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Monday, May 24, 2010

Experts task ITU on standardizing cloud computing

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been tasked with the standardization of cloud computing by members and leading chief technology officers (CTOs) in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This called was made by a set of experts in the newly constituted ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing in Geneva, which was formed to assist a global cloud computing ecosystem where interoperability facilitates secure information exchange across platforms.

ITRealms Online gathered that the group would also take a global view of standards activity in the field and define a future path for greatest efficiency, creating new standards where necessary while taking into account the work of others and proposing them for international standardization.

Whereas assuring worldwide interoperability, these experts said standardization of cloud computing is critical to reaping the benefits.

Director, ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Mr. Malcolm Johnson, noted that cloud computing speeds and streamlines application deployment without upfront capital costs for servers and storage, stressing that for this reason alone, many enterprises, governments and network cum service providers are now considering adopting cloud computing to provide more efficient and cost effective network services.

“Cloud is an exciting area of ICTs where there are a lot of protocols to be designed and standards to be adopted that will allow people to best manage their digital assets. Our new Focus Group aims to provide some much needed clarity in the area,” he said.

Commenting also, the Vice President, Research at Yankee Group, Camille Mendler, said that cloud computing deployments are being announced on an almost daily basis, pointing out that interoperability, is a challenges. “Cloud computing is the future of ICTs. It's urgent to address interoperability issues which could stall global diffusion of new services. Collaboration between private and public sectors is required, and ITU is ideally suited to facilitate productive dialogue,” Mendler said.

Chairman, ITU Focus Group on Cloud Computing, Vladimir Belenkovich, said that the group would investigate requirements for standardization in cloud computing and suggest future study paths for ITU.

“Specifically, we will identify potential impacts in standards development in other fields such as Next Generation Networks (NGN), transport layer technologies, ICTs and climate change, and media coding,” he said.

As outlined the first brief exploratory phase, he said, will determine standardization requirements and suggest how these may be addressed within ITU study groups and work will then begin on developing the standards necessary to support the global rollout of fully interoperable cloud computing solutions.

A recently published ITU-T Technology Watch Report titled ‘Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds’ describes the advent of clouds and grids, the applications they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.

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