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Wednesday
Mar062013

IBM's embrace of OpenStack and 'open source': OSLC, TOSCA and ...?

David Lindquist’s post in IBM’s Thoughts on Cloud blog (made in conjunction with the IBM OpenStack announcement), is an excellent high-level explanation of the rationale behind IBM’s decisions.  It is telling for at least two reasons, and notable for what might be construed as missing pieces.

Along with the whole-hearted endorsement and embrace of OpenStack, IBM has called attention to two open initiatives.  Open Services Lifecycle Collaboration(OSLC) is an initiative of which I personally was unaware until Sunday’s presentations at the IBM Pulse Open Cloud Summit. The objective of the initiative is to standardize the way that software lifecycle tools can share data.  Not just an admirable goal, but one of the necessary preconditions of a truly open, multi-vendor approach to operations, administration, management and provisioning of cloud components.

Lindquist calls out the IBM support of OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (aka TOSCA).  IBM has started (and will no doubt continue) to make a strong case for the use of LinkedData and OSLC in combination with TOSCA to ease the job of integration and federation within the cloud ecosystems.   Again, it’s nothing less than what one would expect from IBM, a company with a long history that values systems management.  

From David Lindquist, For cloud computing, open means agile

Together with the OpenStack FoundationOpen Services Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) and OASIS, we are helping to lead open cloud standards and open source initiatives. Creating an industry rallying point to drive interoperability is accelerating delivery and lowering costs, while optimizing the infrastructure layers and enabling management of the entire lifecycle to support agility with integrity. Further, workload portability and optimization supports scale, security, recovery, resiliency and agility in the development and delivery of new business applications and business models.

Further, to support the interoperability and portability of workloads across clouds we are contributing and supporting the OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications known asTOSCA. To drive the full lifecycle of design, development, and delivery we architect our cloud solutions with Linked Data and OSLC. By leveraging OSLC we are creating an open environment to easily integrate and federate our capabilities as well as third-party tools to support DevOps, Continuous Delivery pipelines, orchestration and automation.

By opening access to data though OSLC, we can quickly pull together solutions that span the complete lifecycle, provide dashboards with insights driven by analytics, and link information across applications and infrastructures to support subject matter experts, all with a compelling user experience. With OSLC we have been able to leverage the extensive capabilities and data across our products to provide consumable interfaces. These examples include storage management, application and infrastructure monitoring, and control desk solutions. With this architecture and these interfaces, users can easily access information across systems, using mobile access, and compose dashboards with the insights their businesses need.

What seems to be missing, however, is a less well-known, but arguably vital initiative known as the OASIS Cloud Application Management for Platforms (CAMP).  As expressed in its charter, 

CAMP defines interfaces for self-service provisioning, monitoring, and control. Based on REST, CAMP is expected to foster an ecosystem of common tools, plugins, libraries and frameworks, which will allow vendors to offer greater value-add.

That seems to be a logical addition to the effort by IBM. As important, perhaps, is the adoption and recognition of the LinkedData and OSLC work within the CAMP TC.  I know, after a number of informal conversations with participants in both OASIS TCs that the IBM emphasis has created new energy around OSLC for CAMP, and increased interest in seeing IBM attend to the work of CAMP.  

(Truth in advertising:  I am a participant in the CAMP Technical Committee and an observer in the TOSCA TC.) 

 

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