New ITU-T Focus Group May Set Framework for Cloud Computing

Introduction- The need for Cloud Computing Standards
 
Cloud computing deployments are being announced on an almost daily basis.  Cloud computing speeds and streamlines application deployment without upfront capital costs for servers and storage. For this reason, many enterprises, governments and network/service providers are now considering adopting cloud computing to provide more efficient and cost effective network services.  The venture capital firm, the Sand Hill Group, has concluded that cloud computing represents one of the largest new investment opportunities on the horizon.  The Cloud  Computing market is forecast to be very big by IDC, Gartner Group, andother market research firms.  But there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the service delivery method and lack of interoperability.  And there are no solid standards for Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service or Software as a Service. This results in difficulties in exchanging information between cloud service providers and for users that change providers.  It may also present a problem when bursting between a private cloud and different public clouds.  Interoperability facilitates secure information exchange across platforms.

Camille Mendler, Vice President of Research at Yankee Group: “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..”    That lack of interoperability is a huge problem, was highlighted at the recent Cloud Connect Conference (in Santa Clara, CA in March).  It was a very sobering experience for this author.  At the conference, it was revealed that there was no umbrella set of standards for cloud computing and no single standards body claims ownership of comprehensive cloud computing specifications.  IBM's VP of Cloud Services Ric Telford was asked what he thought about the huge growth forecast for cloud computing.  Mr. Telford said: "I have no problem with those numbers (40% in three years; 70% in five) as long as you include the caveat, it could be any one of five delivery models."  So the industry needs to define and standardize on those methods of delivering cloud services and applications to users, he said.

ITU-T Establishes Cloud Computing Focus Group

A new ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing has been formed to enable a global cloud computing ecosystem where interoperability facilitates secure information exchange across platforms. The group will take a global view of standards activity in the field and will define a future path for greatest efficiency, creating new standards where necessary while also taking into account the work of others and proposing them for international standardization.

Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, said: “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.”   The new ITU-T Cloud Focus group will take a global view of standards activity in the field and will define a future path for greatest efficiency, creating new standards where necessary while also taking into account the work of others and proposing them for international standardization.

ITU-T study groups were invited to accelerate their work on cloud at the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (Lisbon, 2009) and at an ITU-hosted meeting of CTOs in October 2009. The CTOs highlighted network capabilities as a particular area of concern, where increased services and applications using cloud computing may result in the need for new levels of flexibility in networks to accommodate unforeseen and elastic demands.

Vladimir Belenkovich, Chairman of the ITU Focus Group on Cloud Computing: “The Focus Group will 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 NGN, transport layer technologies, ICTs and climate change, and media coding.”

A first brief exploratory phase will determine standardization requirements and suggest how these may be addressed within ITU study groups. Work will then quickly begin on developing the standards necessary to support the global rollout of fully interoperable cloud computing solutions. The Focus Group will, from the standardization view points and within the competences of ITU-T, contribute with the telecommunication aspects, i.e., the transport via telecommunications networks, security aspects of telecommunications, service requirements, etc., in order to support services/applications of “cloud computing” making use of telecommunication networks; specifically:

  • identify potential impacts on standards development and priorities for standards needed to promote and facilitate telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing
  • investigate the need for future study items for fixed and mobile networks in the scope of ITU-T
  • analyze which components would benefit most from interoperability and standardization
  • familiarize ITU-T and standardization communities with emerging attributes and challenges of telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing
  • analyze the rate of change for cloud computing attributes, functions and features for the purpose of assessing the appropriate timing of standardization of telecommunication/ICT in support of cloud computing

The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide cloud computing communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.  First meeting of the FG Cloud is  14-16 June 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland.  ITU-T TSAG is the parent group of this Focus Group.

For further information please, please refer to the ITU-T web site:

http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/newslog/ITU+Group+To+Offer+Global+View+Of+Cloud+Standardization.aspx

http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/focusgroups/cloud/

Backgrounder:

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.

Conclusions:

While I knew cloud computing was way overhyped, I thought that there was one or more standardards organizations that claimed ownership.  I also thought that all the functional requirements and specifications done for grids, web services, and SOA (e.g. distributed management, federation, SLA requests and validation,etc) would not have to be re-invented and redone for clouds.  Wow, that'll be a huge undertaking.   Which standards organization might step in to fill this void?

Without a set of unified cloud computing standards, it's my belief that for at least the next five years, each cloud provider will define its own set of user interfaces, SLAs, performance parameters, security methods, etc.  The more cloud providers, the more chaos and confusion will reign.  Therefore, we believe an urgent, accelerated standards effort is needed for (at least) the network aspects of cloud computing, e.g. UNI and NNI, SLAs and validation/compliance.  I would've thought by now that the major players would've gotten together to create such an organization or combine several interested standards bodies/forums/alliances to make one.  We hope that ITU-T be the standards organization to set the reference network architecture for cloud computing.  Other standards bodies and/or forums will be needed to provide the computing framework and related standards.
 
