ISO cloud computing Standards committee update on working groups progress

Issue 38 – May 2012

By Oliver Bell, Director of Standards (Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand), Microsoft New Zealand.

This article is the first in a series of updates on the work of the International Organization for Standardization's Cloud computing committee. It provides information on the Web services, Systems-oriented architecture, and Cloud computing working groups, and their progress to date. Future updates in Touchstone will cover new work items and provide an update on progress.

The International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) Cloud computing committee, joint technical committee (JTC) 1/subcommittee (SC) 38, Distributed applications, platforms, and services was created 2 years ago.

SC 38 is made up of working groups (WGs) looking at the technical issues for web services (WG 1), systems-orientated architecture (WG 2), and cloud computing (WG 3). Twenty-one countries actively participate in SC 38 and a further nine countries observe its activities.

SC 38 has agreed a work plan and has made significant progress in a number of technical areas.

Web services working group – WG 1

WG 1 enhances and maintains a registry of web services (WS) Standards. These Standards are already used in many transactions by each of us as we use the internet.

WG 1 has started to formally standardise the widely implemented WS standards that were originally created by third party consortia. Formalising these WS Standards gives ISO representatives the opportunity to review these Standards and support their passage into the ISO catalogue. Ten WS Standards have been standardised. This creates a solid foundation for future work for SC 38 and provides implementers with assurance that the Standards will be managed with the requirements of an international audience in mind.

Systems oriented architecture Working group – WG 2

WG 2 covers systems-orientated architecture (SOA). SOA provides a technical methodology to weave together the disparate technology that underpins the business architecture of any organisation. WG 2 is developing a common approach to solving these problems.

WG 2's initial deliverable is a document outlining the terminology and technical principles of SOA that can be used to develop, deploy, implement, and manage SOA solutions.

Cloud computing working group – WG 3

Before the creation of WG 3, SC 38 created a Study group on cloud computing to provide an initial definition, terminology, classification, and a value proposition for cloud computing. The Study group also looked at current standardisation in this area and outlined future requirements. The results of this work are reflected in WG 3's work programme.

  • In February 2012, WG 3 met for the first time in Vancouver. WG 3's early work is laying the foundations to solve the broad interoperability challenges that the industry is keen to avoid in the future. As with many standardisation initiatives, this early work will include defining common vocabulary and architectures.
  • Two draft working documents (WD) have been prepared; WD 17788 – the first WD for Cloud computing vocabulary, and WD 17789 – the first WD for Cloud computing architecture.

WG 3 agreed at its Vancouver meeting that future work would be carried out in close collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU is also looking at a standardisation agenda of its own focused on the opportunities presented by cloud computing.

The next plenary for JTC 1/SC 38 will be held in Berlin on 21 May 2012.

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