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Data Center Markup Language (DCML) for Utility Computing

Twenty-Five Leading Technology Companies Join Forces to Enable Utility Computing With Industry's First Data Center Open Standard Initiative

EDS, Opsware Initiated Effort Will Move Utility Computing From Promise To Reality

Boston, MA, USA. October 14, 2003.

Key technology leaders today announced a new standards effort, Data Center Markup Language (DCML), providing the foundation to enable utility computing -- a rapidly emerging approach to simplify enterprise computing.

The effort has gained the support of twenty-five major technology companies, including EDS, Opsware, Computer Associates, BEA Systems, Mercury Interactive, Tibco, Micromuse, Marimba, Akamai Technologies, NetIQ, Tripwire, Inkra Networks, Egenera, ITM Software, AlterPoint, BladeLogic, Blue Titan, Centrata, Configuresoft, Consera, Ejasent, Euclid, Inflow, Racemi and Relicore, and several Fortune 1000 companies.

Executives from participating companies will officially launch the DCML Organization today in Boston, Mass. They will endorse the new open standard effort and the critical role it plays in bringing simplicity, IT system interoperability and utility computing to data centers.

"Utility computing's promise to improve service quality, reduce costs, and increase agility requires that essential information about the environment -- the state of the data center, relationships and policies between elements, and changes made -- be freely exchanged between IT automation and management systems," said Donna Scott of industry analyst firm, Gartner. "Without a standards-based mechanism defining data center relationships, IT operations management will continue to struggle with implementing configuration and change management processes, which will remain very labor intensive."

The adoption of DCML will help organizations realize the benefits of utility computing: greater operational efficiencies, increased visibility into data center environments and operations and reduced time and cost to implement strategic IT initiatives such as consolidation, disaster recovery, application capacity management, software policy management and data center planning.

DCML provides the first standard model to describe what is contained within a data center, and specifically how that environment is constructed. This enables systematic reproduction, rebuilding or reprovisioning of any portion of the data center environment. DCML will encompass a wide array of data center elements, including network components, storage components, UNIX, Linux, Windows and other servers, software infrastructure and applications.

"As a customer running numerous systems across our organization, we see the need for a standard to describe and manage all the moving parts of our data centers," said Adriaan Bouten, vice president, IT & Business Development for "DCML will significantly help us reduce the time and costs involved in deploying a utility computing model across our operations."

Innovation Creates Breakthrough Standard

The dramatic shift in enterprise computing from client-server to Internet architectures has resulted in an explosion of servers and applications in today's data centers. Today, over 14 million servers are installed in IT organizations worldwide, and this number is projected to increase to over 26 million by the end of 2006*. In most enterprises, armies of IT staff currently handle the resulting exponential increase in data center complexity and dozens of disconnected management and IT systems that do not effectively communicate with one another.

"DCML can be thought of as HTML for the data center," said Tim Howes, chief technology officer of Opsware Inc. "Prior to the adoption of HTML, no simple and standardized means existed to globally distribute and share information online. Today, HTML is the universal language used to express and share information through a Web browser. Likewise, DCML enables disparate management systems to share information and function cooperatively, ultimately eliminating the chaos that reigns in today's unruly data centers."

As an XML-based standard, DCML will enable data center environment breakthroughs in three areas: construction, management and visibility. DCML is the first systematic, open language to describe data center environments, dependencies between data center components and the policies governing management and construction of those environments. DCML provides a standard method for data center automation, system management and performance management solutions to interoperate and share descriptions of data center elements, directions on constructing the environment and policies governing their use. Because automation and utility computing systems require a common understanding of the environment under management, DCML is a necessary precursor for realizing the benefits of utility computing.

"Defining a uniform set of standards within the data center ultimately provides a critical framework for large-scale computing initiatives such as utility computing," said Darrel Thomas, chief technologist for EDS Hosting Services. "DCML not only provides a common language that describes the various components of a data center, but also describes how those pieces interoperate and defines the various policies that bind them all together."

"Computer Associates has always participated in the development and support of industry standards that deliver real business value to customers," said Larry Shoup, technology strategist at CA. "DCML shows promise of being such a standard because its intent is to create the interoperability necessary for managing on-demand data center environments. Our support for DCML is an extension of our ongoing commitment to the advancement of IT management disciplines."

"Customers today are demanding that vendors provide a standardized, cross- platform way to exchange application configuration information with data center automation and management systems so they can interoperate effectively," said Alfred Chuang, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of BEA Systems. "We endorse the DCML initiative as a means of connecting these systems and believe it can help customers lower their IT costs."

DCML Garners Wide Industry Support

DCML has already garnered wide support by a variety of technology industry leaders joining the DCML Organization, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization being established to further the development of DCML in an open, collaborative fashion.

DCML uses the widely implemented and industry-accepted extensible markup language (XML) to represent the structure, content and semantics of discrete data center components, interdependencies, policies and best practices. Further details on the specification's definition can be found at, the DCML Organization's informational Web site for members of the IT community interested in joining the DCML Organization and for customers interested in learning more about the specification.

About The DCML Organization

The DCML Organization is an open, independent, vendor neutral, non-profit corporation being formed to create an open, freely licensed specification, Data Center Markup Language (DCML), and to encourage its broad adoption. DCML is the first standard that provides a structured model and encoding to describe, construct, replicate and recover data center environments and elements. DCML is designed to provide a mechanism to enable data center automation, utility computing and system management solutions to exchange information about the environment to make utility computing a reality. In addition to developing specifications, the organization intends to work with formal standards bodies, enable and administer certification and compliance programs, and perform user and market education. For more information about how to join the DCML Organization, or to learn more about planned activities and DCML, visit

About Opsware Inc.

Opsware Inc., formerly Loudcloud, is the leading provider of data center automation software, offering a complete solution for enterprises, government agencies and service providers looking to reduce costs and increase IT efficiencies. The Opsware System automates the complete IT lifecycle including provisioning, deploying, changing, scaling, securing, recovering, consolidating, auditing and reallocating servers and business applications. The Opsware System uniquely combines process automation with built in operations knowledge on a broad range of operating systems, software infrastructure products and applications. The Opsware System was the foundation of Loudcloud's software-powered managed services business and has been proven to lower costs, accelerate change and increase service quality. For more information on Opsware Inc., please visit our Web site at

About EDS

EDS, the premier global outsourcing services company, delivers superior returns to clients through its cost-effective, high-value services model. EDS' core portfolio comprises information-technology and business process outsourcing services, as well as information-technology transformation services. EDS' two complementary, subsidiary businesses are A.T. Kearney, one of the world's leading high-value management consultancies, and PLM Solutions, a leader in product data management, collaboration and product design software. With 2002 revenue of $21.5 billion, EDS is ranked 80th on the Fortune 500. The company's stock is traded on the New York and London stock exchanges. Learn more at

Zenobia Austin
Opsware Inc.
Tel: 650.269.8315

Mark Southland
Tel: 972.797.3295

Deepak Kamlani
Global Inventures, for the DCML Organization
Tel: 925.275.6690

Source: Electronic Data Systems Corporation

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story "Opsware and EDS Launch Data Center Markup Language (DCML) for Utility Computing."

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