Re: [clouds] What are we doing here? -- Portability

Sam Johnston <> Mon, 02 August 2010 10:19 UTC

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Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 12:19:49 +0200
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From: Sam Johnston <>
To: "Natale, Bob" <>, Nathaniel Borenstein <>
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Cc: Paul Unbehagen <>, "" <>, "Fargano, Michael" <>
Subject: Re: [clouds] What are we doing here? -- Portability
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At this stage we have proven that there is significant interest in cloud
computing within the IETF community - the bar bof was full and overflowing
into the corridor and many tactical opportunities for work have been
identified with a lot of work already having been done (e.g. Bhumip's SDO
survey, my CloudAudit and HTTP enhancement drafts, etc.). We now need to
find a sensible way forward and my preferred option is to get some runs on
the board by completing specific tasks, some of which have already been
identified. The metric ought to be a> participants willing to do the work
and b> implementors willing to implement it.

I specifically don't think that a top down approach is appropriate here
(e.g. developing a reference framework, prioritising areas for
standardisation, etc.) - groups trying (and failing) at this are a dime a
dozen. I'd also prefer to constrain the group by depth rather than scope -
cloud, like internet, is a very broad area and most topics already overlap
with existing areas/working groups (e.g. CloudLog building on syslog).
There's no point trying to create a mini-IETF within IETF.

As for the two identified below, I think it's telling that the TM Forum felt
the need to appoint a "*Vice President and Head of Digital Media,
Advertising & Cloud Computing Programs*" and consider OVF to be the single
biggest threat to portability in that it could very easily become the Word
DOC format of the cloud. In any case getting caught up in what others are
doing is not going to help us get anything done ourselves.


On 2 August 2010 07:41, Natale, Bob <> wrote:

> Hi Nathaniel,
> On the topic of avoiding cloud SP lock-in (portability of cloud
> applications):
> - On the business front, the TM Forum Cloud Services Initiative is focusing
> on this topic, in large measure, and has formed the Enterprise Cloud
> Leadership Council (ECLC) to address it specifically.  (See
> - On the technical front, the DMTF's Open Virtualization Format and other
> aspects of its Virtualization Management Initiative provide elements of a
> workable foundation ... not complete by a long shot, but good work to
> extend, in my judgment.  (
> Just noting two initiatives that a related IETF effort could draw on, in
> any of a variety of ways.
> Cheers,
> BobN
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf
> Of Nathaniel Borenstein
> Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2010 9:01 PM
> To: Paul Unbehagen
> Cc: Sam Johnston;; Fargano, Michael
> Subject: [clouds] What are we doing here?
> I missed the BoF, so please excuse me if this is clear to everyone but me,
> however...
> What are we trying to accomplish?
> Standards efforts tend to be most successful if there are clear goals in
> mind.  What I'm seeing is a bunch of people who are excited about the
> general idea of cloud standards, each with a few particular ideas in mind.
>  Things like reference architectures can be very useful in the context of a
> well-developed set of technologies and goals -- Dave Crocker's email
> architecture document comes to mind.  But they don't do much to help focus
> on goals in the way that is  almost a prerequisite to a successful WG.
> So, I suggest that in the interest of getting somewhere, we might think
> about the kind of goals suitable for WG creation.  Examples of such goals
> might be:
> -- Making X portable across cloud vendors, where X might be virtual
> machines, storage grids, email archives, etc.
> -- Enhancing security of cloud services by doing Y, where Y might be
> enhancements to authentication, specification of best practices, etc.
> -- Standardizing interface Z,  where Z might be video streaming, VPN
> extensions, etc.
> I think there are enough goals here for a dozen WG's, but probably not
> enough people.  Is there a goal or two that enough of us share to give us
> critical mass?
> For my part, I'm most enthused about the first category of goals --
> standards to ensure that users aren't locked in to a single vendor.   What
> are other folks enthused about?  -- Nathaniel
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