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Open Standards Head for the Clouds

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Several companies Monday announced the release of a new cloud standard, the
Configuration Management Database (CMDB) Federation specification (CMDBf), created by the
non-profit Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) (a PDF version of the standard is
available here).

The consensus is that open standards are good, but there is no unity when it comes to paths to reach the goal.

CMDBs give IT organizations complete visibility into the attributes, relationships,
and dependencies of the components in their enterprise computing environments. The
federation standard provides a way for accessing IT information in CMDBs distributed
across multiple repositories to create a more complete and accurate view of IT
information spread out across multiple data sources.

“Every day, our customers ask CA for help implementing CMDBs that federate asset and
configuration data from both CA and non-CA systems. Without extensive federation,
configuration management is so complicated and enterprises are forced to restrict the
scope of their CMDBs projects and limit the realization of their potential value,” said
Brian Bell, senior vice president for service management at CA in a statement.

Marv Waschke, senior advisor for product management at CA, said in an e-mail to “The service model stored in the CMDB holds all the tangible and
intangible IT infrastructure items that support the service and the relationships that
exist amongst them.”

For those using
as a framework to manage IT, the CMDBf can help track Service Asset &
Configuration Management (SACM)

“How do you build a service model, when some or all of the information about the
underlying components are stored in radically different data sources? After the model is
built, how is it kept current? Until an organization can address this problem, SACM is
daunting. The CMDBf focuses on a standards based approach to data access in support of
your SACM,” Waschke said.

Others are also working on better CMDBs. Last week, BMC Software highlighted the
importance of CMDBs with the release of its Business Service Management platform.

A CMDB can help predict cloud usage, Meghan Stebler, BMC Software principal of
strategic marketing, told in an e-mail. “Knowing what you have
and how it is being used is the first step. Using a CMDB to manage assets and store
information (even federated) allows for the initial baseline analysis of where you are
today,” Stebler said.

Also last week, Web host Rackspace announced an open, standards-based API for The
Rackspace Cloud. The API can deliver data about a VM instance, relate files to it to
create a server, ensure that a customer’s VMs don’t congregate on one physical host, and
create shared IP groups to ensure high availability, the company said.

“Cloud Servers has access to local, RAID10 disk storage, much like you would expect in
a physical server,” Emil Sayegh, general manager of The Rackspace Cloud, said in an
e-mail to “The Rackspace Cloud is also the only services suite
where you can get cloud or dedicated hosting options or our unique hybrid hosting

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