Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Nov 3 2010   1:47PM GMT

Open Data Center Alliance: Captain IT?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

In the age of Facebook, it matters who your friends are. So when the Open Data Center Alliance announces itself and its members – BMW, JP Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Deutsche Bank, Marriott – people take notice. Yep, that’s representation from over $50 billion in IT spend.

But isn’t this just another glorified user group? Not really. There are some important specifications about ODCA that have made it a beam of light reflecting in IT’s eyes for the past week.

  • Though initiated by Intel’s seed grant, the group is the product of major players (read: not vendors) in IT who will control both funding and operations.
  • The vendor-neutral Usage Model Roadmap has been agreed upon by members to guide their data center planning and purchasing decisions.
  • The alliance seeks to become a platform for open discussion and a headquarters where users can benefit from one another’s lessons.
  • The alliance will release documents and specifications, creating its own definitions for the future of IT.
  • As implied by its name, the ODCA will focus mostly on the operational side of the equation rather than dabbling in the realm of applications.

But not everyone’s letting their giddiness get away with them, like Jonathan Eunice, co-founder and principal IT adviser at Illuminata, who wrote:

And there are some risk factors. The large number of members, and the desire to remain process-, industry-, technology-, and vendor-neutral could make the road map documents too bland and inclusive, diluting their precision, prescriptive power, and value. The many hosting/cloud service provider members could sway the road maps too far from the enterprise-y toward the hyper-scale.

Eunice also believes that room for this sort of organization has been made by the culture that created it, the “touchy-feely enabler,” as he calls it, of the changing ideas and demands around sharing and transparency. But the truth is, what benefit has IT seen from keeping its operations under wraps? On the other hand, what benefits have vendors seen from IT’s old model?

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitteror send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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