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Draft roadmap for cloud computing technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released for public comment a draft "roadmap" that is designed to foster federal agencies' adoption of cloud computing, support the private sector, improve the information available to decision makers and facilitate the continued development of the cloud computing model.

NIST plans to issue the final U.S. Government Cloud Computing Roadmap as a three-volume work. The first two volumes were posted for public comment on Nov. 1, 2011.

The draft publication defines high-priority requirements for standards, official guidance and technology developments that need to be met in order for agencies to accelerate their migration of existing IT systems to the cloud computing model.

Volume I, High-Priority Requirements to Further USG Agency Cloud Computing Adoption, provides a general understanding and overview of the roadmap initiative, including:

prioritized interoperability, portability and security requirements that must be met to further government cloud adoption;
standards, guidelines and technology that must be in place to satisfy these requirements; and,

a list of Priority Action Plans (PAPs) recommended for voluntary self-tasking by the cloud stakeholder community to support standards, guidelines and technology development.

Volume II, Useful Information for Cloud Adopters, is the nuts and bolts publication. It is a technical reference that is useful for those working on strategic and tactical cloud computing initiatives—whether they work in government agencies or not. Volume II integrates and summarizes the work completed to date, explains the assessment findings based on this work and how these findings support the roadmap introduced in Volume I.

The third volume, Technical Considerations for USG Cloud Computing Deployment Decisions, is under development as part of an interagency and public working group collaborative effort. It is intended as a guide for decision makers who are planning and implementing cloud computing solutions.

Much of the work that forms the basis for the roadmap has been completed through public working groups open to interested parties from industry, academia and government. Hundreds of people are registered in the five NIST Cloud Computing Working Groups that were established in November 2010. The working groups also contributed to the content of two related cloud publications released earlier this year—NIST Cloud Computing Standards Roadmap (SP 500-291) and NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-292).

Volumes I and II of U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Release 1.0 (SP 500-293) can be retrieved, along with the Technical Considerations for USG Cloud Computing Deployment Decisions working document, which will eventually be released as the third volume of SP 500-293, and other cloud publications at

For more details, see the NIST Nov. 1, 2011, announcement, "NIST Releases Draft Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap for Comments" at Comments on the first two volumes are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 2, 2011. Electronic comments should be sent to or written ones can be mailed to Robert Bohn, NIST, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 2000, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2000.

Evelyn Brown | EurekAlert!
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