Organizing the chaos of cloud data

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Two new International Standards from ISO/IEC JTC 1 provide a sound foundation

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International Standards for cloud computing will enable better communication between vendors and customers and will provide a basis for emerging and future cloud computing standards

Cloud computing is recognized by governments and private sector organizations as major, game-changing technology. It focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of shared resources. Whereas formerly most software programmes ran on a personal computer, cloud computing uses large networks of remote servers. These enable the sharing of data-processing tasks, centralized storage and online access to computer services throughout the Internet. However, with the multitude of offerings and their fast-pace development, the need to ensure quality and compatibility through standardization was paramount.

“Cloud computing is a shift in the paradigm for providing IT capabilities to users that may impact a great deal of future IT products, systems, and services,” said Dr. Donald Deutsch, Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1/ SC (Subcommittee) 38, responsible for developing the two Standards. “These first cloud computing International Standards provide a sound foundation for follow-on Standards as needs become clearer in this area.”

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have recently published two new International Standards for cloud computing:

Developed by ISO/IEC JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1 – Information Technology – and ITU-T – the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector, they aim to address the piecemeal development of numerous and complicated cloud-based services and products, which can have compatibility issues.

Karen Higginbottom, JTC 1 Chair said: “These International Standards for cloud computing will enable better communication between vendors and customers and will provide a basis for emerging and future cloud computing standards.”

ISO/IEC 17788, Cloud computing – Overview and vocabulary, provides definitions of common cloud computing terms, including those for cloud service categories, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It also specifies the terminology for cloud deployment models such as “public” and “private” cloud.

ISO/IEC 17789, Cloud computing – Reference architecture, contains diagrams and descriptions of how the various aspects of cloud computing relate to one another, including the cloud computing roles, activities, and the functional components and their relationships.

In addition to this, these Standards pave the way for new projects within JTC 1 sub committees, which will look at:

  •     Cloud computing – Service level agreements
  •     Cloud computing – Interoperability and portability
  •     Cloud computing – Data and their flow across devices and cloud services.
  •     Cloud computing security issues.

More about ISO/IEC JTC 1

The work of ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, is produced by a consensus-based, globally relevant, voluntary International Standards group. More than 2,000 experts from 163 countries come together to develop mutually beneficial guidelines that enhance global trade while protecting intellectual property.

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Gabriela Ehrlich
IEC
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