Disclaimer: This is not an official meeting report The author is not an officer of this committee. He attended this meeting (on his own time and expense) as an observer representing IEEE ComSoc, where he is a full time volunteer.
The IEEE P2302 WG held its first meeting on Friday afternoon, July 15th in Santa Clara, CA. Approximately 16 people, including two IEEE Standards Association employees attended the meeting. There were two presentations and some discussion (much of it precipitated by this author). The Chairman of the IEEE Cloud Initiatives also spoke.
1. The scope, terms of reference, and problems to be solved were addressed in a presentation by WG Chair David Bernstein.
2. The goals, objectives and output whitepaper of the Japan based Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum (GICTF) was presented by Kenji Motohashi of NTT Data.
3. Steve Diamaond, IEEE Cloud Standards chairman hosted this meeting at the EMC Santa Clara facility. Steve welcomed the attendees and made a few concluding remarks about the near term work plan.
The proposed P2302 standard will define topology, functions, and governance for cloud-to-cloud interoperability and federation. Topological elements include clouds, roots, exchanges (which mediate governance between clouds), and gateways (which mediate data exchange between clouds). Functional elements include name spaces, presence, messaging, resource ontologies (including standardized units of measurement), and trust infrastructure. Governance elements include registration, geo-independence, trust anchor, and potentially compliance and audit. The standard does not address intra-cloud (within cloud) operation, as this is cloud implementation-specific, nor does it address proprietary hybrid-cloud implementations.
Scope: The working group will develop the Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation (SIIF). This standard defines topology, functions, and governance for cloud-to-cloud interoperability and federation. Topological elements include clouds, roots, exchanges (which mediate governance between clouds), and gateways (which mediate data exchange between clouds). Functional elements include name spaces, presence, messaging, resource ontologies (including standardized units of measurement), and trust infrastructure. Governance elements include registration, geo-independence, trust anchor, and potentially compliance and audit. The standard does not address intra-cloud (within cloud) operation, as this is cloud implementation-specific, nor does it address proprietary hybrid-cloud implementations.
Purpose: This standard creates an economy amongst cloud providers that is transparent to users and applications, which provides for a dynamic infrastructure that can support evolving business models. In addition to the technical issues, appropriate infrastructure for economic audit and settlement must exist.
P2302 WG web site: http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/2302/
David Bernstein’s Inter-Cloud Introduction presentation
David indicated an emerging view on inter-cloud would come from three types of organizations:
1 Standards organizations and industry associations/forums.
2. Research institute work and open source software organizations
3 Public test beds
Mr Bernstein cited an inter-cloud use case for storage roaming, where a client could gain access to “federated cloud” storage with the cloud storage provider synchronizing the data stored in the cloud(s) to the mobile access device.
A proposed Inter-Cloud Reference Network Topology was presented which focused on two cloud network elements: An inter-cloud route and inter-cloud exchange David said there was a lot of research work going on in this area. In response to a question of how meeting attendees could gain access to those related research papers, he said they are now on IEEE Explore, but would eventually be uploaded to the “IEEE P2302 Collaboration web site.” The timing for that was not specified, but a user ID and password will be required for access to those and other WG documents. It was noted that copyright agreements with the authors would be needed prior to uploading.
David noted that a “Registration and Trust Authority” for inter-cloud was urgently needed. It would interact with other similar authorities, e.g. IEEE or GICTF Registraion Authority. Trust architecture and functional elements also must be defined.
The need for a standardized Conversational Protocol between cloud gateway entitiies is also needed. David suggested that might be XMPP or perhaps SIP. No details were given for why those might be a good choice
A high level overview of the P2302 deliverable outputs was presented by David. He identified three Inter-cloud work items for this small WG:
1 Functional Overview and functional description of each inter-cloud network element
2 Specification of protocols and formats
3 Co-ordination of test beds and open source software activities
It was noted that there had not been much, if any, work done on these areas by other cloud computing SDOs. This author suggested compiling a list of relevant Cloud SDOs and the inter-cloud work they were doing. After evaluating that, it was suggested to request formal liaisons with said SDOs. A first cut at such a Cloud Computing SDO list is at:
Kenji Motohashi’s presentation on Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum (GICTF)
Motohashi-san stated that the goal of the GICTF was to promote global standardization of the “inter-cloud system.” It is expected that more workloads (and storage) will move from one cloud to another, yet be accessed by the same entity. Therefore, solid standards are needed for inter-cloud interfaces,
Note: The GICTF web site states: “We aim to promote standardization of network protocols and the interfaces through which cloud systems interwork with each other, and to enable the provision of more reliable cloud services than those available today.” http://www.gictf.jp/index_e.html
The first output of the GICTF was a white paper: Use Cases and Functional Requirements for Inter-Cloud Computing, August 9, 2010. It is available for free download at:
Kenji noted that proviioning, control, monitoring and auditing (for SLAs and billing) across multiple clouds were all urgently needed. Inter-cloud architecture and standardized interfaces must be defined/ specified. This will require a non-trivial set of problems to be solved by GICTF and related SDOs. Two that were mentioned were: OMG Telecom Cloud and NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap. Kenji thought that ITU-T FG might be a good organization to collaborate on inter-cloud, but he wasn’t up to date on the work they were doing (Mr Hiroshi Sakai of NTT attended the last FG Cloud meeting).
-Have a conference call in 2 weeks.
Author’s Note: Hopefully, the P2302 web site will be uploaded with: the 2 presentations made at this meeting, the relevant inter-cloud research documents alluded to, and the Chair’s July 15th meeting report (and/or meeting minutes from the Secretary) by then. And WG members will each receive a user name/password to access that content.
-Next f2f WG meeting will be in about 6 weeks. Dial in access (via the web) will be possible for those who can’t be physically present at the meeting. However, a meeting host is needed and no one in the room volunteered.
Observation and Closing Comment:
This meeting was scheduled for four hours, but it lasted less than two hours (it adjourned at 3:35pm but there was a 40 minute break). The agenda was not circulated in advance, there was no call for contributions, and Motohashi-san told us he only created his presentation the same day! There was a reference made to all the inter-cloud research/ papers presented at conferences, but no list of such papers was presented.
So there seems to be a huge mis-match between the amount of work that needs to be done with the very little that was accomplished at this first P2302 meeting. It seemed almost like an attempt to identify the problem set, but not seriously undertake the solution (which would involve a tremendous amount of work and colloboration with other SDOs).
It appeared that the majority of attendees at this meeting were curiosity seekers rather than folks that had a desire to contribute to the huge standards project sketched out. In particular, the major Cloud vendors (Amazon, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, etc) were either silent or not present (the attendence list was not available to the attendees). I don’t believe the P2302 Chairman or the IEEE Cloud Initiative Chairman recognize the “heavy lifting” type of work that has to be done Or the time consuming process of liaising with other like minded standards organizations. Unless there is a huge uptake in dedicated delegates concurrent with more aggressive leadership and organization, this standards initiative will fall by the wayside.