Cloud Computing Standards In IEEE's Crosshairs


Cloud computing standards may be just a short time away, if the IEEE has anything to say about it.

The IEEE, short for the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, is a standards setting body for the tech industry, calling itself "the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity."

This week, the IEEE said it will try its hand at setting global cloud computing standards. Cloud computing standardization has been lightening rod, with many of the industry's top cloud proponents pushing for standards. Even the federal government has called for cloud computing standardization before it puts its eggs in the cloud basket.

"Since its inception, the Internet has gone through radical changes driven by the twin engines of continued technology advancement and evolving user expectations," said Steve Diamond, chair of the IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative, in statement. "Cloud computing today is very much akin to the nascent Internet -- a disruptive technology and business model that is primed for explosive growth and rapid transformation. But without a flexible, common framework for interoperability, innovation could become stifled, leaving us with a siloed ecosystem."

The IEEE launched a pair of new standards development projects it said will kick-start cloud computing innovation. First up is IEEE P2301, Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles; and second is IEEE P2302, Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation.

According to the IEEE, IEEE P2301 will provide profiles of existing and in-progress cloud computing standards in critical areas such as application, portability, management, and interoperability interfaces, as well as file formats and operation conventions. The standard will offer a roadmap for cloud vendors, service providers and other key stakeholders, like cloud channel partners. When completed, the standard will aid users in procuring, developing, building and using standards-based cloud computing products and services, enabling better portability, increased commonality and greater interoperability, the agency said.

And IEEE P2302 defines essential topology, protocols, functionality and governance required for reliable cloud-to-cloud interoperability and federation. The standard will help build an economy of scale among cloud product and service providers that remains transparent to users and applications. The IEEE said IEEE P2302 will foster growth and improve competitiveness in the cloud computing industry while also addressing fundamental, transparent interoperability and federation.

The IEEE Standards Association has formed a pair of working groups around the cloud computing standards development projects.

"Cloud computing will change everything. It is one of the three aspects of the perfect storm of technology waves currently sweeping across humanity, the other two being massive deployment of very smart mobile devices, and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity," David Bernstein, IEEE P2301 and IEEE P2302 working groups chair and managing director of Cloud Strategy Partners, in a statement. "The cloud will tie all of these coming advancements together. We're truly embarking on a new age of innovation."