Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM News

Computer Security Team Proposes Cloud Computing Definition


cloud computing

A working definition for cloud computing — a new computer technique with potential for achieving significant cost savings and information technology agility — has been released by a team of computer security experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since the federal government is considering cloud computing as a component of its new technology infrastructure, it is NIST's role to evaluate it and then promote its effective and secure use within government and industry by providing technical guidance and developing standards.

The working definition of cloud computing described by NIST is "a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient and on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." The draft working definition also describes five key characteristics, three delivery models and four deployment models.

The NIST cloud computing research team is studying cloud architectures, security and deployment strategies for the federal government. But its first task was to collaborate with industry and government to develop a working definition of cloud computing that will serve as a foundation for its research. The term "cloud computing" comes from the field's standard use of drawing the Internet as a cloud in diagrams.

Security is always a concern with any new computer approach, and this one is no different. According to cloud research team leader Peter Mell, "Cloud computing has both security advantages and disadvantages. The cloud computing model inherently promotes availability of services through its distributed architecture model. However, this same model presents data confidentiality and integrity challenges by pooling hardware resources for use by multiple parties."

The full working draft definition is available at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/cloud-computing/index.html. Comments on the definition can be sent to cloud@nistcloud@nist.gov.gov.


 

No entries found

Comment on this article

Signed comments submitted to this site are moderated and will appear if they are relevant to the topic and not abusive. Your comment will appear with your username if published. View our policy on comments

(Please sign in or create an ACM Web Account to access this feature.)

Create an Account

Log in to Submit a Signed Comment

Sign In »

Sign In

Signed comments submitted to this site are moderated and will appear if they are relevant to the topic and not abusive. Your comment will appear with your username if published. View our policy on comments
Forgot Password?

Create a Web Account

An email verification has been sent to youremail@email.com
ACM veriȚes that you are the owner of the email address you've provided by sending you a veriȚcation message. The email message will contain a link that you must click to validate this account.
NEXT STEP: CHECK YOUR EMAIL
You must click the link within the message in order to complete the process of creating your account. You may click on the link embedded in the message, or copy the link and paste it into your browser.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account