Now it is joining the independent organization set up to provide a voice for the future of cloud computing through the sharing of information and the driving of open standards all through the collective purchasing power of big-name members using and driving the Cloud.
Its contributing membership in the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) brings a new perspective for the organization, ODCA VP of IT infrastructure and alliance chair Mario Mueller said.
Microsoft’s work in the Cloud has been extensive, not only in its own facilities but in the cloud services and products it offers.
It offers the cloud platform Windows Azure, which general manager Bill Hilf, who previously headed up IBM’s Linux technical strategy, said is committed to openness and interoperability.
"We are dedicated to serving the industry and customers by providing an open, reliable and global approach to the cloud,” Hilf said.
"In line with Windows Azure's commitment to openness and interoperability, we are pleased to join ODCA and work with industry leadership on standards for the Cloud."
The ODCA, which formed in 2010 and whose members include BMW, Lockheed Martin, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Capgemini, NTT, and more recently the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra, and which has Intel as a technical advisor, is entering what it calls a “year for action” in 2013.
After releasing a number of usage models, which drive direction for cloud deployment and help create a common language across the industry, Intel data center and connected systems group director of marketing for cloud computing Raejeanne Skillern said companies are now releasing products and services built around these.
The ODCA is really in what I would say is a deployment phase, whether it is using usage models in RFPs and planning processes or doing proof-of-concept,” Skillern says. “It is now about delivering solutions.”
Cloud software and service provider Virtustream and enterprise security software provider Trapezoid released services that match ODCA guidelines in June last year.
And part of success is down to the collective buying power of the ODCA - Microsoft adds even more clout to this.
“This group represents a very important group of buyers in the community, and it really represents an unbiased view,” Skillern said. “Its main aim is to prioritize the solution to delivery around priorities of security, management regulations and transparency and delivering usage models around these [key areas].”