Cloud Computing Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and their output documents

At the recently concluded IEEE P2302 Inter-Cloud Interoperability Working Group meeting, it was noted that there are many SDOs working on cloud computing whitepapers, standards and specifications. The P2302 WG is interested in those that are addressing inter-cloud aspects including communications, policy, protocols, or security for potential collaboration.  Inter-cloud scenarios include: public to public, public to private (and vice-versa), private to private cloud interconnections for both computing and storage.

Here is an incomplete list of Cloud Computing SDOs along with their output documents and work in progress:

NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology

Cloud Computing Project: NIST’s role in cloud computing is to promote the effective and secure use of the technology within government and industry by providing technical guidance and promoting standards.


-NIST definition of Cloud Computing   v15  2009-10
-NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap  Working draft – 12th  2011.05-24


Distributed Application Platforms and Services: Study group on Cloud Computing is addressing:

-Terms of Reference of Study Group on Cloud computing :

-Provide a taxonomy, terminology and value proposition for Cloud Computing

-Assess the current state of standardization in Cloud Computing within JTC 1 and in other SDOs and consortia -beginning with document JTC 1 N 9687.

-Document standardization market/business/user requirements and the challenges to be addressed.

-Liaise and collaborate with relevant SDOs and consortia related to Cloud Computing

-Hold open meetings to gather requirements as needed from a wide range of interested organizations.

-Provide a report of activities and recommendations to SC 38 including: reviewing current concepts, characteristics, definitions, use cases, reference architecture, types and components used in Cloud Computing; a comparison of Cloud Computing to related technologies; analysing standardization activities for Cloud Computing in other standards organizations.

Output:  Draft Study Group on Cloud Computing report  V.2  2011-05

Cloud Computing Use Case Discussion Group
This open discussion group exists to define use cases for cloud computing. Theyare considering: Definitions and Taxonomy, Use Case Scenarios, Customer Scenarios, Developer Requirements, Security Scenarios & use cases and recommendations for SLAs.

Output:  Cloud Computing Use Case whitepaper v4 July 2010  

Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum (GICTF)

This Japan based forum is trying to promote standardization of network protocols and the interfaces through which cloud systems inter-work with each other, and to enable the provision of more reliable cloud services

Output:   Use cases and Functional Requirements for Inter-Cloud Computing  White paper  v1  2010-08

ETSI Cloud

In June 2006 ETSI technical committee  GRID was created and held its first meeting in September.
TC GRID’s task is to address issues associated with the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications, paying particular attention initially to the lack of interoperable Grid solutions in situations which involve contributions from both the IT and telecommunications industries.

In 2008, TC GRID undertook a survey of existing stakeholders in the Grid domain, for which the European Commission (EC) provided financial support. A test frame for Grid standards is being developed in collaboration with ETSI’s Centre for Testing & Interoperability (CTI).

There is also an increasing interest in addressing the convergence between ETSI technical committees GRID and TISPAN (Telecommunication and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking).


-Use Cases for Cloud Service Scenarios  Technical Report  (TR) v1  2010-2011

-Standardization requirements for cloud services (ETSI TR102 997)  TR  v1  2010-2011

Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)

DMTF is a not-for-profit association of industry members dedicated to promoting enterprise and systems management and interoperability. One of the key standards it maintained is the Common Information Model (CIM) .

 -Use cases and interactions for Managing Clouds DSP-IP0103 2010-6-18

 -Interoperable Clouds (DSP-IS0101)  White paper  v1.0.0  2009-11-11

 -Architecture for Managing Clouds(DSP-IS0102)  White paper  v1.0.0  2010-6-18
 -Cloud Management Interface Requirements on Protocol, Operations, Security & Message Specification  v1.0.0

  -Cloud Service Management Models  Specification  v.1.0.0  At the latest by 2011-12-31

  -Open Virtualization Format (DSP0243) Standard v1.0 2009- Feb

  -August 2010, DeltaCloud API specification for Apache Delta cloud has been submitted to the DMTF to be an candidate standard for inter-cloud operations.

CSA Cloud Security Alliance

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and to provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The Cloud Security Alliance is led by a broad coalition of industry practitioners, corporations, associations and other key stakeholders.


