There is often a gap between the time when formal standards for a new technology are needed and when they become available. The development of standards is inherently dependent on the time consuming process of consensus building through broad participation. There is also a need to ensure due diligence in producing a standard of quality and completeness such that it will be effective and broadly adopted.
Part of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative, the Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart Adoption of Cloud Computing (SAJACC) is a group whose goal is to facilitate the development of cloud computing standards. SAJACC will include a publicly accessible NIST hosted portal which facilitates the exchange of verifiable information regarding the extent to which pre-standard candidate interface specifications satisfy key cloud computing requirements.
The expectation is that SAJACC will help to accelerate the development of cloud computing standards and, as a bi-product of its information dissemination function, increase the level of confidence to enable cloud computing adoption.
Strategy and approach Edit
The SAJAAC strategy and approach is to accelerate the development of standards and to increase the level of confidence in cloud computing adoption during the interim period before cloud computing standards are formalized. SAJACC will provide information about interim specifications and the extent that they support key cloud computing requirements through a NIST hosted SAJACC portal.
More specifically, SAJACC will provide a public Internet-accessible repository of cloud computing usage scenarios (i.e., use cases), documented cloud system interfaces, pointers to cloud system reference implementations, and test results showing the extent to which different interface]s can support individual use cases.
The project is in the process of formulating an initial set of draft use cases and vetting these with cloud computing stakeholders in academia, government, and industry. The use cases are being developed to demonstrate portability, interoperability, and achievable security for users of cloud systems. After the use cases have been refined, they will be published on the portal. The project will then identify candidate legacy cloud system interfaces, along with their reference implementations, for validation against the use cases. After an initial set of legacy interfaces have been identified, NIST will conduct validation tests and publish the results. The process of identifying new interfaces (with corresponding reference implementations) and new use cases will be ongoing.
Since its inception in May 2010, SAJACC has evolved to be an operational process and portal which includes iteratively:
- developing a set of cloud system use cases that express selected portability, interoperability, and security concerns that cloud users may have;
- selecting a small set of existing cloud system interfaces that can be used for testing purposes;
- developing a test driver, for each use case and selected system interface, that represents (to the extent possible) the operation of the use case on the selected system interface;
- running the test drivers and documenting the extent each test driver can run on each selected system interface; and documenting any portability, interoperability, or security implications of the test run; and
- publishing all use cases, test codes, and test results on the openly accessible NIST Cloud Computing Collaboration Portal, for use by SDOs and other interested parties.