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Cloud Services

Terremark Bemoans Lack of Standards

NEW YORK -- Carrier Cloud Forum 2012 -- The lack of clear standards is impeding adoption of cloud services, Jeff Deacon, chief cloud strategist of Verizon Terremark , said here today.

In a keynote Wednesday morning, Deacon said the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) unit still does "significant additional work" on what exists today as a standard public cloud infrastructure to meet enterprise requirements, and even that isn't enough for some players.

"Financial services are not moving to the cloud because of lack of standards," Deacon noted. "We feel if there were better standards in the industry, companies would adopt."

To advance standards, Terremark is "aggressively doing proof-of-concepts," as it did with the National Australia Bank, to show its cloud services can meet the gold security standards of banking regulatory requirements.

"We were able to do it, but it took a lot of manual intervention," Deacon says.

What Terremark is not doing is adopting OpenStack, an open cloud standard, Deacon said, because of its limitations. Instead, the cloud provider will publish its own application programing interfaces (APIs), to allow commercial tools to be built to enable inter-cloud conversions.

"There are a lot of pieces of OpenStack," Deacon said. "Some pieces are good, some not so much. OpenStack has great APIs, for example, but it doesn't scale, so it doesn't meet our needs for global systems."

Within the next five years, Deacon said, there will be tools for converting information from one commercial cloud to another. But even that level of interoperability will need standards, he said, since today every cloud vendor exposes different information in an API.

"It is difficult to come up with one set of standards," he conceded. "Someone is always [raising] the bar so you have a moving standard that never stops."

Beyond open APIs, the Open Data Center Alliance is working to develop performance standards, Deacon said, but as that effort more easily enables cost and performance comparisons, it doesn't have the support of all cloud providers.

"Some of the market leaders don't want you to be able to make those comparisons," Deacon says.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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