The purpose of Cloud Standards is to introduce an open API that can be applied to all Cloud platforms with the intention of allowing them to communicate with one another.
bodHOST has collaborated with OMG (Object Management Group), the body charged with piecing together standards for the Cloud hosting industry, to produce a Cloud hosting platform that follows the guidelines set by the organization with the intention of offering a seamless Cloud hosting experience.
All Cloud environments need to be utilizing a high level of security in order to protect customer data. Cloud Standards suggests that all Cloud computing models utilize the same high-security features so that customers are able to expect the same assurances regardless of the Cloud environment that they choose. Some of the key security features used in a majority of Cloud models include:
Deployment models need to give consideration to the fact that monitoring and management are two separate but closely related tasks. A standard is necessary here because common management and monitoring interfaces are required for when accessing IaaS resources such as compute and storage. The standard developed will be one that needs to consider situational elements, including whether these tasks have to take place across trust boundaries or distributed environments.
PaaS provides customers with a model around which they can develop their own applications; compared to SaaS, PaaS can provide developers with more customization options. Businesses may wish to develop their own applications for a number of reasons, but then for the most part it gives them full control of their environment and offers them a chance to implement features that may not otherwise be available when using SaaS software. In terms of deployment, a standard should be set out that details the core IaaS components that developers will have access to when developing PaaS applications; this provides them with a common base on which they can create applications that can be transported across Cloud computing platforms.
Cloud hosting providers are likely to have their own policies that they need to enforce alongside Governmental policies and laws. These policies need to be made clear to customers, as does the level to which they will be enforced, because for some customers these policies could pose an issue if they are going to impact on their usage of the Cloud. Similarly, Governmental policies will also need to be detailed; for example, Cloud providers based in the US are bound by DMCA complaints, whereas these have no impact on Cloud providers in the UK because such companies are outside the jurisdiction of US law enforcement.
Agreements regarding the regulation of data should also be made clear and be readily available with all Cloud services. In situations where data is being stored off-site, this should be made clear to customers – even more so if this data is being stored in another country. Customers will also want to be made aware of the safeguards that have been put in place to protect their data so that they are able to thoroughly evaluate the security offered by a Cloud platform. Web hosting companies should at all times endeavor to provide a secure environment in which data is communicated internally only, rather than externally where it can be prone to eavesdropping.
A majority of Cloud providers offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with their services that govern the expectations that customers should have from the platform in terms of performance and availability, with this also covering the support offered in some cases. Cloud Standards dictates that the SLAs for Cloud platforms should follow the same format because this will make them easier for customers to understand. Whilst this doesn't mean that all platforms are going to be offering the same SLA, if the same format is followed across the board then this will simplify the decision making process for customers as it will be easier for them to identify the SLA that is most representative of their expectations.
Each component in the Cloud has a unique description, for example Virtual Machines are universally given the label of "VM". It is important for common components across Cloud platforms to share the same description so that when customers are researching which Cloud platform will be better suiting to their needs, they are able to compare a common set of features from each platform.
Data is constantly transferred around the Cloud so that the hardware components that form the basis of the hosting platform are able to interact with one another to deliver a reliable service. Data Exchange Formats are designed to offer a universal framework through which data messages can be constructed so that elements of different Cloud platforms are able to communicate using a standardized set of instructions.
Cloud Taxonomies include two elements – the Service model and the Hosting model.
Cloud service models can fall into one of three categories; IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), or SaaS (Software as a Service). These three categories are already fairly well established standards in the Cloud industry, with many Cloud providers clearly defining the title under which their services can be classed. For example, eNlight Cloud by bodHOST can be classed as an IaaS platform because it offers multiple components that can be used to construct a virtual data center in the Cloud.
Public and Private Clouds have their own features, but Public Cloud and Private Cloud services from different providers developed around different platforms should be comparable and contrastable for the purpose of choosing the most suitable platform.
bodHOST offers a range of Cloud services that fulfill the Public and Private Cloud ideas. eNlight as a platform is available in the Public medium and the Private medium; the Public Cloud option allows users to develop their own VMs on a pay-per-consumption model, whilst in the Private medium businesses can use it to migrate their physical servers to VMs in order to save money. We also offer VMware Cloud for larger enterprises seeking a robust Private Cloud product.