Note that this author is an ITU-T member and has access to all documents, including contributions and meeting reports for the Cloud Computing Focus Group.  Please contact me if your organization might be interested in a consulting arrangement to monitor or research this new activity.
 
ITU-T contacts:

Sarah Parkes                                                                          
Senior Media Relations Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 6135
Mobile: +41 79 599 1439
E-mail: pressinfo@itu.int                                                                              

Toby Johnson
Senior Communications Officer
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 5877
Mobile: +41 79 249 4868
E-mail: toby.johnson@itu.int

0 thoughts on “New ITU-T Focus Group May Set Framework for Cloud Computing

  1. IEEE ComSoc-SCV will be sponsoring a free cloud computing seminar on July 14th in Santa Clara.  Details to be posted on http://www.comsocscv.org.  The event will be co-sponsored/ co-promoted by IEEE Computer Society.  We have confirmed speakers from VMWare and Ericssion and are waiting for confirmation from a 3rd invited speaker.

  2. Terms of Reference for ITU Cloud Focus Group (FG):

    Scope

    The Focus Group, established in accordance with Recommendation ITU-T A.7 will, from the standardization view points and within the competences of ITU-T, contribute with the telecommunication aspects, i.e. the transport via telecommunications networks, security aspects of telecommunications, service requirements, etc., in order to support services/applications of “cloud computing” making use of telecommunication networks; specifically:

    identify potential impacts on standards development and priorities for standards needed to promote and facilitate telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing

    investigate the need for future study items for fixed and mobile networks in the scope of ITU T

    analyze which components would benefit most from interoperability and standardization

    familiarize ITU-T and standardization communities with emerging attributes and challenges of telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing

    analyze the rate of change for cloud computing attributes, functions and features for the purpose of assessing the appropriate timing of standardization of telecommunication/ICT in support of cloud computing

    The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide cloud computing communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.

    Rationale

    According to the agreement of the fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (Lisbon, 2009) and the October 2009 meeting of the high level industry representatives (WTSA Resolution 68), ITU-T study groups were invited to accelerate their work related to cloud and grid computing, noting that increased services and applications using cloud and grid computing may result in the need for new levels of flexibility in networks to accommodate unforeseen and elastic demands. Also, 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.
    Cloud computing involves a new "as a Service" delivery models for:

    Infrastructure "IaaS" (virtualization, data center, servers, storage, networking…)

    Platforms "PaaS" (on demand management, information system, security…)

    Software "SaaS" (applications…)

    Cloud computing may offer several key benefits that effectively relate to economics. Applications might be deployed faster and simpler without upfront capital costs for servers and storage. For this reason, many enterprises, governments and network/service providers in the world are now considering to adopt cloud computing into their services in order to provide more efficient and cost effective network services.
    The Focus Group will interact with these various activities in order to familiarize ITU-T with emerging aspects of cloud computing, in particular with the view of possible requirements on telecommunication/ICT.
    It is to be noted that already there are many examples of cloud computing service offerings available.

    FG objective

    The objective of the Focus Group is to collect and document information and concepts that would be helpful for developing Recommendations to support cloud computing services/applications from a telecommunication/ICT perspective. To achieve this objective, the Focus Group will

    update living list of standards bodies, forums and consortia dealing with aspects of “cloud computing”

    gather new ideas relevant to and identify potential study areas to support cloud computing

    collect visions and value propositions for cloud computing in terms of telecommunication/ICT

    provide terminology and taxonomy for cloud computing and reuse existing terminology and taxonomy as far as possible

    assess stability and timing of cloud computing implications on telecommunication/ICT networking requirements

    analyze telecommunication/ICT networking requirements functions and capabilities to support cloud computing services/applications.

    suggest future ITU-T study items and related actions

    identify potential impacts on standards development within the scope of the ITU-T, e.g., for

    – NGN including mobile and overlaying platforms
    – Transport layer technologies
    – Terminals and application aspects over integrated broadband cable and television networks
    – ICT and climate change
    – Management and control including signalling
    – Interface of networks and Interoperability
    – QoS and security
    – Distributed media-rich processing and intelligent media coding
    – Identity management

    Relations within and outside ITU-T

    The FG should work in close collaboration with all ITU-T study groups (e.g., through collocated meetings, see clause 11), for instance on the coordination of respective work programmes in order to avoid duplication and overlap of work, and on the coordination of seminars and workshops according to Recommendation ITU-T A.31.
    The FG will also cooperate and coordinate its work with the other ITU sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D), and with other relevant bodies outside ITU-T (universities, research institutes, SDOs, forums/consortia, regulators, policy-makers) in accordance with Recommendation ITU-T A.7.
    Special attention will be paid to collaboration with SDOs and the cloud computing sector.
    ISO/IEC/JTC 1/SC 38/Study Group on Cloud Computing is of particular relevance for this Focus Group.

