The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has an Open Cloud Standards Incubator since April 2009.
The group is working on interoperability standards for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing market and includes among its members top industry players like: AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.
The Incubator team last week released a couple of new documents that describe how standardized interfaces and data formats can be used to manage clouds:
The first one 75-pages whitepaper focuses on use cases, interactions, and data formats.
It covers anagement use cases across the entire lifecycle of a cloud service, interaction sequences between consumers, developers, and providers to implement the use cases, as well as data artifacts exchanged in the interaction sequences.
The second is a 57-pages whitepaper that focuses on the overall reference architecture for managing clouds.
It covers the requirements for the architected interfaces in general, including requirements for the protocols, resource model, and security mechanisms, the role of policies and constraints, the patterns for interactions, and even an example cloud ecosystem.
Both papers are highly recommended.