RealTime IT News
OASIS Groups to Tackle Utility Computing
By Clint Boulton
October 21, 2004

Standards body OASIS has made good on its plans to develop the Data Center Markup Language (DCML), setting up four technical committees to foster utility computing standards.

The DCML is a language that prescribes schemas for how servers, networks, applications and services can corral siloed data in an automated, on-demand fashion. Improving data center performance is a central theme for next-generation computing architectures at a time when customers are looking to simplify their infrastructure and cut costs.

Accordingly, OASIS has split up the DCML group into the OASIS DCML Framework Technical Committee, the OASIS DCML Server Technical Committee, the OASIS DCML Network Technical Committee and the OASIS DCML Applications and Services Technical Committee. Each group will hash out standards pertaining to its focus area.

Members of the OASIS DCML technical committees include representatives of BEA Systems , BMC Software , Computer Associates, Electronic Data Systems, Inkra Networks, Opsware and Tibco among others.

The work is a significant boost to DCML. When EDS , Computer Associates , Opsware and others forged the DCML group last year it was believed they might struggle to advance their interests.

Analysts said the lack of participation or support from IBM , HP , Sun Microsystems and other companies looking to hatch their own utility or on-demand computing plans could thwart the effort.

But OASIS bailed out the DCML group when it agreed to host and develop the specification. There remains a whiff of competition. Members of IBM and Veritas last February started their own Utility Computing Working Group under the aegis of the Distributed Management Task Force.

Going forward, members of the Framework Technical Committee will work on improving the broad DCML spec, currently in version 1.0. The Applications and Services Technical Committee will create a uniform data model and interchange format to allow application components, such as Web services, to be referenced and managed.

The Network Technical Committee will design a data model and XML-based format for exchanging information about networking elements in the data center, including simple switching and routing elements and advanced nodes process at all layers of the protocol stack.

The Server Technical Committee will facilitate the interchange of information between tools and devices, increasing automation in the data center, which is one of the primary focuses of the DCML.

The new committees will meet for the first time Nov. 15.