• Family Comments Off on Merry Christmas 2006

    Merry Christmas 2006


    Merry Christmas from Snowy Boulder. We got over two feet of snow this week and it will still be mostly around for a white Christmas this year. The above picture is of my backyard from an earlier snowstorm this season, illuminated at night from the street light.

    I started my travels this year with a trip to Stockholm, Sweden. I even had some time to explore the old part of town:


    It was cold and wintry in late March, but I found a great pub and had some of the local fare. Other travels during the year included multiple trips to Boston and the Massachusetts area, New York, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Of note this year, I received my first patent (#7,133,907) five years after filing it.

    I think the highlight again this year, however, was my visit to Japan.  During a trip for meetings in the Shidome area of Tokyo, I found time to visit a beautiful garden (pictures) stuck in the middle of the city and take a day trip with some fellow DMTF Board members to Hakone, where I took this picture of Mt. Fuji (富士山):


    After the Tokyo meetings, I visited Kamakura for a day (pictures). Finally on my last day in Japan, I met someone with whom I had only corresponded previously via email. Her name is Misako (Misa), and we had a great Sushi lunch from the top of a building overlooking the Shiodome district. Here is a picture I took of her at lunch:


    We had a great time and continued our correspondence after I returned home. She visited Colorado over Thanksgiving break and we have been inseparable ever since:

    12Dec06 050.jpg

    So here is wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2007 from Mark and Misa.

    Christmas Letter
    Saturday, December 23, 2006

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on DMTF shows it’s Cloud hand

    The DMTF has released a white paper titled: Interoperable Clouds. From the abstract: “This white paper describes a snapshot of the work being done in the DMTF Open Cloud Standards Incubator, including use cases and reference architecture as they relate to the interfaces between a cloud service provider and a cloud service consumer. The goal of the Incubator is to define a set of architectural semantics that unify the interoperable management of enterprise and cloud computing. This paper summarizes the core use cases, reference architecture, and service lifecycle. These building blocks will be used to specify the cloud provider interfaces, data artifacts, and profiles to achieve interoperable management.

    The paper lays out several great models for cloud services, and I encourage everyone to read the whole whitepaper. Here is a picture from chapter 5 on the Cloud Service Reference Architecture:


    The group has all the right players participating, including: AMD, CA, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Rackspace, RedHat, Savvis, SunGard, Sun Microsystems, and VMware. The white paper is just the first milestone in the group’s work. Chapter 6 lays out the next steps for the group, including future Alliances work.

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on LISA BOF – OpenSolaris, Storage and the Cloud

    I am giving LISA BOF today at USENIX LISA here in Baltimore on OpenSolaris availability in the Cloud (EC2 instances mostly) as well as an update on the Cloud Storage standards efforts Sun is leading in the SNIA.

    You can download my slides: OpenSolarisCloud.pdf if you like or view them in SlideShare.

    Update: Deirdre video taped the presentation, so even if you were not able to attend you can watch the video:

    Get the Flash Player to see this video.

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Cloud Storage Standard available

    The Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) defines the functional interface that applications will use to create, retrieve, update and delete data elements from the Cloud.
    CDMIcover.jpgAs part of this interface the client will be able to discover the capabilities of the cloud storage offering and use this interface to manage containers and the data that is placed in them. In addition, metadata can be set on containers and their contained data elements through this interface.

    This interface is also used by administrative and management applications to manage containers, accounts, security access and monitoring/billing information, even for storage that is accessible by other protocols. The capabilities of the underlying storage and data services are exposed so that clients can understand the offering.

    Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI), Version 0.8 is avalable for review and feedback from:


    Please submit feedback and suggested changes to the document via the SNIA feedback portal:


    The specification will be the focus of my tutorial session titled: “Introducing the New Cloud Data Management Interface” at the SDC conference today.

