NIST logo

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

Bookmark and Share

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.

Draft Documents:

The NIST effort on cloud computing exists throughout ITL in many of 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. Here is an example from the ITL Information Access Division.

Organizations are increasingly adopting cloud-based services to meet their business needs. However, due to the complexity and diversity of cloud systems it is important to evaluate the user experience. This usability framework provides a structure to evaluate key attribute of the cloud user experience. We are requesting comments from the public on the framework.

Framework for Cloud Usability (Draft)

Written comments may be sent to Brian Stanton, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Dr., Stop 8940, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Electronic comments may be sent to .

Volume III was initiated in parallel, but is logically dependent on the technical work contained in Volume II, and will necessarily be completed and presented as part of the roadmap special publication in a subsequent release.

Update -

The comment period on the draft NIST Cloud Computing Security Reference Architecture (NIST SP 500-299) is now closed. Here is a link to NIST SP 500-299, NIST Cloud Computing Security Reference Architecture (Draft).