Canadian Consulting Engineer

Cloud Computing will transform the future – but it’s a bit foggy now

IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), has started developing common standards and a roadmap that will promote further development of "cloud" computing.

August 2, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), has started developing common standards and a roadmap that will promote further development of “cloud” computing.

Cloud computing allows organizations to buy the use of space on other companies computers, enabling them to store and access massive amounts of data remotely instead of having to have the hardware capabilities themselves.

Computing giants like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are offering cloud computing services, and it is being seen as the next biggest evolution in IT to the internet. Examples of vendor cloud computing services include Applie iCloud, Amazon’s Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure and its recently launched MSFT-Q pay-as-you-go cloud service.

However, according to an article in IEEE’s newsletter published July 8 by Kathy Kowalenko, the companies offering cloud computing services are running into problems with interoperability between their systems: “As Apple, Amazon, Google, and other companies race to offer cloud-based systems for storage, synchronization, and all sorts of applications, they’re encountering several pitfalls along the way. The not-unexpected hurdles include a plethora of file formats, applications that fail to operate with each other, and the inability to move data from one cloud-service vendor to another.”

Consequently IEEE has launched its “Cloud Computing Initiative,” as an independent, professional organization that can weave its way between the different computer giant corporations. IEEE has two working groups and hopes to establish a roadmap and common protocols and standards to provide a way for people to move their data more easily if they want to switch services, for example. There is no standard yet to seamlessly move data from one cloud service to another.

The institute sees cloud computing as the key to the future, “primed for explosive growth and rapid transformation.” David Bernstein, chair of the IEEE’s two working groups, said: “I think you have to look at cloud computing as the next generation of how the planet will consume computing. Right now, we’re seeing an explosion in what looks like infinite computing for tremendously complicated applications, many of them driven by smart phones and tablet computers.”

Steve Diamond, chair of the IEEE initiative, said, “Without a flexible, common framework for interoperability, cloud computing innovation could suffer. By leveraging its uniquely deep and broad technological resources and expertise, IEEE is helping to minimize fragmentation and ensure that cloud computing realizes its full potential. “


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