OASIS Tapped to Spur Interest in DCML Spec

The OASIS group will work on development of a utility computing language.

Backers of a fledgling infrastructure markup language are moving the development of the DCML specification to the OASIS body in the hopes of fueling greater adoption.

The Data Center Markup Language specification, which describes resources within the data center, is being written to spawn utility computing architectures. The DCML Organization, which includes Opsware Inc., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Computer Associates International Inc., this week will announce that development of the specification, which was unveiled last year, will now be done within OASIS DCML Member Section.

The change of venue is expected to kindle more interest in DCML by top-tier software developers whose products run in the data center.

DCML proponents say that it will enable deeper interoperability among heterogeneous computing platforms and makes utility computing a reality by dynamically and automatically shifting IT resources to meet business demands.

"[OASIS, or the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, has] a great track record [of developing standards], and, equally important, OASIS philosophy—a very open process, very bottom-up approach—fits very well with the philosophy we have," said Tim Howes, chief technical officer at data center automation software maker Opsware, in Sunnyvale, Calif., and leader of the DCML technical group.

The move has caught the attention of OASIS member Sun Microsystems Inc., which could lend credibility to the specification if it were to add DCML support to such products as its N1 Grid System. The Santa Clara, Calif., company is "much more likely to get involved if the DCML work is under the reputable umbrella of OASIS," said Susan Struble, manager of technology standardization at Sun.

Some OASIS members will gauge customer demand for DCML before jumping on the bandwagon. But Hewlett-Packard Co. said it has no plans to join the DCML Member Section.

Steve Hernandes, director of enterprise management at First Data Corp., is looking for DCML to advance so he can automate such tasks as patch management, asset management and upgrades across heterogeneous systems, which can involve multiple engineers manually changing systems.

"Thats really an unwieldy process; its unmanageable," said Hernandes in Omaha, Neb. DCML "gets you out of the management of business process views, and it doesnt add to the workload."


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