The Open Data Center Alliance has announced the release of three master usage models integrating requirements from the Alliance’s wealth of publications to help simplify provider delivery of cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions. With Gartner projecting that the IaaS market will grow to more than $24 billion by 2016, these new usage models provide requirements for Compute Infrastructure as a Service (CIaaS), Service Orchestration and Commercial Framework, to drive interoperability and accelerate service delivery.

Addressing a gamut of issues, including security, management and interoperability, these Master Usage Models (MUMs) are designed to deliver a comprehensive blueprint for cloud service delivery. Publication of these master usage models should send a clear mandate to providers on customer expectations for CIaaS solutions, and clarify requirements from solution stack composition to business processes. The Alliance expects the MUMs to enable providers to speed solutions to market and spur innovation by enabling service differentiation through feature enhancements atop a standard solution framework.

The publications, released as the Alliance celebrates its second anniversary, represent input from across the Alliance’s more than 300 global members, as well as leading solutions providers and standards organizations, and further the Alliance’s mission to accelerate cloud adoption.

According to a recent survey, 13 percent of ODCA members have already made purchasing decisions based on Alliance requirements, and more than two-thirds of ODCA members surveyed have signaled their intent to integrate Alliance requirements into purchasing decisions in the next 18 months. Those that will benefit from these MUMs include:

• Business decision makers and IT organizations involved in IaaS solutions planning, operations and procurement;

• Solutions providers and technology vendors who seek a better understanding of customer needs in order to tailor specific products and services;

• And standards organizations that require further insight in order to define open standards.

“Adoption of IaaS solutions is a priority for a large portion of ODCA members. Comprehensive requirements for CIaaS will assist many companies as they source services that are enterprise ready, and help remove obstacles for service procurement,” said Mario Müller, Open Data Center Alliance chairman, and vice president of IT infrastructure at BMW. “The consolidated input of members, providers and standards organizations has driven the creation of a series of master usage models that our enterprise members can use to guide IT planning, and our provider members can follow to deliver services to the market. This will help ensure that individual cloud offerings will work in harmony, across deployments and independent of provider, and ultimately increase the confidence of business decision makers and IT organizations.”

About the Master Usage Models

The three MUMs published today focus on CIaaS, the requirements to orchestrate the service and acquiring the service through a commercial framework.


This master usage model and its supporting usage models describe the requirements for complete CIaaS solution. In order to meet these requirements for the broad range of service consumers, a common framework is required around which CIaaS can be defined, provisioned, monitored and managed. This usage model outlines a common set of principles, metrics and architectural frameworks, resulting in consistent capabilities, service levels and attributes across multiple providers, while still allowing the individual providers to innovate and differentiate. There are aspects of this usage model where requirements are more stringent than those found in popular public clouds today such as security, interoperability, and management models. The document will enable a clear path to delivery of CIaaS solutions that meet enterprise class requirements, helping to remove obstacles to broad IT adoption. The document was delivered through a strategic collaboration with the TM Forum, which today also announced a series of supplementary documents.

Service Orchestration

This master usage model defines a standard process for service integration which can be used as a reference model for improving interoperability between cloud providers and subscribers. This usage model defines factors such as programmatic interfaces, interaction patterns, control interfaces, and lifecycle management that will drive automation. By focusing on service discovery and orchestration for CIaaS, this document can reduce the barriers for service adoption and the transaction costs associated with service integration and maintenance for all parties.

Commercial Framework

Establishing a master services agreement between the provider and the consumer can take several months to negotiate, and can result in high legal costs on both sides. The purpose of a commercial framework master usage model is to drive efficiency and value through the standardization of the commercial dynamics involved in the cloud lifecycle. This usage model specifies requirements and definitions needed to create a set of standard commercial documents for cloud services providers that meets the demands of larger enterprises, and addresses one of the significant cost-elements and barriers to adoption of cloud services. In addition, providers will be free to invest in differentiated service delivery through efficient frameworks for market engagement.