EU Standards Body Releases Report on Cloud Standards

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A little more than a year after the launch of the European Union’s European Cloud Computing Strategy, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute has released its Cloud Standards Coordination report, which essentially maps out the standards needed for cloud computing that weigh the needs of all stakeholders.

According to a blog post by European Commission VP Neelie Kroes, the ETSI “managed to deliver this mapping of cloud standards fast”. The ETSI  was able to make its way through a “jungle of technical standards” to ensure that cloud users enjoy interoperability, data portability and reversibility. This effort culminated in the CSC Final report v1.0 (PDF) presented at the CSC Conclusion Workshop on Wednesday.

Kroes wrote, “[M]y ultimate ambition is a single market for cloud computing. That cloud single market can be obtained through investing in an inter-operable cloud infrastructure; boosting demand, from the public sector in particular; boosting supply through investment in research and innovation; re-establishing trust and transparency; and safeguarding data protection rules.”

The CSC report classifies which cloud computing stakeholders, individuals and organisations play a role as provider, consumer or regulatory authority. It includes more than 100 variations of possible use of cloud computing services and around 20 relevant organisations that developed or are developing standards, specifications and white papers on cloud computing. It also classifies the activities needed to be undertaken by providers and users of cloud computing, and maps out the relevant documents for them such as standards and specifications.

The CSC report in addition to other EU efforts such as voluntary certification schemes supported by stakeholders and ENISA, are being used to shape European cloud services with special attention to transparency.

These EU initiatives are expected to increase confidence in cloud services which are a crucial driver of the economy. Trust in the cloud, of course, was significantly hurt when the extent of NSA surveillance via cloud services was brought to light by Edward Snowden earlier this year, setting back cloud adoption by individuals and companies.

The CSC report is important for companies offering services to European customers, but also because it may provide a model for other jurisdictions dealing with the issues relating to cloud computing.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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