The Emergence of 4 Usage Standards for Cloud Computing

cloud computing kitchen sink

Established in 2010, the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) is an alliance between major IT organizations, including IT representatives from BWV and Marriot, that aims at analyzing emerging trends, establishing IT requirements and determining cloud computing requirements. The ODCA has emerged as a leading organization in determining best practices for corporate adoption and implementation of cloud-based applications.

From the alliance’s contributions, the one that stands outs the most is the development of 8 usage models of cloud computing. These 8 models can be classified into 4 groups.

Secure Federation

In this group, 2 usage models fit: Security Monitoring and Security Provider Assurance. These usage models aim at providing an applicable framework for cloud computing consumers of all levels of expertise to evaluate the various security offerings from providers. Particularly, the Security Provider Assurance model is important as it addresses the main concern of any cloud user: data security.


The Automation group encompasses: Input/Output (IO) Control and Virtual Machine (VM) Interoperability. These usage models addresses software delivered through the cloud such as contract tracking software. The VM Interoperability usage model is particularly useful in testing the claims from service providers in regards to lower IT costs and understanding complex multi-vendor deployments.

Comment Management and Policy

The only usage model under this group is the Regulatory Framework, which is a comprehensive framework for both cloud providers and users. This framework establishes the importance for providers to take high more steps in compliance, while stating the need for users to fully understand the risks of cloud computing. This framework is based on best practices from members of the ODCA.


Finally, the Transparency group includes the Carbon Footprint, Service Catalog, and Standard Units of Measurement for IaaS. Novice users of cloud computing will benefit greatly from the Service Catalog model because it details almost every aspect of cloud computing ranging from an email management system to a contract management system. At the same time, it details how the internal IT team can adequately prepare for the transition to a cloud solution. The Standard Units of Measurement for IaaS usage model is useful for users of all levels because it establishes standards for comparing service providers, no matter their geographic location or selected plaform.


Learn about the best practices in cloud computing from major global players by reading the 8 usage models developed by the ODCA.

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