14 October 2003 EDS, Computer Associates and Opsware, Marc Andreessen’s company, are developing an XML mark-up language intended to provide an open standard for managing large data centres.
Called Data Centre Mark-up Language (DCML), the technology will be unveiled in Boston, Massachusetts today and, ultimately, put to a standards body such as OASIS or the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) for ratification.
DCML will provide a standard for the description and communication of network architectures and systems, EDS chief operating officer Jeffrey Heller told the Wall Street Journal. The idea is that it could be used to automate the provisioning of a data centre according to an organisation’s particular specifications — cutting out much manual configuration.
The companies behind DCML are partly motivated by a desire to counter-balance the growing dominance of IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HP) in utility or on-demand computing. “By rolling out something like DCML, the partners are saying, ‘No, IBM isn’t going to have its own way of doing this… We’ll have a common way of doing it,” Opsware co-founder Andreessen told the WSJ.
At the same time, DCML will enable customers of utility computing services to more easily switch from one provider to another.
- EDS has admitted that it is considering selling a minority stake in its PLM Solutions software unit. The services giant has struggled financially this year after losing money on a number of contracts and seeing some key customers enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the downturn.
The company has hired mergers and acquisitions specialist Evercore Partners to act as advisors.
PLM Solutions specialises in product lifecycle management software and reported revenues of $879 million and an operating profit of $138 million in 2002.
The sale of a stake in PLM Solutions would represent a sharp turnaround from EDS’s position of just two years ago, when it acquired PLM specialist Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) for a cool $950 million in cash.
SRDC, which posted revenues of $452 million in 2000, was merged with EDS’s existing PLM unit called Unigraphics, although sales would appear to have been disappointing. EDS indicated that it expected to achieve annual revenues of about $1 billion in 2002.