Application Portablity in the Cloud: Standards & OASIS
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, December 6, 2011


The ability to migrate applications from one cloud to another and  give customers a way to avoid being locked in to a single cloud provider is key to a healthy cloud eco-system. 

At ActiveState, we believe that standards can and will help, which is why we're pleased to announce our support for the OASIS (Advancing Open Standards for the Information Society) TOSCA initiatives. By increasing service and application portability in a vendor-neutral ecosystem, the OASIS TOSCA (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications) Technical Committee will be working to enhance the portability of cloud applications and services, ensure smoother migration of existing applications to the cloud and more consumer choice.

While we continue to grow ActiveState Stackato, every day we are seeing more and more applications and their workloads deployed to clouds, taking advantage of the promise of cloud computing's elasticty and usage-based cost structure. And this is a wonderful thing. 

However, with each cloud provider choosing a specific hypervisor, cloud infrastrucure and their own set of resources, it becomes difficult to move from one cloud to another.  Moving your application from one to the other means reinstalling, re-testing, and, in some cases, reengineering the application, because the underlying cloud infrastructures and their APIs aren't always compatible.  Even moving between two providers using the same infrastructure provisioning layer such as OpenStack can be difficult because the application will be looking for databases, middleware and other services that are specific to each cloud.

We at ActiveState believe that Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will play an important role in enabling the portability of cloud applications and services. Standards such as those under discussion on the TOSCA technical committee will enable the interoperable description of application and infrastructure cloud services, the relationships between parts of the service, and the operational behavior of these services  independent of the supplier creating the service, and any particular cloud provider or hosting technology.

ActiveState is please to bring our experiences with ActiveState Stackato, the private PaaS solution, to add to the conversation and   work alongside vendores such as CA, IBM, EMC, Citrix, Red Hat and SAP AG to ensure portability of cloud applications and services.

Try Stackato today and get started creating your own private PaaS, or read the full press release.

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Category: announcements, stackato
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Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard ( since 1999.