OpenCloud Reference Architecture for cloud services now available

OpenCloud Connect releases its OpenCloud Reference Architecture with the aim of speeding up cloud service by developing standardised, open interfaces

OpenCloud Reference Architecture for cloud services now available

OpenCloud Connect (OCC) has announced that its OpenCloud Reference Architecture aimed at providing standardised, open interfaces for cloud services is now available for free download.

The OpenCloud Reference Architecture has been circulating since February 2015 amongst OCC members and appropriate standards development bodies, but the OCC has not made the 104 page document freely available.

The OCC is an independent MEF industry organisation made up of cloud service providers, network service providers, equipment manufacturers, system integrators and software developers, whose aim is to facilitate the $200B cloud services market through open standards development. The OCC aims to accelerate the use of standardised, open interfaces to make cloud services easier, faster, more secure, and affordable to deploy and manage.

The OpenCloud Project Test Bed, based on the OpenCloud Reference Architecture, will be seen in action at Interop Las Vegas 28-30 April on booth #608, in a dynamic demonstration of OpenCloud service provision across multiple networks and equipment from many different vendors.

The OpenCloud Reference Architecture forms the bedrock of the OCC’s open test and iterative standards development program – and will itself evolve with time, as OCC president, James Walker explains: “Where other standards bodies had the space to shape standards in advance of market penetration, cloud computing is already surging ahead in every direction powered by NFV, SDN, virtualisation technologies and networking - technologies that are themselves still evolving quickly.

“Our response is to iteratively develop the OpenCloud Reference Architecture, our OCP Test Bed and standards simultaneously to keep ahead of business needs. The aim is to evolve a fully interworking cloud environment, and the advancement of best practices to manage OTT and cloud services.”

Among the challenges described by enterprise cloud customers, Walker mentioned:

• Trouble getting end-to-end Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across the whole network, compute, storage and data centre environments.
• Network services take weeks to provision, while cloud resources can be turned up in minutes.
• Compliance, regulation and privacy laws demand unified risk management, auditable processes and a properly enforced security policy – nearly impossible in today’s fragmented cloud environment.
• Non-standard attribute reporting makes it hard to monitor performance and respond quickly to traffic spikes and dynamic workloads.
• Increasing reliance on multiple clouds for different services creates demand for services to interface in a standard, secure way.

According to Walker, the root cause of these and other challenges is that network service providers, cloud service providers, data centre operators and enterprises all use different APIs and interfaces to communicate – hence the major OCC focus on evolving open standards, cloud interoperability and universal APIs for both service providers and enterprises.

Iometrix president, Bob Mandeville, is heading up the OpenCloud Project Test Bed where a whole spectrum of cloud service players are working together to evolve standard practices for the delivery of cloud services.

According to Mandeville: “Cloud services draw on multiple new technologies, all of which are in a constant state of development. OpenCloud is all about testing new implementations deployed in a real interconnected, environment; exploring and accelerating solutions to problems that directly impact the business of buying and selling cloud services."

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