Oracle and Partners release CAMP specification for PaaS Management

Cloud Application Management for Platforms

The public release of the Cloud Application Management for Platforms (CAMP) specification, an initial draft of what is expected to become an industry standard self service interface specification for Platform as a Service (PaaS) management, represents a significant milestone in cloud standards development. Created by several players in the emerging cloud industry, including Oracle, the specification is being submitted to the OASIS standards organization (draft charter) where it will be finalized in an open development process.

CAMP is targeted at application developers and deployers for self service management of their application on a Platform-as-a-Service cloud. It is closely aligned with the application development process where applications are typically developed in an Application Development Environment (ADE) and then deployed into a private or public platform cloud. CAMP standardizes the model behind an application’s dependencies on platform components and provides a standardized format for moving applications between the ADE and the cloud, and if and when desirable, between clouds.

Once an application is deployed, CAMP provides users with a standardized self service interface to the PaaS offering, allowing the cloud consumer to manage the lifecycle of the application on that platform and the use of the underlying platform services. The CAMP interface includes a RESTful binding of the CAMP model onto the standard HTTP protocol, using JSON as the encoding for the model resources.

The model for CAMP includes resources that represent the Application, its Components and any Platform Components that they depend on.

It's important PaaS Cloud consumers understand that for a PaaS cloud, these are the abstractions that the user would prefer to work with, not Virtual Machines and the various resources such as compute power, storage and networking. PaaS cloud consumers would also not like to become system administrators for the infrastructure that is hosting their applications and component services. CAMP works on this more abstract level, and yet still accommodates platforms that are built using an underlying infrastructure cloud. With CAMP, it is up to the cloud provider whether or not this underlying infrastructure is exposed to the consumer.

One major challenge addressed by the CAMP specification is that of ensuring that application deployment on a new platform is as seamless and error free as possible. This becomes even more difficult when the application may have been developed for a different platform and is now moving to a new one. In CAMP this is accomplished by matching the requirements of the application and its components to the specific capabilities of the underlying platform. This needs to be done regardless of whether there are existing pools of virtualized platform resources (such as a database pool) which are provisioned(on the basis of a schema for example), or whether the platform component is really just a set of virtual machines drawn from an infrastructure pool.

The interoperability between platform clouds that CAMP offers means that a CAMP client such as an ADE can target multiple clouds with a single common interface. Applications can even be spread across multiple platform clouds and then managed without needing to create a specialized adapter to manage the components running in each cloud.

The development of CAMP has been an effort by a small set of companies, but there are significant advantages to this approach. For example, the way that each of these companies creates their platforms is different enough, to ensure that CAMP can cover a wide range of actual deployments. CAMP is now entering the next phase of development under the guidance of an open standards organization, OASIS, which will likely broaden it’s capabilities. We hope is to keep it concise and minimal, however, to ease implementation and adoption. Over time there will be many different types of platform components that applications can use and which need management. CAMP at this point only includes one example of this (in an appendix) – DataBase as a Service.

I am looking forward to the start of the CAMP Technical Committee in OASIS and will do my best to ensure a successful development process. Hope to see you there.

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The weblog site for Mark Carlson, Principal Cloud Strategist

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