On April 4th, IEEE announced the launch of its new Cloud Computing draft standards. Designed to serve as the catalyst for innovation in the cloud computing arena, it is claimed to be “the first broad-scope, forward-looking cloud computing initiative to be put forth by a global standards development organization (SDO).” These two Cloud standards development projects are being undertaken by two new IEEE Working Groups sponsored by IEEE Computer Society (ComSoc has no jurisdiction or official role):

  • IEEE P2301™  Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles

  • IEEE P2302™  Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation

IEEE P2301 is to provide a road map for cloud vendors, service providers, and other key cloud providers for use in their cloud environments. If IEEE P2301 is a solid, widely adopted standard, it could aid users in procuring, developing, building, and using standards-based cloud computing products and services.  Th the objective would be to enable portability, increased commonality, and interoperability.

IEEE P2302 is to define the topology, protocols, functionality, and governance required to support cloud-to-cloud interoperability.  We hope this includes the Network to Network Interface (NNI) for Private to Pubic, Private to Private, and Public to Public Clouds.  That would enable different Cloud provider networks to be interconnected in a standardized way.  It is an area that we think IEEE should liaise with ITU-T FG Cloud (see Closing Comments below).

“Since its inception, the Internet has gone through radical changes driven by the twin engines of continued technology advancement and evolving user expectations,” said Steve Diamond, chair, IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative. “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. By leveraging its uniquely deep and broad technological resources and expertise, IEEE is helping to minimize fragmentation and ensure that cloud computing realizes its full potential.” 

“Cloud computing will change everything. It is one of the three aspects of the ‘perfect storm’ of technology waves currently sweeping across humanity, the other two being massive deployment of very smart mobile devices, and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity,” said David Bernstein, IEEE P2301 and IEEE P2302 WG chair, and managing director, Cloud Strategy Partners. “The cloud will tie all of these coming advancements together. We’re truly embarking on a new age of innovation.”

“IEEE is in a uniquely powerful position to impact and shape the face of the burgeoning cloud computing revolution. Driven by a membership dedicated to technology innovation, IEEE continues to set the pace and methodology for contemporary standards development,” said Judith Gorman, managing director, IEEE-SA. “These newest standards will not only follow the consensus-based process championed by IEEE, but will also leverage the latest in technology development best practices, such as live global test beds and open source references. Cloud computing will showcase our ability to deliver exceptional, universally relevant standards created with these leading edge methodologies.”

For more information about IEEE P2301 and IEEE P2302, which are sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society , or to join their respective WGs, please visit the IEEE P2031 page and the IEEE P2032 page.

More information at:

Another Opinion:

Infoworld is quite skeptical in an article titled:  IEEE’s cloud portability project: A fool’s errand?

” I have my doubts that anything useful will come out of the IEEE efforts in any reasonable timeframe. The other standards groups involved in cloud computing have found that many of the cloud providers are more concerned with driving into a quickly emerging market and being purchased for high multiples than about using standards.”

Closing Comments:   

So far there’s been no single standards making body or forum that has defined any Cloud Computing standards/ specifications that have been implemented by Cloud Service Providers.  Will this IEEE inititative be any different?  In our opinion, IEEE has not been serious about Cloud Computing (till now) and is starting its two Cloud draft standards very late compared to other organizations.  Note this article pubished 11 months ago references a call for interest in the IEEE Cloud Computing Study Group:

Despite over one year of deliberations, the detailed scope for either of the two Cloud  Working Groups haven’t been defined yet.  The network aspects of Cloud have only been addressed by the ITU-T Focus Group, which is meeting this week in Geneva (see previous articles summarizing their work).  They are discussing over 30 contributions!  We hope that  ITU-T and IEEE can work together and collaborate effectively on Cloud Computing standards, especially the interoperability aspects of IEEE P2302?   However, no IEEE representative has been attending ITU-T FG Cloud meetings.

Nonetheless, we hope that IEEE’s Cloud standards will be successful and not just paper tigers!