A consortium of IT professionals representing global big business have formed an alliance to find a way of bringing cloud computing into the business environment in a more structured way that prevents lock-in to any one computing supplier.
The Open Data Centre Alliance, spearheaded by BMW’s group IT infrastructure vice-president Mario Mueller, wants to enable global corporations to enter the cloud computing space without being locked in to vendor technologies.
Essentially, the alliance will map out the future of hardware and software requirements in the hope of creating more open and functional data centres.
The new organisation’s steering committee includes companies such as Shell, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Lockheed Martin.
Mueller says the interest and participation among global IT professionals has been “astounding”. He says it reflects the need by technology professionals to steer technology vendors in the right direction.
Built on the principles of open access and interoperability, the alliance will develop 19 possible usage models that can be applied to data centre services and cloud computing, and propose that vendors build technologies around the principles those models determine.
Each member of the alliance has agreed to be a part of the development of the usage models, using the business needs as a basis for finding the best way to bring cloud computing into practice.
He says companies are no longer interested in single-vendor services and technologies, because they often get locked in and held back from making the best use of other technologies available.
According to Mueller, technology vendors will not be allowed membership in the alliance. “But we will encourage dialogue with industry to make sure that the models we have in place align with the best options for all our businesses,” he says.
“Our members collectively spend US$50bn/year on IT and we are just looking at the best way to spend that money,” says Mueller.
Chipmaker Intel has been asked by the alliance to become technical advisor. However, it will have no voting rights and will not be invited to become a member.
Intel’s vice president for the architecture group Boyd Davis says: “We will have to fit into the models that are developed, just like any other vendor.”
He says the alliance will have a dramatic effect on the technology industry. “We will have to come together as an industry to solve customer problems. We will have to play under open principles and make sure that our services interoperate,” he says. — Candice Jones, TechCentral, in Switzerland