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Moving Towards Standards for the Cloud

cloud computingAs is usually the case with any burgeoning technology, cloud computing finds itself today in a situation where users are calling for standards. As is also usually the case, there are many competing standards. These standards should address important issues like data portability, data security, and adopting cloud technology.

The business world wants to see standards for cloud computing, but it’s slow-going as always. Here are some of the major trends right now in the area of cloud computing standards:

•    One of the latest standards groups to form is the Cloud Standards Customer Council. This one is backed by IBM, and just announced its steering committee. The group members represent several major companies, including Citigroup, Costco, and Deere & Co.

•    Intel has also backed a standards group, the Open Data Center Alliance. Participants include companies such as Deutsche Bank, BMW, and JPMorgan Chase.

•    A third major standards group, the Cloud Security Alliance, includes members such as eBay and the Coca-Cola Company.

•    As is often the case with emerging technologies, the hope is that these various organizations will work in a more collaborative manner than in a competitive one. The idea is that these organizations, while they are still in competition, will work with one another closely.

•    How cloud vendors will respond to the emerging standards is another issue altogether. In the case of the Open Data Center Alliance, for example, it’s expected that they will develop cloud vendor usage models. The members of the Alliance will then use those models as they negotiate with cloud providers, using their spending power to enforce standards on the market.

•    If everything goes as expected, we’ll see some convergence in the cloud standards world. This has happened before – such as with various networking standards.

•    There are some areas that are in dire need of standardization today. In particular, cloud computing security standards need to be implemented for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is compliance.

What is certain is this: the cloud is being used more and more by the day, and we’re quickly reaching a point where the need for these standards is truly critical.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.