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Microsoft Joins Cloud Advocacy Organization as 'Contributor'

Microsoft has joined cloud computing advocacy group Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) as a "contributor," the organization announced on Wednesday.

The 300-member-plus ODCA is led by big corporations from the automobile manufacturing, banking and defense industries, among others. Its aim is to shape the direction of datacenter requirements and cloud computing. The ODCA's unified cloud vision aims to enable "open, interoperable solutions for secure cloud federation, automation of cloud infrastructure, common management, and transparency of cloud service delivery," according its Web site description.

In short, the ODCA appears to be looking for a practical approach, even as cloud service providers, software manufacturers and hardware vendors go their own ways. The organization is steered by a lot of companies that have implemented their own datacenters. Adding Microsoft as a member is no doubt important. Other cloud service providers among the ODCA membership include Rackspace and Cloudera, but noticeably missing from the membership roster is Amazon Web Services.

"In order to truly accelerate availability of cloud services, enterprise IT needs to work closely with cloud service and solution providers," stated Mario Mueller, BMW's vice president of IT infrastructure and ODCA chair. "Microsoft's participation is a valuable addition to the organization's mission, and we heartily welcome their membership."

Microsoft is promising to contribute "an open, reliable and global approach to the cloud" with Windows Azure, according to a released statement attributed to Bill Hilf, general manager of Microsoft Windows Azure.

The APIs are open with Windows Azure, but it's not an open source solution in the typical sense.

The ODCA collaborates with various standards bodies, but it also has issued eight model use guides for datacenters. The guides attempt to push cloud services toward "open, industry-standard, and multi-vendor solutions," according to the ODCA's FAQ. The eight models address issues such as cloud security, security monitoring, service delivery measurement, performance measurement, virtual machine interoperability, quality of service, regulatory frameworks and carbon footprints.

More talk about the ODCA's "Master Usage Model" publications will take place at the ODCA's Forecast 2013 conference, which is scheduled to take place in San Francisco on June 17 and 18.

Any organization building out datacenters can join the ODCA. It has four membership types: "Adopter, Solution Provider, Contributor and Steering Committee," according to the FAQ.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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