The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has formed a group to establish global standards for interoperability and secure information exchange across cloud computing platforms.
The ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing will take a global view of standards activity in the field, creating new standards where necessary, to develop a global standard "cloud ecosystem".
Many enterprises, governments and network/service providers are now considering using cloud computing to streamline application deployment without paying up-front capital costs for servers and storage. There are daily announcements of cloud computing deployments, but interoperability is a problem, say experts.
At an ITU-hosted meeting of CTOs in October 2009 highlighted network capabilities as a particular area of concern. Services and applications that used cloud computing were felt to require new levels of flexibility in networks to accommodate unforeseen and elastic demands.
Chairman of the new focus group, Vladimir Belenkovich, said, "We will identify potential impacts in standards development in other fields, such as next generation networks, transport layer technologies, ICTs and climate change, and media coding."
Malcolm Johnson, director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau, said, "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."
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 standardisation.