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Points of Contact:

Abdella Battou
Senior Advisor for Cloud Computing
(301) 975-5247

Robert Bohn
Cloud Computing Technical Program Manager
Reference Architecture/Taxonomy Lead
(301) 975-4731

John Messina
Cloud Computing Reference Architecture/Taxonomy Co-Lead
(301) 975-4284

Michaela Iorga
Cloud Computing Security
(301) 975-8431

Michael Hogan
Cloud Computing Standards
(301) 975-2926

Annie Sokol
Cloud Computing Standards
(301) 975-2006

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NIST Cloud Computing Program

Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics (On-demand self-service, Broad network access, Resource pooling, Rapid elasticity, Measured Service); three service models (Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)); and, four deployment models (Private cloud, Community cloud, Public cloud, Hybrid cloud). Key enabling technologies include: (1) fast wide-area networks, (2) powerful, inexpensive server computers, and (3) high-performance virtualization for commodity hardware. 

The Cloud Computing model offers the promise of massive cost savings combined with increased IT agility. It is considered critical that government and industry begin adoption of this technology in response to difficult economic constraints. However, cloud computing technology challenges many traditional approaches to datacenter and enterprise application design and management. Cloud computing is currently being used; however, security, interoperability, and portability are cited as major barriers to broader adoption.  

The long term goal is to provide thought leadership and guidance around the cloud computing paradigm to catalyze its use within industry and government. NIST aims to shorten the adoption cycle, which will enable near-term cost savings and increased ability to quickly create and deploy enterprise applications. NIST aims to foster cloud computing systems and practices that support interoperability, portability, and security requirements that are appropriate and achievable for important usage scenarios.

NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) Draft Documents:

Request for Public Comments (due January 24, 2015) – We request comments from the public on this draft document (NIST SP 500-307):

This document describes the importance of metrics for cloud computing and introduces the Cloud Service Metrics (CSM) model.

As part of the decision making framework for moving to the cloud, having data on measurable capabilities, for example - quality of service, availability and reliability, give the cloud service customer the tools and opportunity to make informed choices and to gain an understanding of the service being delivered. NIST's definition of cloud computing describes a "Measured Service" as being one of the five essential characteristics of the cloud computing model. To describe a "measured service", one needs to identify the cloud service properties that have to be measured and what their standards of measurement or metrics are.

The role metrics play is very important to support decision-making as well as:

  • Selecting cloud services
  • Defining and enforcing service agreements
  • Monitoring cloud services
  • Accounting and Auditing
Metrics for cloud computing services can be described using the model proposed in this document. The model represents the information needed to understand the targeted cloud property and which constraints should be applied during observation.

Send all comments to Frederic de Vaulx, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8970, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Electronic comments may be sent to All comments must be received by midnight Saturday January 24, 2015.

Other NIST Cloud-related Draft Documents

The NIST effort on cloud computing exists throughout ITL in many divisions. The NCCP exists in the Advanced Networking and Technologies Division. In an effort to communicate the findings of the other divisions in ITL to the wider cloud computing community, we will occasionally post notices about their draft documents for comments in the section below.