-Top Threats to Cloud Computing  White paper  v1.0  2010-03
-Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing  White paper  v3  Q4 2011
-CSA Cloud Control Matrix Trusted Cloud Initiative  Controls framework  v1.1  2011-2
-Trusted Cloud Initiative  Certification  v1  Q4 2010
-Cloud audit / cloud trust protocols  white paper  v1  Q4 2011

Telecommunications Management Forum (TMF)

 The primary objective of TM Forum’s Managing Cloud Services Initiative is help the industry overcome these barriers and assist the growth of a vibrant commercial marketplace for cloud based services. In May, 2010, TMF released TMF523 Single Sign-On and Single Sign-Off for the OSS World Release 1.0 including SSO business scenarios and use cases in a Cloud Computing Environment.

TMF is currently working on the cloud services management to cover:

-Cloud Business Process Framework

-Cloud Service Definitions

-Cloud Billing Interest Group


-Managing Cloud Services SLA  v1  2010-2011
-Single Sign-On Business Agreement  V0.10  2010-05

Open Grid Forum (OGF)

he Open Cloud Computing Interface working group (OCCI-WG) of the OGF was established in 2009. The purpose of this group is the creation of a practical solution to interface with Cloud infrastructures exposed as a service (IaaS). It focuses on the creation of an API for interfacing “IaaS” Cloud computing facilities, which is sufficiently complete as to allow for the creation of interoperable implementations.

Output:  Open Cloud Computing Interface Specification  2009-09

Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)

The common goal of the SNIA is to promote acceptance, deployment, and confidence in storage-related architectures, systems, services, and technologies, across IT and business communities.


-Cloud Data Management Interface CDMI standard  v1.0  2010-04

This specification defines an interface for interoperable transfer and management of data in a cloud storage environment. This interface provides the means to access cloud storage and to manage the data stored there.

-Storage Management Technical Specification  Standard  V.1.5  2010-12
-Cloud Storage for Cloud Computing  White paper  V 1.0  2009-09
-Managing Data Storage in the Public Cloud  White paper  V 1.0  2009-10

OASIS: Identity in the Cloud Technical Committee (TC)

The OASIS IDCloud (Identity in the Cloud) TC works to address the serious security challenges posed by identity management in cloud computing and gaps in existing standards. The purpose of the TC is to harmonize definitions/terminologies/vocabulary of Identity in the context of Cloud Computing; to identify and define use cases and profiles; and to identify gaps in existing Identity Management standards as they apply in the cloud.

IETF Cloud Draft Status (as of IETF-80 meeting)
The following list includes some Cloud related IETF drafts (some have not yet official status). This list will be updated at next meeting based on the official status of all relevant drafts.

-Requirements and Framework for VPN‐Oriented Cloud Services

Scope: to addresses the service providers’ requirements to support VPN-Oriented Cloud services.

-Network Abstraction for Enterprise and SP Class Cloud

Scope: to introduce a network related Cloud abstraction called the Seamless Cloud, which facilitates secure and seamless extension of an enterprise (Intranet) into an enterprise and SP grade Cloud.

-Protocol Considerations for Workload Mobility in Clouds

Scope: to consider the migration of application, OS, compute, storage and policy (workloads) within and between service provider, enterprise or 3rd party data centers.

-Virtual Network Management Information Model

Scope: to provide an example of the XML-based data model that is implemented according to the proposed information model.

-Syslog Extension for Cloud. Abstract:

Scope: to provide an open and extensible log format to be used by any cloud entity or cloud application to log and trace activities that occur in the cloud. It is equally applicable for cloud infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) services.

-Cloud Service Broker.

Scope: to introduce a Cloud Service Broker (CSB) entity to provide brokering service between different Cloud Service Providers which can be based on private cloud, community cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud.

-Cloud Reference Framework.

Scope: to present Intra-cloud and inter-cloud a reference framework for Cloud Services, based on the survey of Cloud-based systems and services.

-Service Management for Virtualized Networks .

Scope:  to provide the reference model for service mobility in a virtual environment and defines the control protocol between the virtualized platform and the managing controller to realize service mobility.

