National Institute for Standards and Technology Releases Cloud Computing Guidelines

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) released an 84-page draft of cloud-computing guidelines Friday.

The paper discusses different aspects of moving a business organization’s infrastructure to “the cloud,” as well as trying to describe exactly what cloud computing is.

“Cloud computing has been the subject of a great deal of commentary,” remarks the report in an executive summary. “Attempts to describe cloud computing in general terms, however, have been problematic because cloud computing is not a single kind of system, but instead spans a spectrum of underlying technologies, configuration possibilities, service models, and deployment models.”

The document goes on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, in areas ranging from service models (e.g., email) to security.

As the document is still in draft form, NIST has invited both federal agencies and the public to comment on NIST’s thoughts regarding cloud computing. Comments will be accepted via email at  8800-146comments@nist.gov up until June 13.

NIST’s guidelines are just the latest step in a a look towards cloud computing by many working in federal agencies. Last December Vivek Kundra, the US’s Chief Information Officer, issued “cloud-first mandate,” which required all agencies to consider cloud computing as an option when planning technology deployment.

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