April 6, 2011 – Standards development organization IEEE is launching working groups and projects toward a unified framework with cloud computing that organization officials say will spur innovation in the quickly expanding field.

IEEE’s Cloud Computing Initiative starts with two new standards development projects, led by working groups of members from the technical professional association. One project is a draft guide for cloud portability that would provide a roadmap of industry products, services and interoperability and a draft standard for intercloud interoperability and federation. The second project is a draft standard to define topology, protocols, functionality and governance required for solid cloud-to-cloud operations and federation, which the organization said will offer business model support and transparency.

Steve Diamond, chair of IEEE’s cloud initiative, said in a news release that the goal of his group’s standards would be to minimize fragmentation as cloud capabilities and deployment develop.

“Cloud computing today is very much akin to the nascent Internet – a disruptive technology and business model that is primed for explosive growth and rapid transformation. But without a flexible, common framework for interoperability, innovation could become stifled, leaving us with a siloed ecosystem,” Diamond said.

In the last seven months, three other high-profile factions have announced attempts at standardization, including Intel, agencies under the direction of the Obama administration and a group of the major tech vendors.  Dan Kusnetzky, founder and analyst of Kusnetzky Group LLC, said proposals like those from IEEE and other organizations are following a historical trend of standards that lag behind explosive innovation, as has happened with cloud computing.

“Once standards are debated, approved and finally released, it will take a while for suppliers of products and services to adopt them. It is likely that this will have little impact on the market for cloud computing services for 3 to 5 years,” says Kusnetzky, who specializes in cloud and virtualization analysis at his consultancy.

To review more on IEEE’s plans and initial working groups, click here.

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