Saturday, July 25, 2009

Japanese Government Launches Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum

Over the last week I've been away at my cottage on vacation so I'm trying to catch up on my massive backlog of emails (about 5k worth). One of the more interesting was one sent earlier in the week from Masayuki Hyugaji in Japan. (I have a call with Hyugaji later this week, so I should be able to provide more details afterward)

According to Hyugaji, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan has embarked in a series of new research and development activities including launching a Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum. For those who don't speak Japanese (my wife does) the primary focus of the Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum is on Cloud Federation and currently includes several large Japanese companies. The aim of the forum is to promote standardization of network protocols and the interfaces through which cloud systems "interwork" with each other, and to enable the provisioning of more reliable cloud services.

Main activities and goals
- Promote the development and standardization of technologies to build or use cloud systems;
- Propose standard interfaces that allow cloud systems to interwork with each other;
- Collect and disseminate proposals and requests regarding organization of technical exchange meetings and training courses;
- Establish liaison with counterparts in the U.S. and Europe, and promote exchange with relevant R&D teams.

Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum Aims

The Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum website sheds some light on the initiative.

"Cloud systems have not yet reached the level that would allow their application to mission-critical fields, such as e-government, medical care and finance, in terms of reliability, ability to respond quickly, data quality and security. To achieve reliability and quality high enough to meet the requirements in these fields, it is necessary to interconnect multiple cloud systems via a broadband network and provide a mechanism that would allow them to interwork with, and complement, each other.

"In light of the fact that each provider is currently building cloud systems based on its proprietary specifications, we propose the establishment of the “Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum” to promote standardization of network protocols and the interfaces through which cloud systems interwork with each other, to promote international interworking of cloud systems, to enable global provision of highly reliable, secure and high-quality cloud services, and to contribute to the development Japan’s ICT industry and to the strengthening of its international competitiveness."

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