The IEEE has kicked off two projects aimed at creating cloud computing standards that support the ability to move data between providers.
The draft guides for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles (P2301) and the Intercloud Interoperability and Federation (P2302) pick up on recent comments by “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf that data simply cannot be transported between clouds.
Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and Google clouds shared similar characteristics, said Cert, but could not communicate with each other.
“The first problem is that no cloud knows about any other cloud. It doesn’t even know how to say ‘move it from cloud A to cloud B’,” he said at a Stanford Research Institute meeting in January.
The Internet faced the same problem in 1973 when different networks lacked a common language to communicate, he said.
Steve Diamond, chair, IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative echoed Cert's comments on Monday, adding that “without a flexible, common framework for interoperability, innovation [cloud computing] could become stifled, leaving us with a siloed ecosystem.”
The European Commission’s digital agenda vice president Neelie Kroes recently made it clear she wanted cloud vendors to allow customers to easily move data and services, while the Commission would work on legal obstacles to cloud computing in Europe.
The IEEE’s Intercloud working group will attempt to define “topology, functions and governance for cloud to cloud interoperability and federation”, covering standard units of measurements for resources, how data is exchanged and “trust” infrastructure for the exchange of data. It will not deal with how a cloud operates internally or proprietary or hybrid clouds.
The group's cloud profiles guide will cover standards-based interfaces for applications, portability, management and interoperability, file formats and operation conventions.
Cerf said it took ten years to develop and implement standards for the internet, but guessed the "intercloud" problem could be solved in five years.