NIST Releases Cloud Computing Metrics Guide

    Jan 13, 2015

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released for public comment Cloud Computing Service Metrics Description, a draft guide for the creation of cloud metrics that government agencies and other organizations can use when shopping for cloud services. 

    “New cloud computing providers and services are entering the market at a dizzying pace,” a Dec. 15 NIST press release stated. “Different organizations and groups often use the same cloud computing terms with slightly different or even contradictory meanings, leading to confusion among cloud service providers, customer and carriers. The lack of clear definitions for cloud computing terms makes them inherently immeasurable.”

    The draft guide, which was released for public comment, was developed with the help of the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture and Taxonomy Working Group. That group consists of international representatives of technology companies, university researchers, and government agencies. 

    The document proposes a framework that “identifies and characterizes the information and relationships needed to describe and observe properties of cloud services that are representative, accurate and reproducible.” The information can be used at the technical or business levels to facilitate decision-making. This includes selecting cloud services, developing and enforcing service agreements between providers and customers, and identifying performance measurements.

    “It is critical to have the capacity to represent what needs to be measured, how the measurement results are used, and how they impact business and technical decisions,” the guide states. 

    Midnight Jan. 24 is the deadline for submitting public comments on Cloud Computing Service Metrics Description. Send them to Frederic de Vaulx, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8970, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, or to frederic.devaulx@nist.gov.

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