With Cloud Computing becoming an ever-hotter topic, it has become necessary to develop
and establish universal standards. Through the National Institute of Standards &
Technology (NIST), the US Department of Commerce aims to do just that.
Do we have enough Standards for the wide variety of Cloud Solutions? Nope, but there is a start towards before proliferation of products/services/solutions from the Cloud Vendorscape! Collaboration among the Standards organizations across the Globe is need of the hour as Clouds galore!
I recently attended the NIST Workshop IV on Cloud Computing which took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland from November 2-4.
NIST is an agency under the umbrella of the US Department of Commerce. Their Information Technology Laboratory is involved in several Standards, Reference Architecture and Roadmap-related activities helping US Government agencies to procure the right IT products and services from a wide range of vendors.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plays a central role in defining and advancing standards & collaborating with Agency CIOs, private sector experts, and international bodies to identify and reach consensus on Cloud Computing Technology & Standardization priorities.
Through its initiative to collaboratively develop the US Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, NIST is helping to translate mission requirements into technical portability, interoperability, reliability, maintainability & Security requirements.
The focus of this latest workshop was on five working groups or forums that were facilitated and led
by NIST, with participants from various agencies, international Standards forums and country representatives from European Union – EU, Japan & Korea, IT product and solution vendors and industry
experts. The working groups presented the work completed in Phase I, in terms of artifacts like Cloud
Computing. This included 2 volumes of US Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap. These documents are available for Public comments for the next 30 days and housed at http://www.nist.gov/itl/cloud/index.cfm
Volume 1 has High Priority Requirements to further US Government Agency Cloud Computing Adoption and Volume II has Useful information for Cloud Adopters. An additional DRAFT working document on Security Challenges is also published at this site for reference.
In addition, several panels were drawn from various experts from the worlds of academia, industry and US government agencies, other national government commerce representatives from Japan & Korea, and International Standards bodies. They contributed their thought leadership for accelerating the adoption of Cloud Computing to the US Government IT Applications landscape as well as International Standards to drive Global Collaboration for Cloud Computing adoption.
I had the opportunity to interact with many panelists and industry experts such as Rainer Zimmerman from EU, Jinzy Zhu of Huawei (http://www.huawei.com/en/ ), China, Margot Dor from ETSI ( www.etsi.org ), Winston Bumpus from DMTF (www.dmtf.org ), Richard Soley from OMG (www.omg.org ) and others from IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, VMWARE, Mitre and various US Government Agency IT leaders.
The NIST team met with all the collaborators on November 4th for sharing key elements around Business Use cases, Security topics of concern & Reference Architecture. Cisco & Kloudtrack provided a quick mapping to NIST Reference Architecture. IBM, Microsoft and Oracle had some talk around mapping NIST Reference Architecture without any official positioning. It was interesting to note Cisco , IBM & Microsoft took the role of Cloud Provider from the NIST Reference Architecture and Oracle Architect was too ambitious to assume Oracle has all the reference Architecture roles covered!
This is a open field now for several IT vendors and Consulting / SI vendors like us to work on our Government Cloud Computing Services Architecture mapping to NIST Reference Architecture. The role based NIST Reference Architecture comprises of Cloud Provider ( Google, Amazon, IBM, VMware, Microsoft, Cisco etc) , Cloud Broker ( Solution and Service Integration Vendors), Cloud Carrier (telecom vendors) Cloud Auditor and Cloud Consumer (Client).
I also met with several small companies and entrepreneurs working in the .gov market
segment including Jan Levine, who founded Kloudtrack that has created a SaaS (Software as a
Service) Solution offering – http://www.kloudtrack.com/solutions/
Also watch out for interesting Security managed Services and product firms across the globe, some niche and some traditional large IT vendors.
Presentations from the event can be downloaded via the link http://collaborate.nist.gov/twiki-cloud-computing/bin/view/CloudComputing/Documents