interfaces. We believe that customers should be able to choose their systems based on performance, function, security, reliability, and cost. Once the interfaces between systems are open, the customer can realize this vision. VMware was the first company to submit its cloud API (vCloud API) to an Industry Standards organization. It is currently available publicly for others to implement as an open interface.


Being open means more to us than just implementing open standard interfaces and formats. It is about letting customers run what they want, when they want and where they want. With our announcement of the CloudFoundry, the first real open Platform as a Service (PaaS), VMware is extending our open cloud approach to a new level. Cloud Foundry is also open source which will allow developers their choice of frameworks, application infrastructure services and deployment clouds. Cloud Foundry’s Open Paas brings a new level of portability, reducing lock-in by enabling developers to move applications between environments, between cloud providers and datacenters without modification to the application. Now available at, this open source project and community enables developers to inspect, evaluate and modify Cloud Foundry software based on their own needs, giving developers the flexibility and choice they need.


VMware firmly believes that adoption of open cloud standards is one of the keys to unlock the full and global potential of cloud computing. The cloud computing approach to the consumption of IT resources has undeniable benefits to business and society, and we are working hard to make it a reality through our work in open cloud standards.


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