DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4683-4.ch004
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The importance of cloud computing standards is the same as the World Wide Web standardization. There are plenty of prevalent standards around cloud computing that make different aspects of cloud computing possible. Standardization is a key answer and solution to the main question in this book (i.e., whether cloud computing will survive and remain on IT trends track or not). Standardization will bring interoperability, integration, and portability to the cloud computing landscape. With these three features, the main elements of IT (i.e., computation and data) can move from one cloud provider to another. Therefore, it eliminates vendor lock-in that is one of the barriers in cloud adoption. In addition, cloud interoperability will minimize cloud fragmentation. We need interoperability and portability to achieve cloud federation and to build hybrid cloud. In addition, there is still no de facto standard for moving workloads or data among different clouds. Cloud standardization needs to be addressed at various layers of a cloud infrastructure such as: virtual machine format, data, interface, context, and identity layers. This chapter reviews the emerging standards from the perspective of various organizations and standard bodies.
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2. Standards Lead By The Industry

The adoption level of an API make it a standard API in the industry. In this section, we go over Amazon EC2 interface and Open Virtualization Format (OVF) as the current standards in the real world of cloud computing. In addition, we introduce Venus-C project that supports Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) and the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) to have more discussion of standards use.

2.1 Amazon Interfaces

Amazon cloud interfaces are de facto standards in the cloud computing landscape. For instance, the EC2 API is a de facto standard in IaaS cloud while it was not designed as an industry-standard API. They have more impact than formal standards so far as everybody builds an EC2 interface to their IaaS.

The EC2 API was designed based on the needs of Amazon Web Services. Currently, many projects from Eucalyptus and OpenNebula to OpenStack to enStratus to AWS, implement and use the EC2 APIs. This is due to the suitability of the EC2 API as a de facto standard. Thus, at least in the cloud industry, Amazon is the leader to push their cloud APIs.

In detail, the EC2 API consists of a SOAP API and a query API. Leveraging the SOAP API is not very common among the AWS ecosystem, it is common among the in-house applications. The query API is further divided into query by POST and GET. Thus, infrastructure level operations can be performed by using SOAP, HTTP GET, and HTTP POST.

The problem with Amazon interfaces is that services have different authentication and request signing mechanisms. For example, EC2 has three different versions of authentication.

ElasticFox, boto, jclouds, lib cloud, and Dasein Cloud are all using slightly different variants of EC2 APIs. Some use the HTTP GET while some use the HTTP post. Some use one timestamp format, others use different ones, etc.

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