OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) TC

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Enhancing the portability and management of cloud applications and services across their lifecycle

Paul Lipton, paul.lipton@ca.com, Chair
Simon Moser, smoser@de.ibm.com, Chair

Table of Contents

Latest Announcements and Technical Milestones

NEW! 2015 October: The TOSCA Technical Committee has approved the TOSCA Simple Profile for NFV Version 1.0 Committee Spec Draft 02! See our plans for 2015 below for more details on this important TOSCA Profile!

2015 September: 30-Day Public Review and Comment Period ends October 20, 2015! The TOSCA Technical Committee has approved Committee Specification Public Review Document 01 for publication and public review.

2015 July: Companies Demonstrate Interoperability of OASIS TOSCA Standard for Cloud Portability and Lifecycle Management at OSCON: Open Source Event Features Second Public TOSCA Interoperability Demonstration by Fujitsu, IBM, Gigaspaces, and Vnomic, Plus Sessions on Using TOSCA with Docker and OpenStack.

Check it out! Understand TOSCA in 10 minutes! See the TOSCA video playlist on YouTube.

TOSCA in 2015

The TOSCA TC continues to make excellent progress developing the next major iteration of the TOSCA specification, which is expected to be available as a Candidate OASIS Standard during the first half of calendar 2015. Starting in 2014, responding to feedback from the open source community and other implementers, the TOSCA TC started work on the next release of TOSCA with the TOSCA Simple Profile for YAML. The TOSCA TC has also formed dedicated workgroups in support of significant use cases, which are highlighted below.

Infrastructure and Software Components

The TOSCA TC has made a number of significant interoperability improvements such as built-in definitions for commonly found infrastructure (e.g., Compute, Storage, Network, etc.) and software components (e.g., Web Servers, Databases, etc.) along with a small set of simple relationships that connect them together. Many other functional enhancements and interoperability improvements have also been included, while additional efforts on overall model simplification have also been quite successful.

Container Technologies

Users of container technologies, such as Docker and Rocket, as well as container management technologies such as Kubernetes, Mesos, and LXD, and many other varieties of container technologies, will also find that TOSCA has evolved to further enhance the value and flexibility across all these technologies in a completely agnostic fashion.

Monitoring and Metrics

In 2015, the TOSCA TC is extending the specification to support declarative modeling for storage and network definition capabilities. Additionally, the TOSCA TC is now taking a similar approach to define application-centric monitoring in the specification. This will enable TOSCA implementations to provide holistic views of health, availability and performance for cloud applications across all the software components in a deployment topology independent of the underlying monitoring technologies. It will also enable application component vendors and architects to specify metrics for collection.

As a result, TOSCA will make monitoring portable and provide customers choice in fulfilling their monitoring needs in a combination of ways including the use of cloud platform monitoring features, 3rd party monitoring services, or custom monitoring using monitoring components also defined as part of TOSCA topologies.

NFV - Network Function Virtualization

In the longer term, there is growing interest in NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) within the TOSCA TC, which has a number of members who are also active in the ETSI NFV Industry Work Group and other related activities. The TOSCA TC recently formed a workgroup focused on creating a "TOSCA Simple Profile for NFV."


The OASIS TOSCA TC works to enhance the portability of cloud applications and services. TOSCA will enable the interoperable description of application and infrastructure cloud services, the relationships between parts of the service, and the operational behavior of these services (e.g., deploy, patch, shutdown)--independent of the supplier creating the service, and any particular cloud provider or hosting technology. TOSCA will also make it possible for higher-level operational behavior to be associated with cloud infrastructure management.

By increasing service and application portability in a vendor-neutral ecosystem, TOSCA will enable:

  • Portable deployment to any compliant cloud
  • Smoother migration of existing applications to the cloud
  • Flexible bursting (consumer choice)
  • Dynamic, multi-cloud provider applications

For more information, see the TC Charter.

Older Technical Work Produced by the Committee

IMPORTANT: See also the Latest Announcements and Technical Milestones produced by the TOSCA Technical Committee.

November 2013: Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) Version 1.0 is now an OASIS Standard. The Standard is available in PDF (authoritative), HTML, and editable source formats. The complete specification including the schema can also be downloaded in this ZIP file

2013 February: A non-normative Primer for TOSCA Version 1.0 is now available.

Expository Work Produced by the Committee


The following subcommittee is active.

TC Liaisons

TC liaison to ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC38 WG3 - Mike Edwards

TC liaison to ETSI NFV - Li Shitao and Chin Qinjin

TC Tools and Approved Publications

External Resources

Although not produced by the OASIS TOSCA TC, the Open DataCenter Alliance also conducted a proof-of-concept based on TOSCA v1.0 that may also be of interest. See the press release of January 8, 2014 with links for more information.

Mailing Lists and Comments

tosca: the list used by TC members to conduct Committee work. TC membership is required to post. TC members are automatically subscribed; the public may view archives.

tosca-comment: a public mail list for providing input to the OASIS TOSCA TC members. Send a comment or view archives.

Press Coverage and Commentary

Additional Information

Providing Feedback: OASIS welcomes feedback on its technical activities from potential users, developers, and others to better assure the interoperability and quality of OASIS work.