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Primeur weekly 2016-05-09

Focus

NIST's Robert Bohn and Oxford University's David Wallom expand on Cloud standards and the Cloud landscape ...

With trust, openness and empowerment, there is a bright future for Cloud computing, according to Microsoft's Elena Bonfiglioli ...

Quantum computing

IBM makes quantum computing available on IBM Cloud to accelerate innovation ...

Quantum logical operations realized with single photons ...

Focus on Europe

Celebrating HPC and research at University College London ...

Still time to save on ISC 2016 registration - Register by May 11 ...

Current status of the Flemish supercomputer ...

Middleware

Bright Computing names Bill Griffin as Chief Financial Officer ...

Hardware

Invitation to participate in HPC Site Census study ...

CSRA to deliver high capacity connectivity to support education priorities in Alabama ...

Cray reports first quarter 2016 financial results ...

Applications

SDSC researchers publish book on using GPU accelerators for nanosciences ...

Movidius announces deep learning accelerator and Fathom software framework ...

GPU-powered systems take top spot and set new record in Student Supercomputer Competition ...

Fine-tuning forecasts of nighttime storms on the plains ...

Sudden collapse: Supercomputing spotlight on gels ...

BSC and IrsiCaixa create bioinformatics method to predict the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs with different HIV mutations ...

University of Wyoming faculty have until May 22 to apply for supercomputer use ...

Webinar on performance tuning and optimization of GROMACS ...

IBM and SK Holdings C&C Alliance brings Watson and the cognitive era to South Korea ...

NIST's Robert Bohn and Oxford University's David Wallom expand on Cloud standards and the Cloud landscape


7 Mar 2016 Brussels - At the recent Cloudscape 2016 event in Brussels, Primeur Magazine had the opportunity to talk with Robert Bohn, Cloud computing programme manager at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA and David Wallom, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Innovation at the e-Research Center of the University of Oxford, about Cloud standards and the Cloud landscape in general. Robert Bohn chose to take one step back and asked: "Why standards in the first place?" Standards have a way of building trust in products that you are buying. That trust will generate commerce. NIST works under the Department of Commerce and is very interested in commercial aspects. Essentially, standards and trust give you that commerce and finally jobs. That is why NIST cares about standards. They help to build and create innovation in the marketplace. One there is a standard in place and you have implementations from different sources: let the best implementation win. That is how standards are used in the first place.

Regarding Cloud standards, the first set of Cloud standards came out about a year and a half ago at the ISO level in conjunction with the ITU-T. Those standards were a Cloud computing vocabulary and also a Cloud computing reference architecture at the ISO level. Those are two international standards that we have right now. There is currently in the works through ISO a Cloud standardisation and service level agreement which is a four-part standard. Basically, one is an overview. Part two is metrics, part three is on requirements, and part four will be on security. The number is 19086. There is an ISO standard in process - the 19941 - which is on interoperability and portability. This is the current state of Cloud standards.

David Wallom asked Robert Bohn what he saw with regard to the actual implementation of these standards. David Wallom said that we have seen through various other smaller standards development organisations a number of standards developed, looking at particular parts of the Cloud ecosystem. How do you see their implementation going forward? We have seen systems being developed using them, particularly here in Europe, and from that point of view also the interCloud activity. The use of standards is coming certainly within the Cloud computing landscape. The standards have been developed but getting people to actually use them is of course the next step. How do you see that path to adoption?

Robert Bohn answered that at least with the service level agreements (SLAs) one way to implement them would be a good model for determining automatic SLAs. You could then make a request wherever on some website and say: "I need a system that will give me a set of virtual machines or give me this much availability, whatever type of reliability, whatever type of security, where I can put that in a webpage". Actually go out there and poll different types of SLAs which are on websites and be able to determine which is the best model for you, which is the best service level agreement or Cloud provider for you. That would be one sort of implementation that Robert Bohn sees in the future.

David Wallom said that what we have seen with the various European activities are the implementations around Cloud interfaces, around data movement, things like the OGF and OCCI or DMTF-Simi. These are very broad standards. Do you see that these other standards and developments are equally broad or are they targeting down towards something that you would either adopt in whole or not adopt?

