ISO cloud computing committee - update on working group's progress

Issue 44 – November 2012

This article was written for Standards New Zealand by Olivier Colas, Director, International Standards and Johan Eksteen, Senior Director, International Standards, Microsoft.

This article is the second 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, service 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 (ISO) subcommittee dealing with cloud computing , the joint technical committee 1 (JTC)/subcommittee (SC) 38, Distributed Applications, Platforms, and Services (DAPS), was created a little over 2 years ago and is one of the rapidly growing JTC 1 subcommittees.

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

SC 38 has an agreed a work plan and while this work plan is evolving as the Standards projects mature, the subcommittee has made significant progress in a number of technical areas. Of particular interest in this area is the working relationship established between SC 38 and the work of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the cloud standardisation area.

Web services working group – WG 1

WG 1 is formally standardising the widely implemented Web Services (WS) Standards that were originally created by third party consortia. These Standards are already in use in many applications on the internet. Formalising these WS Standards gave ISO representatives the opportunity to review these Standards and support their passage into the ISO library. Ten WS Standards have been standardised and work is underway on the standardisation of a new set of WS Standards.

Systems oriented architecture working group – WG 2

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

WG 2 is finalising its first deliverable, a document outlining the terminology and technical principles of SOA, that can be used to develop, deploy, implement, and manage SOA solutions, and has approved an ambitious roadmap. The next step will be the development of a three part Standard dealing with terminology, reference architecture, andontology.

Cloud computing working group – WG 3

In April 2012, WG 3 created two collaborative teams with the ITU, a United Nations agency, which was developing similar Standards. WG3's two key projects are ISO/IEC 17788 for Cloud computing vocabulary and ISO/IEC 17789 for Cloud computing architecture. These projects have been transferred to this cooperative effort to develop two common texts that will be approved simultaneously by both international organisations.

WG 3 agreed at its Vancouver meeting in February 2012 that future work would be carried out in close collaboration with the ITU. Since then the relationship has been formalised, a major step in the standardisation process for an important area such as cloud computing. In essence, this means that the market will see fewer overlapping Standards from two of the major Standards setting organisations. In addition, this joint work also promises to help with a common understanding from the information technology perspective (often seen as the JTC 1 perspective) and a predominantly telecommunications perspective brought to the table by the ITU.

The collaborative teams have met twice already and have created:

  • a Committee Draft for Cloud computing vocabulary that will be sent to the two parent organisations for a complete review

  • a Working Draft for Cloud computing architecture that is that basis of the future common Standard.

At the same time WG 3 is investigating new areas, such as Service Level Agreement (SLA) or service delivery, for its roadmap.

The last SC 38 Plenary was held in Berlin on 21 May 2012. The next plenary for JTC 1/SC 38 will be held in Madrid on 8 April 2013.

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Published in business and ICT.