What is 'cloud computing'? That's what the federal government needs to determine as it aggressively pursues this strategy to cut costs and improve the flexibility of its agencies.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plans to issue a first draft of a “Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap” by the end of fiscal 2011, intended to provide agencies with a single, standardized process for cloud adoption and management, Fierce Government IT reports.
The US federal government now has an active policy to put cloud-based options before on-site software and systems options in new IT purchasing. But moving to cloud options could potentially be even more chaotic than the existing huge $80-billion annual patchwork of federal IT purchases.
The NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap Working Group is spearheading this effort. The goal of the working group and roadmap is to “survey the existing standards landscape for security, portability, and interoperability standards/models/studies/etc. relevant to cloud computing, determine standards gaps, and identify standardization priorities.”
Standards and definitions the working group will likely include in the roadmap include the following:
Functional areas to be addressed in the roadmap include the following:
In addition, the US General Services Administration, the purchasing arm of the federal government, says it intends to release, by summer, the first version of FedRAMP — which provides common security and monitoring services for cloud services to help agencies avoid guesswork.