DCML spec joins OASIS

OASIS announced Monday that it would take over development of the Data Center Markup Language.

In its short history, the Data Center Markup Language (DCML) specification has chugged along like most standards efforts, garnering members and industry support, publishing a framework specification and praying for some attention from influential vendors with money and muscle.

Unable to get the backing of the IBMs, Hewlett-Packards and Microsofts of the world, the DCML figured if the big three won't join up, it would join the big three in OASIS.

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DCML.org announced Monday that it would advance its specification through OASIS, the same standards body that governs Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), UDDI and others. With IBM, HP, Microsoft, Sun and other heavyweights counted among the ranks of OASIS' membership, DCML hopes to finally gain favor and contributions.

The big boys, however, have been reticent until now to join in a data center specification conglomerate, choosing instead to work on their own standards in accordance with their own utility computing or adaptive enterprise offerings.

The primary goal of the DCML is to describe all elements of the data center and how to build them, including descriptions of sequential procedures, required versions, patches and more.

Jack Kudale, a DCML board member of director of brand strategy at Computer Associates International Inc., said DCML was built on top of two W3C-approved sub-standards, OWL (Web Ontology Language) and RDF (Resource Description Framework). OWL and RDF and semantic Web standards the enable a common framework asset management, enterprise integration and data reuse over the Web, OASIS said. Data is also exchanged in XML.

The specification covers services oriented aspects of consolidation, automation and virtualization, Kudale said.

"We want to provide the guidelines for software to create relationships and dependencies for data center infrastructure components," Kudale said. "Then those relationships and dependencies can be mapped or related to an IT service, which becomes a business process."

In April, DCML released version 1.0 of its framework, which OASIS will now assume control over. The group was formed last October when the specification was introduced by vendors Opsware, EDS, Tibco and CA.

Going to OASIS gives the DCML the opportunity to quickly develop and reach market faster. It also can take advantage of better governance with OASIS and broad geographic member representation. DCML will also have its own OASIS Member Section that will promote and develop the standard.

"This is a major milestone for us," Kudale said.

Kudale added that network and server and applications and services working groups have been established to continue development of DCML and their work should be available for public comment in the fall. Once community feedback has been incorporated into the DCML, Kudale said he expects an October release for the DCML 1.0 standard.

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