Open data center alliance, feds work on standardizing cloud, open government

The Open Data Center Alliance a group of public companies focused on standardizing the IT requirements for cloud projects has released five new models for data usage. According to the Alliance, the usage models are based on user driven feedback about cloud computing as well as the original vision set out by the organization last year to define IT requirements for open and interoperable cloud solutions. The announcement comes at the same time as a federal big data initiative and cloud first strategy as well as NASA’s release of its Open Government Plan, which includes a flagship initiative to build a new web architecture and a renewed focus on open data sharing, open source development and a variety of technology acceleration efforts.

Taken together these plans signal big moves in both public and private sector to modernize and streamline technology infrastructure through cloud services. The shift to cloud is also making it easier for public and private organizations to manage and release big data thus increasing transparency and accelerating new information discovery.

According to the Alliance, by standardizing IT requirements There could be a reduction of as much as $25 billion in annual IT spend over the next five years and up to $50 billion in cloud services investment. Four of the usage models and an overview document target security, a leading concern for cloud adoption. The security usage models will drive interoperability between identity management and access management systems that will allow users to utilize resources in the cloud as if they were located within the organization. The fifth usage model focuses on long distance virtual machine migration which provides information about enterprises’ expectations for availability, scalability and extendibility of their data via seamless data migration.

The federal government along with other private sector groups have been working on standards as part of a cloud first strategy deployed by the Obama administration to help modernize government IT systems while keeping costs low. The strategy is further supported by a multi-agency effort to support research and development into big data projects leveraging the massive amount of public data to innovate and solve problems.

NASA is one such agency managing both cloud and big data to innovate and provide more transparency to the public about its activity. The agency has been working on its own cloud for a number of years and now manages a directory of more than 100 participatory, collaborative and transparent projects, offering citizens opportunities to understand, support and engage with the agency.

NASA’s Open Government efforts launched two years ago in response to the December 2009 Open Government Directive, which called on executive agencies to become more open and accountable. Since then, the agency has worked to implement 147 goals addressing policy, technology and culture throughout its centers and offices. The agency has created an infographic to highlight its progress available here.