    Specific tasks and deliverables

    Benefits of cloud computing from telecommunication/ICT perspectives

    Gap analysis of ITU-T standards for telecommunication/ICT to support cloud computing

    Collect and summarize vision and value propositions of cloud computing with a focus on telecommunication/ICT aspects

    Leverage expertise within the ITU-T in building telecom networks to take advantage of cloud concepts and capabilities

    Contribute in this regard to the studies undertaken in response to WTSA Resolution 73 (ICTs and Climate Change) and Council Resolution 1307 (ICTs and Climate Change).

    Terminology and taxonomy and to develop new definition when necessary

    Analysis of telecommunication/ICT networking requirements functions and capabilities to support cloud computing services/applications (for both fixed and mobile)

    Use cases of services and reference models for telecommunication/ICT to support cloud computing

    Roadmap to guide further developments of relevant ITU-T Recommendations.

  3. I strongly believe the WAN aspects of cloud computing have been severely neglected There are several components:
    1. Enterprise access to an off prem data center in the cloud. My recommendation would be Metro Ethernet/ Carrier Ethernet: n x DS1, n x DSL, or fiber based PHY layer. But what about higher layers: Ethernet VPLS, Ethernet Private Line/Virtual Private Line, IP VPN (this is what most folks expect).
    2. Mobile access to the cloud (will become increasingly important as more workers use mobile computing. Ericsson will cover this at our meeting
    3. Network to Network (NNI) for:
    a] private cloud to public cloud providers
    b] public cloud to public cloud providers
    4. QoS and SLAs: Static or dynamic? If dynamic- request/grant or negotiable? Who will monitor QoS/ SLA compliance? Independent performance measurements?
    IEEE Comsoc and Computer will have a cloud seminar on July 14. Details at: wwww.comsocscv.org

  4. Final list of documents for ITU Cloud FG Meeting of 14-16 June 2010
    i-0001 Chair Draft meeting agenda
    i-0002 TSB Draft FG Cloud working methods and procedures 
    i-0003 Chair FG Cloud structure and Working Groups mandate 
    i-0004 Chair Proposed list of deliverables  
    i-0005 TSAG Terms of Reference of ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing 
    i-0006 TSB Repository on activities in Cloud Computing Standardization (Version 1.1, June 2010)  
    i-0007 Cisco  Cloud Cross SDO Work and Alliances Source   
    i-0008 CCF  Updated texts of CCF on Activities in Cloud Computing Standardization Repository  
    i-0009 KCSA   Proposal on the updated texts of KCSA in Cloud Computing Repository
    I-0010 FG Vice-chair, M. Morrow Network Virtualization-Cloud Management and Inter-Cloud  
    i-0011 FG Vice-chair, J. Chawki Cloud Computing and XaaS Standard analysis  
    i-0012 ZTE Corporation Proposal on Cloud Computing Platform Layered Model  
    i-0013 ZTE Corporation Proposed WI on Telco Cloud Service Management
    i-0014 ZTE Corporation Use Cases of Telco Cloud Computing Platform  
    i-0015 UQAM IMS virtualization in MVNO context 
    i-0015 Add 1 
    i-0016 TM Forum Cloud Services Initiative: Bringing buyers & sellers together to remove barriers  
    i-0017 CERN Expression of Interest to FG Cloud activities  
    i-0018 FG Vice-chair, K. Nakao Proposed Way to discuss for Cloud Security  
    i-0019 FG Vice-chair, K. Lee Toward Mobile Cloud 
    i-0020 Standardization Committee for Vocabulary Guidance on creating terms and definitions  
    i-0021 TSB Provisional list of participants  
    i-0021 Rev.1 TSB  Final list of participants 
    i-0022 FG Vice-chair, K. Nakao Cloud Security  
    i-0023 CSA Cloud Security Alliance: Our role in the Future of Cloud Computing  
    i-0024 ISO/IEC JTC 1 SGCC Study Group on Cloud computing  
    i-0025 Invited expert Some personal inputs for consideration at this first FG Cloud meeting  
    i-0026 GICTF Introduction to Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum (GICTF) and its Roadmaps
     

  5. Cloud provisioning – like 25 years ago – raises multiple national/cyber security, competition, and other public policy mandates that will almost certainly be the basis for determining provisioning arrangements.  The technology can accommodate almost anything.
    Monique Morrow said:  WRT Japan and the concept of ïnter-cloud":

    http://www.gictf.jp/background_e.html

     

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.