Robert Bohn explained that you could pick and choose parts of the standards that you are comfortable with. Of some parts you may not have a good understanding and then you would have to get a good understanding but it may not be useful for whatever your specific capability type is that you are looking for.

David Wallom said that within the various activities that we have and that we are supporting in Cloudscape with the CloudWatch activity, one of the key things is actually the approach to profiling. We see that as a way of allowing a community to really nail down in hard specifics the different aspects of any particular standards they wish to use so there is a guaranteed interoperability. We mentioned previously around your picking and choosing but picking and choosing enough flexibility in the path of standards development means compromise. From that point of view having us getting to a point where we don't compromise but we specify with castiron certainty what are the various aspects that need to be provided for a particular interface, for a particular service, means that you do have interoperability between providers.

The work within Cloud was previously centered for example around thoughts about how you would collect together a group of projects or activities that you would say are similar enough so that a profile could be generated of those and it could actually support technical interoperability between those projects. This has been a European activity so far but it is certainly something that we want to investigate in to see how we can engage with US-based and other international organisations and projets so that we can get a bigger community behind this idea of profiles. They of course developed out of the IETF. From that point of view, profiling together different standards into a whole ecosystem is important.

Primeur Magazine:You have different communities and you identified several communities and then you develop a profile for these communities?

David Wallom answered that the profiles that have been developed are effectively ways of representing different sets of requirements. There are three identified areas: scientific computing, trusted Clouds for public administration, and high-performance specific applications. From that point of view, you can see that they each would have different requirements for different types of standardization. For trusted Clouds or public Clouds for government for example, advanced security and trust are key things. The actual NPIs directly access and use the Cloud because it is of less importance for them. The scientific computing Clouds, the APIs, the standardization, the data movement, the accounting, all of those can be brought together in a single profile, so you can effectively define what are the interfaces for interoperability to that particular Cloud service.

Primeur Magazine:These three profiles were coming out of the analysis of European projects but you expect that later on more profiles will be developed for other communities.

David Wallom confirmed this. The reality is that what we have done within the first CloudWatch project is actually to create the foundational service for constitutive analysis of the Cloud landscape. We are making this available publicly so that any project that is working in this area can come and create a greater body of knowledge for itself from where it sits, on which projects it should be talking to, on which projects it is going to find commonality, both in Europe and across the rest of the world. We created a self scoring system so the projects themselves don't need to engage with CloudWatch but they can just come to the website and score themselves to see where they sit inside the landscape.

Ad Emmen

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-05-09

Focus

NIST's Robert Bohn and Oxford University's David Wallom expand on Cloud standards and the Cloud landscape ...

With trust, openness and empowerment, there is a bright future for Cloud computing, according to Microsoft's Elena Bonfiglioli ...

Quantum computing

IBM makes quantum computing available on IBM Cloud to accelerate innovation ...

Quantum logical operations realized with single photons ...

Focus on Europe

Celebrating HPC and research at University College London ...

Still time to save on ISC 2016 registration - Register by May 11 ...

Current status of the Flemish supercomputer ...

Middleware

Bright Computing names Bill Griffin as Chief Financial Officer ...

Hardware

Invitation to participate in HPC Site Census study ...

CSRA to deliver high capacity connectivity to support education priorities in Alabama ...

Cray reports first quarter 2016 financial results ...

Applications

SDSC researchers publish book on using GPU accelerators for nanosciences ...

Movidius announces deep learning accelerator and Fathom software framework ...

GPU-powered systems take top spot and set new record in Student Supercomputer Competition ...

Fine-tuning forecasts of nighttime storms on the plains ...

Sudden collapse: Supercomputing spotlight on gels ...

BSC and IrsiCaixa create bioinformatics method to predict the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs with different HIV mutations ...

University of Wyoming faculty have until May 22 to apply for supercomputer use ...

Webinar on performance tuning and optimization of GROMACS ...

IBM and SK Holdings C&C Alliance brings Watson and the cognitive era to South Korea ...