IEEE prepares regulations for the cloud

The IEEE has announced that it will launch a new initiative which will aim to put in place a global set of standards for cloud computing.

According to the organisation, its Cloud Computing Initiative will be the first “broad-scope, forward-looking” scheme for cloud computing put forward by a standards development organisation (SDO).

The standards will be put forth in two standards development projects, IEEE P2301 and P2302, with the general aim of providing existing and in-progress standards in a number of important areas such as application, portability, management, interoperability interfaces, file formats and operation conventions.

Steve Diamond, leading the proposals at IEEE, believes that just as the early internet caused an upheaval in the way information was transformed, the cloud is similarly “disruptive technology and business model that is primed for explosive growth and rapid transformation”.

Diamond believes that to harness the potential of the cloud, and to ensure that its predicted proliferation as a fundamental tool works as planned, it is absolutely vital that a set of standards are put in place, stating that “without a flexible, common framework for interoperability,” innovation could become stifled.

The P2301 standards will provide an “intuitive roadmap” for firms such as HP, which is beginning to roll out cloud services, though with a steady approach that seeks to slowly move business over the technology which is in its infancy as far as uptake goes.

It is hoped that the P2301 standards give more clarity to users over what they are buying into as the move to cloud computing gathers pace.

P2302 meanwhile will define protocols and functionality that are required to enable the cloud-to-cloud interoperability demanded by users, which it claims will have the effect that for example, naming and routing protocols did for the internet.

Of course, how restrictive the regulations being put together by the IEEE will be is yet to be seen, though there has been talk in some quarters that an over regulated system would not be beneficial.

What is for sure is with giants such as IBM and Microsoft throwing their considerable weight behind cloud technologies and services, with Microsoft released details of responses among business leaders to cloud implementation today, the mass migration to cloud, and the potential need for regulation, will be happening sooner rather than later.