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Cloud Storage for Cloud Computing

    Gary Mazzaferro and I have created a whitepaper that discusses the coordination going on between two early cloud standards. OCCiLogo.jpg The first is the Open Cloud Computing Interface, or OCCI for short. OCCI is a standard, RESTful interface to control a cloud computing infrastructure in an interoperable manner. It is being developed by the Open Grid Forum (OGF) and early drafts are available on the OCCI Web site.

    The second standard is called the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI). CDMI in a similar manner allows for the interoperable access to and control of a cloud SNIAandCloud.jpgstorage infrastructure. CDMI is being developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association. CDMI is also RESTful in design and allows for both a data path and a control path to cloud storage. But CDMI can also be used as the control path for cloud computing storage needs if you couple it with a cloud computing standard such as OCCI.

    To learn more about SNIA’s Cloud Data Management
    Interface (CDMI) standard, and how it works with Cloud Computing
    standards such as the OGF Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) please
    download the whitepaper from one of the following locations:

    SNIA Site
    OGF Site

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Managing OpenSolaris with Open Source CIM

    You might have missed some very cool projects in OpenSolaris that have been recently released, but have stayed under the radar. I wrote about how Microsoft manages Solaris, but now the basic core packages you would need to do the same, yourself, are now available.

    To find these packages, go to the package search site on OpenSolaris,org:
    http://pkg.opensolaris.org/release/en/index.shtml and search for “CIM“:

    As you can see, there are three new packages available to help manage OpenSolaris with the CIM standard. SUNWSblimCimClient is an OpenSolaris port of the SBLIM CIM Client. The SBLIM CIM Client for Java is an implementation of a WBEM services client that includes an IETF RFC 2614 compliant SLP client for CIM service discovery. It is intended to be used by management applications in all areas that leverage CIM technology such as SMI-S, SMASH, etc. This is the client side of the standard protocol. With this you can talk to what are called CIM Object Managers (CIMOMs).


    The next package in the above list is a CIMOM. It is an OpenSolaris port of the popular OpenPegasus CIMOM. A CIMOM is essentially a request broker for CIM Objects that form the instrumentation of a system. The actual instrumentation is called a provider and can be written in C++ or Java and can run in the same process as the CIMOM, or in a separate process. OpenPegasus conforms to the latest DMTF Standards and is used by many vendors for implementations.

    The last package in the above list is SUNWopenwsman and is a port of the Open WS-Management protocol adapter for CIMOMs.

    Openwsman is a project intended to provide an open-source implementation of the Web Services Management specification (WS-Management) and to expose system management information on the Linux operating system using the WS-Management protocol. WS-Management is based on a suite of web services specifications and usage requirements that exposes a set of operations focused on and covers all system management aspects.

    The combination of all these packages provide a great foundation for the management of OpenSolaris and OpenSolaris based projects with a standard protocol using open source infrastructure.

    Update: original Sun Blog post: 7/9/09

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Cloud Standards are being coordinated

    I’ve written about what SNIA and DMTF are doing in the area of Cloud Standards and Sun’s participation, but there are many other efforts out there and new ones starting up seemingly weekly. How do we keep track of them all, make sure there are no overlaps or even gaps between them?

    I have been the chair of a group coordinating management standards, called SCRM, for some time now. We came up with a Landscape of these management standards and a wiki for keeping track of them. It seemed only natural that we expand our focus of this group into cloud standards as well since many of the same organizations were moving in that direction.

    In a press release, announcing the formation of the new group, several SDOs announced their intention to coordinate their work through this new group. The group is open to all and has a representative from each group, responsible for editing their SDO’s entry. The wiki is available here:


    Update: original Sun Blog post: 7/13/09

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Cloud Storage Standards are looking up

    The SNIA has released early drafts of a couple of documents created in the new Cloud Storage TWG. The Cloud Storage Reference Model sets out a model of cloud storage elements that describes a logical view of their functions and capabilities using a descriptive taxonomy. The purpose of the model is to form a basis upon which industry efforts can be organized, needed standards identified and vendor products can be described by vendor independent terminology. In addition, the model is used to describe standard interfaces for cloud storage.


