For example, it wants to develop an alternative to SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), which has been the standard for sharing operational data about equipment in data centers, such as temperatures and fan speeds.
"SNMP has been outdated for a while," Hozle said. "I think there's an opportunity to define standards in a way that will let every operator use the same one, and then every vendor to export their data in the right way."
He also mentioned hard disks as an area for improvement. Google submitted a paper at a Usenix conference last month that called on storage vendors to revamp spinning disk drives for use in cloud data centers.
"The basic idea is that large-scale operators don't care about individual disks, they care about thousands of discs that are tied together through a software system into a storage system," Holzle said.
"So there's lots of opportunities both in the physical form factor to save costs, and then in the overall architecture to save complexity."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.