What technology standards are important for cloud platforms?
Cloud platforms should reuse existing and commonly used standards when it makes sense to do so. If existing standards are not sufficient, new standards may be created.
In some cases, existing standards will not be a perfect fit for the cloud. Well-established standards that were developed for the guaranteed connectivity and relatively close connections of a data center may not work well over the public Internet and across the globe. In addition, cloud computing introduces new scenarios for management, monitoring, access, and identity that are only partially addressed by existing standards. New cloud platform interfaces to support these scenarios should be built upon web services and REST-based approaches (which are themselves industry standards) that can be easily discovered and consumed by other platforms.
Microsoft is engaged with many standards organizations that are related to cloud computing, working closely with business, government, and individuals to enable greater interoperability in the cloud.
With its standards-based and interoperable approach, Windows Azure supports multiple Internet protocols including HTTP, XML, SOAP, and REST.
Open Data Protocol (OData) is a web protocol for querying and updating data. It provides developers with a way to unlock data and free it from the silos that exist in applications today.
Windows Azure supports standards for messaging protocols at the network layer as well as the web-services layer. As a result of this support for standards-based messaging, an entire application does not need to be deployed to Windows Azure at the same time. Some application components can be moved to Windows Azure while others can continue to be on-premises, thus providing deployment flexibility and ease of migration.