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IEEE's new cloud tesbed group will complement its Cloud Computing Innovation Council in India, and work on IEEE P2302

IEEE’s new cloud tesbed group will complement its Cloud Computing Innovation Council in India, and work on IEEE P2302

In an effort to standardise how clouds interoperate and federate with one another the IEEE has put together an intercloud tesbed, which the international standards development organisation says will help the industry develop standard methodologies for cloud-to-cloud internetworking.

Orange, 6fusion, Cloudscaling, Telxx Group, Juniper Networks and DOCOMO Innovations are among the 21 founding members of the interoperability testbed.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) said the new initiative will complement existing cloud standard development efforts and members of the testbed group will also assist in the development of the forthcoming IEEE P2302 standard for interoperable cloud federation, and the organisations recently established Cloud Computing Innovation Council in India. The group will focus on network-to-network interfaces in order to develop a standard federated network architecture that will allow different cloud service providers to connect their clouds.

The IEEE also hopes to produce a working prototype and open-source global intercloud.

“We are immensely pleased to introduce our founding members and thank them for their lab and engineering contributions, which are the backbone of this effort,” said Steve Diamond, chair of the IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative.

“The IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative is advancing an ecosystem in which clouds and cloud services can federate to enable new services and increase the value of cloud computing to industry and end users. By joining the IEEE Intercloud Testbed, these member organizations are providing the invaluable resources and capabilities needed to realize this vision. We appreciate their participation and collaboration in this fundamental and important work,” Diamond said.

“This project will enable a significant step in the evolution and maturation of cloud computing,” said David Bernstein, IEEE P2302 working group founding chair, originator of the testbed project and the project’s chief architect. “Just as the ARPANET project made the Internet real, this IEEE Intercloud Testbed project will make the Intercloud real and provide a springboard for the Intercloud to become a commercial reality.”

Despite claiming a relatively small share of the total IT spend cloud procurement is accelerating, growing at a rate of 63 per cent to over $160bn in 2015 according to Gartner. But as cloud procurement grows both service providers and IT departments recognise the need to have these disparate infrastructure systems connect with one another, whether to effectively enable a hybrid cloud estate on the enterprise side, or for service providers to federate multiple clouds to more efficiently deliver a range of infrastructure and application-based services.

New interoperability standards also hold promise for enterprises (and increasingly, service providers) keen to avoid vendor lock-in, one of the more significant barriers to cloud adoption.

“We believe that cloud interoperability will enable mass adoption of the cloud paradigm in sectors (such as public administration) which are currently seriously concerned about vendors’ lock-in and effective competition in offerings of cloud resources and services,” said Professor Beniamino Di Martino of Second University of Naples, coordinator of the European Commission mOSAIC research project on cloud computing and a founding member of the IEEE project.

John Cowan, founder and chief executive officer of 6fusion, a company working to standardise the measurement of cloud resources says interoperability won’t just benefit customers of cloud services, but service providers as well. “The technical interoperability of heterogeneous cloud services is considered a significant accelerator of market liquidity,” Cowan said.