Two new publications provide a cloud computing standards roadmap, reference architecture

Sep 14, 2011
Cloud computing involves five actors: consumer, provider, auditor, broker and carrier. This illustration shows the possible communication paths between them. Credit: NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has published two new documents on cloud computing: the first edition of a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy. Together, the documents provide guidance to help understand cloud computing standards and categories of cloud services that can be used government-wide.

These documents, along with others from and NIST working groups, will be incorporated into the NIST U.S. Government Cloud Roadmap, expected to be published in November, 2011.

is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of , including , and applications and services. NIST is responsible for accelerating the ’s secure adoption of cloud computing by leading efforts to develop standards and guidelines in close consultation and collaboration with standards bodies, the private sector and other stakeholders, including federal agencies.

To produce the NIST Cloud Computing Standards (NIST Special Publication 500-291), the NIST Cloud Computing Standards Working Group compiled an “Inventory of Standards Relevant to Cloud Computing” that will continue to be updated. The working group includes volunteer participants from industry, government and academia.

The working group categorized these standards for features such as security, portability and interoperability, and identified models, studies and use cases relevant to cloud computing. Many of the standards now being applied to cloud computing were developed for pre-cloud technologies such as web services and the Internet; others are being developed to specifically support cloud functions and requirements.

The working group found a number of gaps in available standards ranging from fundamental issues such as security and privacy protection to user interfaces and important business-oriented features. The group also identified standardization priorities for the federal government, particularly in areas such as security auditing and compliance, and identity and access management.

The NIST Standards Working Group Co-convener Michael Hogan said “NIST SP 500-291 encourages federal agencies to become involved with developing specific cloud computing standards projects that support their priorities in cloud computing services to move cloud computing standards forward.”

The publication also suggests that the federal government should recommend specific cloud computing standards and best practices for government-wide use. It can be downloaded from collaborate.nist.gov/twiki-cloud-computing/pub/CloudComputing/StandardsRoadmap/NIST_SP_500-291_Jul5A.pdf .

The guiding principles used to create the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-292) were to develop a vendor-neutral architecture, or design, consistent with the NIST cloud definition and to create a solution that does not stifle innovation by defining a prescribed technical solution. The resulting reference architecture and taxonomy (vocabulary) was developed as an actor/role-based system that lays out the central elements of cloud computing for federal chief information officers, procurement officials and IT program managers. Roles of the five cloud “actors”—consumer, provider, broker, auditor and carrier—are defined.

“Our point was to create a level playing field for industry to discuss and compare their cloud offering with the U.S. government,” the NIST Reference Architecture Working Group Co-convener Robert Bohn said. “The publication is also an opportunity for industry to map their reference architecture to the one NIST developed with input from all sectors,” he added. The publication can be found at collaborate.nist.gov/twiki-cloud-computing/pub/CloudComputing/ReferenceArchitectureTaxonomy/NIST_SP_500-292_-_090611.pdf .

Explore further: Smart sensor technology to combat indoor air pollution

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CeBIT 2011: Administration in the cloud

Feb 10, 2011

The emerging field of cloud computing is an interesting one, and not just for businesses. The field of public administration benefits from the technology as well. Fraunhofer Institutes are developing solutions ...

IBM to Build First Cloud Computing Center in China

Feb 01, 2008

IBM today announced it will establish the first Cloud Computing Center for software companies in China, which will be situated at the new Wuxi Tai Hu New Town Science and Education Industrial Park in Wuxi, China

Recommended for you

Smart sensor technology to combat indoor air pollution

Apr 14, 2014

Indoor air quality (IAQ) influences the health and well-being of people but for the last 20 years there has been a growing concern about pollutants in closed environments, the difficulty in identifying them ...

Drones used to assess damage after disasters

Apr 11, 2014

Researchers of the University of Twente use a new method to map structural damage after disasters. A remote-controlled drone with a regular high-quality camera takes a large amount of pictures of a building. ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.