    The SNIA will create a new interface called the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) that will serve as both a functional interface to store data in a cloud, and as a management interface for the data that is stored there.

    SNIA is soliciting feedback on the model and use cases in order to shape this interface work. If you would like to get involved, there is a Google Group you can join.

    Update: original Sun Blog post: 6/9/09

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Sun joins DMTF Cloud Incubator

    DMTF announced their Cloud Incubator standards group and Sun is among the companies on the leadership board. This work will complement and be coordinated with the work already going on in the Open Grid Forum and SNIA.


    In the cloud computing space, the key technology driving the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings (including Sun’s) is system virtualization. DMTF has been working on system virtualization standards such as the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) specification and the System Virtualization Profile, which focuses on virtualization aspects related to host systems and their resources, such as modeling the relationships between host resources and virtual re-sources. Further it addresses virtualization-specific tasks such as the creation or modification of virtual systems and their configurations.

    The DMTF has actually developed multiple profiles related to virtualization and leveraged others that had previously been developed. In addition to the technical work, DMTF has an initiative to promote their virtualization standards called VMAN.

    Quoting from the VMAN website: “The Virtualization Management Initiative (VMAN) from DMTF unleashes the power of virtualization by delivering broadly supported interoperability and portability standards to virtual computing environments. VMAN provides IT managers the freedom to deploy pre-installed, pre-configured solutions across heterogeneous computing networks and to manage those applications through their entire lifecycle. Management software vendors will offer a broad selection of tools that support the industry standard specifications that are a part of VMAN, thus lowering support and training costs for IT managers.

    Thanks to the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard within VMAN, ISVs can create a single pre-packaged virtual appliance that can run on customers’ virtualization platforms of choice. Tools based on the VMAN Profiles enable consistent management and monitoring of these virtual applications across the virtualized platform. These technologies will allow ISVs and platform vendors to focus their development resources on higher value features of their products instead of needing to create different versions of products for each environment.”

    Sun just announced that it’s VirtualBox x86 virtualization product supports the OVF standard.
    So as virtualization technology becomes ubiquitous, being deployed on desktops, enterprise data centers and now public clouds, the need for standards becomes even more important. DMTF’s Open Cloud Standards Incubator will focus on addressing these issues by developing cloud resource management protocols, packaging formats and security mechanisms to facilitate interoperability. You can read the charter of the group to learn more.

    Update: original Sun Blog post: 4/27/09

  • Sun Blog Comments Off on Sun active in the SNIA Cloud

    SNIA announced the formation of the new Cloud Storage Technical Work Group. SNIA has a long history of standardizing interoperable interfaces for storage networking, and storage is really just the next step in networked storage.


    There are several example use cases for cloud storage, including:

  • Store my file and give me back a URL (i.e. Amazon S3)

  • Best Effort Quality of Service?
  • Provision a filesystem and mount it (i.e. WebDAV)
  • Quality of Service specification via provisioning interface
  • Give me Filesystems/LUNs for my Cloud Computing
  • NAS box in the cloud…
  • Store my backup files until I need them back
  • Maybe offer me a local cache as well
  • Archive my files in the Cloud for Preservation/Compliance
  • Maybe offer me eDiscovery services, “tape in the mail” retrieval
  • Store all my files, allowing me to set the Data Requirements, let me cache and distribute geographically
  • Policy driven Data Services based on Data System Metadata markings
  • One of the immediate needs that the TWG hopes to address is a reference model and some common terminology just to sort out all the uses of cloud storage. This work is targeted to be available in draft form this summer. Based on that common understanding, the group may also start to develop standard interfaces, but will not likely get out in front of actual deployments. The best standards are driven by requirements derived from actual customer pain points. Only when multiple vendors have a common set of capabilities, does it make sense to standardize the interoperability between them. Sun is one of the foundational members of this new TWG, and I am looking forward to some exciting technical activities in the weeks and months ahead.

    Update: original Sun Blog post: 4/6/09

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