Virtual Network Research Group (VNRG)

In the network community, “Virtual Networks” is a very broad term, including running multiple wavelengths over a fiber, MPLS, virtual routers, and overlay systems. VN technologies are widely used in parts of the Internet and other IP-based networks, but the community lacks a common understanding of the impact of virtualized networks on IP networking, or how VNs are best utilized. As a result, virtualization has been difficult to integrate across various systems, such as network operators, vendors, service providers and testbed providers (e.g., GENI, FEDERICA, etc).

One current challenge with existing VN systems is the development of incompatible or competing networking techniques in the Internet, causing deployment issues in the future (or even now). For instance, there are numerous ways to virtualize routers and their internal resources (e.g., multiple, isolated routing and forwarding tables) and to virtualize core networks (e.g. MPLS, LISP), but the end host virtualization has not been addressed (e.g., beyond the need for virtual interfaces). Few virtual network systems allow a particular virtual machine in an end host to control its attachment to a specific private network. End host virtualization architecture also determines whether virtualization is per virtual machine, per process, or per connection – and this difference can determine exactly how the end host can participate in VNs. Similar issues arise for virtual services, virtual links, etc.

The VNRG builds on the efforts of a number of IETF WGs, including encapsulated subnets (LISP at layer 3, TRILL at layer 2), subnet virtualization (PPVPN, L3VPN, L2VPN), and aspects of managing virtual components (VRRP), as well as some work in more general areas, notably on tunnels (INTAREA). A side effect of the VNRG is to help place these contributions in a broader context.

The Virtual Networks Research Group (VNRG) will consider the whole system of a VN and not only single components or a limited set of components; we will identify architectural challenges resulting from VNs, addressing network management of VNs, and exploring emerging technological and implementation issues.

Initial set of work items:

  • concepts/background/terminology
  • common parts of VN architectures
  • common problems/challenges in VN
  • descriptions of appropriate uses
  • some solutions (per-problem perhaps)

The VNRG will initially focus on VNs but at a later stage the VNRG will also be open to related topics, such as system virtualization.

Alliiance for Telecommunications Industry Standardization (ATIS)

Creation of Cloud Services Forum (CSF) focusing on Cloud, Cloud Peering and the “inter-cloud”. This Forum was established with the intent to deliver a data model supporting 5 key service enablers across use cases which drive “inter-cloud” demand (UNI, NNI, Security, Provider & Customer Management)

Started two working groups on cloud portability and Intercloud interoperability.There are two new standards projects:

-IEEE P2301™, Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles, and

-IEEE P2302™, Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation.

Unofficial report of the July 15, 2011 P2302 meeting is at:

Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA)

The ODCA is an independent IT consortium comprised of global IT leaders who have come together to provide a unified customer vision for long-term data center requirements. One of the ODCA mission is to collaborate with industry standards bodies to define required industry standard development aligned with Alliance priorities.

ODCA has delivered the first customer requirements for cloud computing documented in eight Open Data Center Usage Models which identify member prioritized requirements to resolve the most pressing challenges facing cloud adoption.

The Green Grid (TTG)

TTG is a global consortium of IT companies and professionals seeking to improve energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems around the globe. The organization seeks to unite global industry efforts to standardize on a common set of metrics, processes, methods and new technologies to further its common goals. The PUE (power usage effectiveness) and DCIE (datacenter infrastructure efficiency) metrics are most famous and generally accepted. TGG is currently developing CUE (Carbon Usage Effectiveness) and WUE (Water Usage Effectiveness) metrics for promoting eco-friendly datacenter.


Output:  Impact of virtualization on data center physical infrastructure  White Paper  2010-1-27

The Open Group

The Open Group Cloud Work Group exists to create a common understanding among buyers and suppliers of how enterprises of all sizes and scales of operation can include Cloud Computing technology in a safe and secure way in their architectures to realize its significant cost, scalability and agility benefits.



-Building Return on Investment from Cloud Computing White paper V1.0 2010-04

-Cloud Computing Business Scenario Workshop Workshop report V1.0 2009-08

ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud)


The ITU FG Cloud will 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.

ITU-T TSAG is the parent group of this Focus Group.

Editors Note:  This author has written reports of all the ITU-T FG Cloud meetings for ComSoc Community readers.  Scroll down the blogs or do a Google search on: “ITU FG Cloud  Alan J Weissberger”

I’m sure there are other SDOs and research institute’s working on Cloud Computing specifications.  Please be good enough to either comment below or email this author ([email protected]) to update the above list.

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