Many frequently use catalogs to learn about, compare and purchase items. What would happen if we extended the catalog concept to Cloud services as well? Can and should something as abstract as an internet-based service be catalogued and put into normalized terms so that comparisons and purchases are made easier?
According to the Open Data Center Alliance (a unified voice of more than 280 global IT leaders), the answer is yes. They've outlined the need for a self-describing services catalog that enables cloud subscribers to parse through the features, capabilities and price across multiple cloud offerings to increase transparency and ease deployment for cloud services.
You may ask, won't this generalize cloud services and/or commoditize? I personally don't think so. In fact, I think it will do the opposite. If there is an easy way to compare common features/capabilities across cloud providers, then there is also an easy way to highlight innovation and differentiation among service providers.
To learn more about how a services catalog can demystify the cloud, check out my latest blog on datacenterknowledge.com and download the Open Data Center Alliance's Service Catalog usage model to read the full requirements.
Contact and follow me on twitter for the latest in cloud industry news, Intel's cloud strategy and my thoughts on the industry a we move toward the cloud: @RaejeanneS.
I look forward to your feedback.