As cloud computing continues to become the order of the day in business technology, differences between various companies' services are quickly morphing into serious interoperability problems.

However, a large coalition of major business technology firms, including EMC, are making an effort to standardize cloud computing offerings and ensure that clients are able to switch from one to another in short order.

That group, on Monday, released the first draft of the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications, according to a report from TechWeek Europe. The TOSCA standard is the most robust yet proposed for the burgeoning cloud industry, and represents one of the first efforts to address certain considerations.

The tech news source said, for example, that the storage and server specifications contained in the first draft of TOSCA are among the first of their kind, as is the standard's creation of a so-called service template.

"Ultimately, this will benefit the consumers, developers, and providers of cloud-based solutions and provide an essential foundation for even higher-level TOSCA-based vocabularies that could be focused on specific solutions and domains," the group said, according to TechWeek Europe.

Business Insider reported that the effort by EMC and the other firms involved could lead to badly needed advances in the flexibility and portability of cloud computing.

"Some applications are pretty fussy. They need their servers, storage and networks set up very precisely and it's not easy or cheap to get that same set up hosted by another provider. That's what this standard sets out to address," the news source noted.

Business Insider also said that Amazon was notable for its absence from the coalition, though it added that this wasn't necessarily a surprise. As one of the biggest players in the virtual infrastructure space, among others, the company might see consumer choice as a threat to its hegemony.

Regardless, the cloud's flexibility as a platform can only be aided by the development of crucial standards governing its use and the way in which it delivers its functionality. Although there is little to suggest that the efforts by EMC and others will cause a revolution overnight, the presence of many of the biggest business computing firms in the coalition should ensure that the group exerts considerable influence.

 

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