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Yesterday the TM Forum announced the creation of the Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council. The idea behind this council is to group the world's largest cloud buyers (Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank have already joined) to help vendors and industry groups "understand the needs of the largest global cloud buyers and ensure any impediments to the uptake of cloud technology are removed."

As far as vendors and industry groups go, AT&T, BT, CA, Cisco, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, DMTF, and more have already joined this consumer-driven program. What kinds of things can we expect to be tackled by the council of buyers working with these vendors and groups? According to the TM Forum announcement, the group has already kicked around a number of different issues to tackle including:

  • Common Cloud Services Product Definitions
  • Cloud Security Issues
  • Cloud-to-Cloud Interoperability, Data Portability and APIs
  • Service Provider Benchmarking
  • Buyer-demand Forecasting
  • Federated Cloud Stores
  • Cloud Service Level Agreement Process Management
  • Cloud Network Performance and Latency Issues

A lot of the things on this list get brought up over and over again when people talk about issues with the cloud. However, it's interesting to see "Service Provider Benchmarking" on the list. Hopefully the recognition of the need for some benchmarking in the cloud market is a sign that more companies are beginning to accept and even move toward enterprise cloud adoption. Now they just need a little help from the industry in selecting the right cloud infrastructure, platform, or software provider, thus enter benchmark testing.

This is certainly not the first group we've seen formed to rally around cloud problems and attempt to drive uptake in the market. However, I do believe it is unique in that the council is made up of consumers that work with the service providers in the marketplace. How better to understand the needs in the cloud market than to talk to those who bet their business on it? It will be fun to watch the progress of this group unfold as they tackle a broad range of customer-fueled cloud issues.

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.