OCCI and the UK Government Cloud (G-Cloud)

The United Kingdom Cabinet Office has recommended OCCI as the interface for use in the UK G-Cloud. This was detailed in a large volume of reports released this week by the UK Cabinet Office. In the reports analysis and strategies are set out on how the UK government should and will use cloud computing. Quoting the Technical Architecture Workstrand Report:
The recommended long-term solution is the OCCi, however at the time of writing the interface specification only loosely defines a protocol and does not contain a full API. Having spoken to the steering group of the OCCi it is clear that their intent is to create a fully open, patent unencumbered API for general use, which would be ideal for G-Cloud purposes. Further, there is an opportunity for the G-Cloud programme to influence the direction of development of the OCCi, which should be exploited.
It should be noted that at the time of the report’s writing (May 5th 2010) OCCI had yet to reach v1.0, but with the imminent release of v1.1 the group believes that is has significantly tightened and improved.
Of particular interest to us in OCCI is in the area of standardisation and APIs. Naturally for any government body investigating the use of cloud computing a highly important aspect to consider tactics and strategies to avoid costly vendor lock-in. Avoidance is accomplished by consumers demanding that vendors implement standardised and patent unencumbered interfaces, like OCCI, into their products and services. These reports should also be of interest and relevance to those people that are involved in the various United States based government initiatives such as those ran out of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).