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Utility computing spec takes refuge in OASIS

Data Center Markup Language Organization joins XML body to broaden industry adoption.

Standards body OASIS will take on development of an existing utility computing specification for automating data center operations.

OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) on Monday said it will create a technical committee to advance the Data Center Markup Language. A separate group, called the Data Center Markup Language Organization, or DCML.org, has had stewardship of the specification since November.

First published by data center automation software company Opsware and EDS last year, the language is designed to let data center operators and systems administrators automatically configure computing gear, such as servers and network devices, with software updates and patches. The goal of the new technical committee in OASIS is to create an industrywide standard.

Tim Howes, the chief technology officer of Opsware, said participation in OASIS will help broaden industry support for the specification. The membership of DCML.org, which will transfer directly to OASIS, includes several smaller data center management software companies, as well as Computer Associates, but has not gained the backing of industry heavyweights such as Dell, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft or Hewlett-Packard.

"What we heard from (larger providers) is, 'We understand the problem, we like the approach, don't ask us to go and join another standards body,'" Howes said.

By working within OASIS, where many Web services specifications are currently being assembled, larger companies will be more likely to incorporate the DCML specification in their products, Howes said. He also noted that the membership of OASIS includes customers, which will help shape future development of the specification.

As part of OASIS, members of the DCML technical committee will look to collaborate with existing OASIS technical committees, notably the Web Services Distributed Management specification under development, Howes said.