Cloud Standards Customer Council Seeks To Guide Deployments, Standards

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The CSCC's "Practical Guide to Cloud Computing" comprises best practices, resources and expertise from consultants, vendors and end-user customers on cloud deployments and how companies can get their feet wet in the cloud.

Organizations that are plotting their cloud strategies have questions around best practices, said Melvin Greer, Senior Fellow and Chief Strategist, Cloud Computing, Lockheed Martin; chair, CSCC steering committee; and chair of the CSCC Practical Guide to Cloud Computing Working Group, in a webinar Wednesday.

He addded that the CSCC and the new guide are designed to advise organizations on how to get started, how to complete their cloud search and offer guidelines for cloud services implementations.

The guide serves as a reference document that offers actionable steps that companies can take as they navigate cloud computing, Greer said. It includes input and feedback from the CSCC's roughly 200 members, including CA Technologies, IBM, Lockheed Martin and a host of others.

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"Lockheed Martin's survey research indicates that while customers understand the benefits of cloud computing, they continue to look for guidance to simplify the move from exploration to cloud implementation; the CSCC Practical Guide will serve them well in this journey," Greer said in a statement.

The Cloud Standards Customer Council through the guide aims to offer insight into the rationale, definition and benefits of cloud computing; drill down into the vision, economics and catalysts for innovation; and offer a cloud roadmap and keys to cloud success.

"There are real reasons, real questions organizations globally are looking to answer," Greer said.

Along with the Practical Guide to Cloud Computing, the CSCC has launched a host of working groups to examine the need for cloud standards and help shape conversations with cloud standards bodies. Some topics include business patterns in the cloud, cloud interoperability, education, financial services, government, health care, legal, telecom and a host of other facets of cloud computing.

Greer said the CSCC's goal is to "bring the cloud customer perspective to the discussion around cloud computing" and to "have communications with standards developing organizations."

While the CSCC doesn't set standards, it wants to "shape the face of open standards-based cloud computing," Greer said, with the goal of driving user requirements into standards development processes; establish end user criteria for standards; and deliver content like best practices, case studies, use cases, requirements, gap analysis and recommendations.

The Cloud Standards Customer Council and its guide come as the cloud computing market seeks true standards. Several groups have stepped forward to start working on standards, and the IEEE has put its hat in the cloud standards ring and has begun developing cloud computing standards.

And last month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. government's lead technical agency, launched a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud reference architecture to help guide federal agencies to cloud computing technologies.