IBM Takes Leading Role in Cloud Standards Group

IBM is a founding sponsor of the Object Management Group's new Cloud Standards Customer Council, which will focus on helping end users adopt cloud computing.

The Object Management Group has launched a new Cloud Standards Customer Council with IBM as a founding member.

Indeed, the OMG announced that IBM, CA, Kaavo, Rackspace and Software AG joined the CSCC as founding sponsors. The Cloud Standards Customer Council is a user-advocacy group dedicated to accelerating the cloud's successful adoption and drilling down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud.

Big Blue's sponsorship of the CSCC coincides with the company's launch of the IBM SmartCloud, its new public-cloud offering.

Several organizations including Lockheed Martin, Citigroup and North Carolina State University have already joined the council, which was launched April 7, and will help advance cloud adoption prioritizing key interoperability issues, such as management, reference architectures, hybrid cloud, as well as security and compliance.

The council will complement vendor-led cloud standards efforts and establish a core set of client-driven requirements to ensure cloud users will have the same freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness they have with traditional IT environments. The Cloud Standards Customer Council is open to all user organizations. Membership is free for qualified user organizations. The membership application is available at Vendors may join as sponsors.

As a sponsor, IBM is inviting all its users to participate in the CSCC and work together in addressing the challenges faced while implementing cloud computing. The group will work to lower the barriers for widespread adoption of cloud computing by helping to prioritize key interoperability issues, such as cloud management, reference architecture, hybrid clouds, as well as security and compliance.

"To make Open Cloud successful and reflective of real business needs, IBM is asking for client feedback regarding their direction and priorities around cloud-standards development," Angel Diaz, vice president of IBM Software Standards, said in a statement. "This council is designed to focus on the reality of what provides the greatest cloud-computing benefits for clients. Ultimately, this effort is about how organizations can use what they have today and extend their business-using open standards-to get the greatest benefits from cloud."

The council will provide cloud users with the opportunity to drive client requirements into standards-development organizations and deliver materials, such as best practices and use cases, to assist other enterprises.

"End-users confront the challenges of implementing cloud on a daily basis. The Cloud Standards Customer Council will bring together these cloud veterans into a community where they can discover and disseminate best practices for moving to and managing the cloud and help to drive standards across industry, both to end-users and vendors to bring down costs and increase choice," Richard Mark Soley, chairman and CEO of the OMG, said in a statement.

"North Carolina State University and IBM have a long-established partnership in cloud-computing technology, including working together to develop NC State's Virtual Computing Laboratory, one of the first large-scale examples of cloud computing in an educational setting," Mladen Vouk, associate vice provost for Information Technology and head of the Department of Computer Science at NC State, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with the council partners to develop standards that will allow greater access to cloud computing by industry, government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations."

IBM currently participates in several cloud standards development efforts in such organizations as the Distributed Management Task Force, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards and The Open Group. IBM has also recently contributed a Reference Architecture for Cloud Computing to The Open Group that will help it align the industry-standards development efforts around similar work that will be started in other international bodies. In addition, IBM has actively been a supporter of The Open Cloud Manifesto, which has more than 400 signers and a mission to open and encourage a dialogue around ensuring that cloud computing stays open and standards efforts are customer-driven.

"Lockheed Martin is committed to helping Federal agencies derive real and impactful benefits by working collaboratively with standards organizations like OMG, which really makes a difference in awareness and adoption," Melvin Greer, Lockheed Martin senior Fellow and chief strategist for cloud computing, said in a statement.

Among other things, the Cloud Standards Customer Council will drive customer requirements into the development process to gain acceptance by the Global 2000; deliver customer-focused content in the form of best practices, patterns, case studies, use cases and standards roadmaps; influence the development process for new cloud standards; and facilitate the exchange of real-world stories, practices, lessons and insights.

"We are thrilled to work with the Cloud Standards Customer Council and leading global organizations to help drive customer requirements into the development of industry standards for cloud computing," Jamal Mazhar, founder and CEO at cloud-management software vendor Kaavo, said in a statement. "With perspective from the changing cloud landscape and by collaborating with CSCC, we can help shape best practices that result in real-world value for thousands of companies."

"Rackspace is always working to create new ways to gain customers' feedback so we can provide fanatical support. The Cloud Standards Customer Council provides us a venue to follow customers leads on the open cloud," Mark Interrante, vice president of cloud products at Rackspace, said in a statement.