The OASIS international consortium has launched a new open standards initiative to enhance the portability of cloud applications and services. The OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) Technical Committee will advance an interoperability standard that will make it easier to deploy cloud applications without vendor lock-in, while maintaining application requirements for security, governance, and compliance.
“IDC’s research shows cloud initiatives are top priorities for many enterprise IT teams,” says Mary Johnston Turner, IDC Research Vice President, Enterprise Systems Management Software. “The goal of these cloud programs is to reduce costs and improve business agility by creating highly flexible IT environments that can quickly respond to changing business priorities. To date, however, most cloud implementations have been unable to easily migrate applications across heterogeneous public and private infrastructure resources. TOSCA’s aim is to enable broad cloud portability by providing an open standard to describe a complex application running on a complex environment. This is a critical missing link for customers that want to take full advantage of hybrid cloud architectures and the full range of available cloud services.”
TOSCA will enable the interoperable description of application and infrastructure cloud services, the relationships between parts of the service, and the operational behavior of these services (e.g., deploy, patch, shutdown)–independent of the supplier creating the service, and any particular cloud provider or hosting technology. TOSCA will also make it possible for higher-level operational behavior to be associated with cloud infrastructure management.
“By improving service and application portability in a vendor-neutral ecosystem, TOSCA will streamline the migration of existing applications to the cloud as well as cloud-bursting,” said Paul Lipton of CA Technologies, co-chair of the OASIS TOSCA Technical Committee. “It could also facilitate the evolution towards more dynamic, multi-cloud provider applications.”
“TOSCA will be the first standard to describe IT services that go beyond infrastructure as a service. It will define service templates across *aaS layers, connecting them to the resource abstraction layer,” added Simon Moser of IBM, who also co-chairs the TOSCA Committee.
An initial draft specification for TOSCA was jointly authored by Capgemini, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, IBM, NetApp, PwC, Red Hat, SAP AG, Software AG, Virtunomic, and WSO2. This specification will be contributed to the OASIS TOSCA Technical Committee for further development and advancement within the open standards process.
“Similar to the advent of the World Wide Web, cloud computing is creating new possibilities and enabling more efficient, flexible, open and collaborative computing models,” said Laurent Liscia, executive director, OASIS. “Having open standards around cloud will help achieve an IT environment with fewer boundaries, increase the speed of adoption and add a new level of flexibility. The beneficiaries of TOSCA will be consumers, developers and providers of cloud-based solutions.”
Support for TOSCA
“Freedom of choice is part of ASG DNA. Being able to participate in the elaboration of the TOSCA standard is for us a fantastic opportunity to ensure our current and future customers take advantage of seamless interoperability of Cloud environments.” — Pascal Vitoux, Senior VP, Development
“With this effort, OASIS is breaking new ground with the first significant standard focused on the lifecycle of cloud applications and services across a wide range of infrastructure platforms. TOSCA shows great potential to facilitate higher levels of cloud application and service portability without vendor lock-in, which is what our customers need to achieve the full benefits of cloud computing.” –Adam Famularo, General Manager, Enterprise and Cloud Solutions
“As one of the market leaders in SaaS and cloud computing, Capgemini is well versed in the challenges of cloud computing. We are delighted to see the industry coming together to help drive standardisation and interoperability in the provisioning and management of next generation environments.”– Steve Jones, Global Head of Master Data Management
“Gale Technologies applauds the creation of the TOSCA Technical Committee and looks forward to working with fellow committee members to advance the open standards that will facilitate out-of-the-box interoperability between cloud technologies. We fully expect that TOSCA will enable complex automation and orchestration between cloud applications, services, and infrastructure, and will ultimately accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies, which has been hampered thus far by the lack of open standards for interoperability.” — James Thomason, CTO
“This effort is about helping organizations to extend their business leveraging model-driven Cloud Service Management – using open standards – to get the greatest benefits from cloud. TOSCA enables standardized development, deployment and management of Cloud Services across development-, test-, acceptance- and production environments hosted on a single Cloud or multiple Clouds.” — Gerd Breiter, IBM Distinguished Engineer
“Cloud users today are making large investments migrating their businesses to the cloud, and, given our history and commitment to removing barriers to efficient computing, it’s exciting for Morphlabs to contribute expertise to the development of standards that will help extend our customer’s investment into the future.” — Lee Thompson, CTO
“Red Hat’s ongoing work in the cloud is focused around providing powerful open cloud technologies and enabling an ecosystem of developers, tools, scripts and applications that can interoperate across public and private clouds. TOSCA’s efforts to contribute to an open approach for cloud environments align well with our cloud goals, and we feel this organization will provide benefits for many enterprises looking to deploy open clouds today.” –Scott Crenshaw, VP, Cloud Business Unit
“As one of the initial co-authors of the TOSCA input specification, SAP is pleased to see it advance towards industry standardization. SAP is committed to helping its customers run enterprise software on cloud infrastructures, and the TOSCA specification will enable customers to enjoy more cloud choices through easier portability between clouds.” –Claus von Riegen, Program Director, Industry Standards and Open Source
“Software AG has been closely involved at the forefront of leading industry standards, recognizing the need for interoperable and portable solutions for our customers. A standard and interoperable way to describe cloud applications, portable across disparate cloud providers, is essential for the success of cloud applications of the next generation and for smoother migration of existing applications to the cloud. As a co-author and co-submitter of the TOSCA specification to OASIS, we are happy to see the TC work launched successfully.” –Hans-Christoph Rohland, Senior VP, R&D
“With the ongoing propagation of ‘Cloud Computing’ and expected ubiquity of this paradigm, a standard mechanism for customers to avoid vendor lock-in and to be enabled to churn is in their best interest. A day may come when governments mandate ‘Cloud Portability’ in a similar fashion as telephone number portability of decades past. TELUS intends to take a proactive stance in preparing for the projected future mode of operations in this area.” –Shane Logan, Director, Services Enablement