At last: standard for cloud Infrastructure as a Service launched

The Open Group releases two new industry standards intended to more effectively integrate fundamental elements of SOA and cloud computing into a solution or enterprise architecture.

One of the concerns with the emerging cloud paradigm is the lack of standards to guide development, deployment and integration efforts. Now, a step has been taken to standardize architectural principles in the cloud sphere -- and service oriented architecture as well.

The Open Group just announced the availability of two new industry standards intended to enable businesses to more effectively integrate fundamental elements of SOA and cloud computing into a solution or enterprise architecture.

The Open Group's first cloud standard, Service-Oriented Cloud Computing Infrastructure Framework (SOCCI), outlines the concepts and architectural building blocks necessary for infrastructures to support SOA and cloud initiatives. In addition, the group released SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA), a blueprint for creating and evaluating SOA Solutions.

SOCCI is the industry's first cloud standard for enterprises that wish to provide infrastructure as a service in the cloud and SOA. Developed by The Open Group SOA and Cloud Work Groups, SOCCI provides an enabling framework of service-oriented components for infrastructure to be provided as a service in SOA solutions and the cloud. The standard details a set of common SOCCI elements and management building blocks for organizations to consider and identifies the synergies that can be realized through cohesive application of SOA and cloud-based principles. Using SOCCI, organizations can incorporate cloud-based resources and services into their infrastructure for increased agility and scale.

The Open Group SOA RA is an industry standard reference architecture for the development of SOA solutions. It provides enterprise architects a common language and approach for creating SOA solutions that meet different organizational needs and bridge the gap between business and IT. The architecture provides a vendor-neutral approach to SOA that enables users, vendors and customers across lines of business to reduce misunderstandings through shared terminology, thus eliminating extra efforts when mapping architectural concepts across vendors.

Nikhil Kumar, president of Applied Technology Solutions, Inc., provides an explanation of what SOA RA will deliver:

"The SOA RA provides a vendor neutral reference architecture for organizations. It enables organizations adopting or evolving SOAs to assess product solutions, define roadmaps, and solution and reference architectures, while, for standards bodies, it provides a common reference to work against and from. One of its most compelling features is it's designed to be both holistic and actionable - not only defining the capabilities, which are the key requirements of an SOA, but also the architectural building blocks and layers which help realize these capabilities. The SOA RA also provides a comprehensive mapping of the building blocks and layers to the capabilities. If you are an organization implementing an SOA, an integrator, product vendor or standards body this is where you should look to define your SOA."

The Open Group also released updates to The Open Group Service Integration Maturity Model (OSIMM), which has now been ratified as an ISO and IEC (ISO/IEC 166880) International Standard. OSIMM gives organizations a common model for developing a roadmap for achieving the right level of service adoption to meet business objectives.

OSIMM leverages proven best practices to enable consultants and IT practitioners to assess an organization's readiness and maturity level for adopting services in SOA solutions. By aligning business goals and assessing associated SOA services IT practitioners can create a detailed roadmap for integrating services for SOA and Cloud Computing solutions into enterprises. With the recent ratification of OSIMM 2.0 by ISO and IEC, organizations worldwide have an extensible framework for understanding the value of implementing a service model, as well as a guide for achieving their desired level of service maturity.

The Open Group SOA RA technical standard, SOCCI framework, and OSIMM 2.0 International standard are available for download from The Open Group Bookstore.