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Cloud computing resources center

Cloud computing is a growing shift in the way IT is delivered, but developers and IT managers alike still have much to learn about what cloud providers and cloud services can offer. Until users fully understand the cloud, its expansion will be limited.

With that in mind, this collection of cloud resources is designed to help the IT pro get a better grip on cloud. It provides in-depth information on cloud computing standards groups, open source cloud computing projects, general cloud websites and blogs, and social media and cloud computing. Find out everything you need to know about the cloud in this center for cloud computing resources.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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- General cloud resources
- Open source cloud projects
- Cloud standards initiatives
- Cloud computing and social media
- News and blogs from the cloud providers


GENERAL CLOUD RESOURCES

National Institute of Standards and Technology on cloud computing
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a broad functional definition of cloud computing based on the expected behavior of a cloud computing resource. This is the accepted base line for cloud computing models and architectures; although providers sometimes do not meet all of the requirements listed in the definition, there is general agreement that a cloud computing solution must adhere closely to the NIST definition.

Other cloud computing explanations are available at WhatIs.com and Wikipedia.

CloudClimate
This cloud monitoring website, courtesy of network tracking software vendor Paessler, keeps track of live performance data on several large cloud computing providers, including Amazon, GoGrid and NewServers.

Cloud Provider Scorecard
Another monitoring service from Apparent Networks, the Cloud Provider Scorecard issues alerts when cloud services suffer degradation and tracks outages in real time.

Top 10 cloud computing providers
This is a list of the top 10 cloud computing providers, from NewServers to Amazon and many in between. Customer traction, innovation and track record are key factors in its rankings. The provider space is changing very fast, and many telecoms, hosting companies and others are launching cloud services. This list is a point-in-time snapshot of the market as we see it and not a comprehensive list of vendors.

Cloud computing players on MindMeister
Maintained by Quebecois technologist  Jean-Lou Dupont, an interactive and  comprehensive list of cloud computing vendors and organizations. Always worth a read to gauge the weather in the cloud computing world.

Amazon Web Services product directory
This ever-expanding list of products available for use in Amazon's cloud covers options from CA, IBM, Oracle and Red Hat among others. Let us know if we are missing any important ones.

Cloud computing development for beginners
Any newcomers looking to develop applications in the cloud will find this guide extremely useful, especially the tips on developing in Microsoft Azure and running a Web service on Google App Engine.

Cloud Developer Tips: Practical tips for developers of cloud computing applications
Shlomo Swidler's blog provides insight and ideas on developing projects and applications for the cloud, along with cloud computing news and notes in general.

 

Jack of all Clouds
Cloud entrepreneur Guy Rosen offers, amongst other things, a monthly State of the Cloud address with in-depth stats on the top cloud computing providers.

Cloud management tools for beginners
Get an overview of the big names in cloud computing management tools, including RightScale, Kaavo and Scalr, in this special report designed to educate on the core features of cloud management vendors and products.

Rational Survivability: Cloud and virtualization security blog
An entertaining take on virtualization and cloud computing security from information security expert Christofer Hoff. Hoff is now director of cloud computing with Cisco and maintains the blog irregularly.

Lori MacVittie's cloud blog for F5 networks
All-around geek extraordinaire Lori MacVittie writes regularly on cloud theory and application. Come here to get your app/dev and network jargon properly applied to cloud computing.


OPEN SOURCE CLOUD PROJECTS

Eucalyptus
This Amazon-compatible open source software, started in the fall of 2007 at the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is designed to implement cloud computing on compute clusters. Eucalyptus is a for-profit open source firm that maintains the project. It also comes bundled as a standard part of Ubuntu .

Abiquo
A Web-friendly and versatile infrastructure platform. Originally a project started in Spain, now a for-profit open source company just like Eucalyptus but with a different approach to cloud.

Nimbus
If you're looking to turn your cluster into an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, the Nimbus open source toolkit provides  an implementation based on the Xen hypervisor.

Hadoop
The Apache Hadoop project is a collection of open source software designed to work with distributed computing.

OpenECP
Following the commercialization of the Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform, this free, open source Web-based management platform offshoot, called OpenECP, was released.

Ganglia
The Millennium Project at the University of California, Berkeley gave birth to Ganglia, an open source distributed monitoring system designed for high-performance computing systems.

And if you're looking for open source cloud management projects, libcloud, jclouds and Dasein are open source "translation" projects that developers can use to interact with many different cloud providers through a single interface.


CLOUD STANDARDS INITIATIVES

Cloud Standards Coordination
This wiki documents all standards development organizations involved in the cloud market and their respective efforts to produce workable cloud computing security standards.

CloudAudit
CloudAudit, also known as Automated Audit, Assertion, Assessment, and Assurance API (A6), is an organization attempting to automate several aspects of cloud computing infrastructure, platform and application environments.

Cloud Security Alliance
The Cloud Security Alliance, which includes members like CA, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and Terremark, is a nonprofit organization formed to promote best practices for cloud computing security.

Open Cloud Consortium
The Open Cloud Consortium (OCC) supports the development of frameworks for interoperating between clouds, along with operating a testbed called the Open Cloud Testbed.

Open Standards Cloud Incubator
The Distributed Management Task Force's Open Standards Cloud Incubator focuses on developing cloud computing management protocols in order to standardize interactions between cloud environments.

Open Cloud Computing Interface
The goal of the Open Grid Forum Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI) working group is to provide cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) users with API specifications for remote management.

The Open Group Cloud Work Group
The Open Group Cloud Work Group looks to work with other cloud standards organizations in an attempt to show enterprises how to best incorporate cloud computing into their organizations.

Cloud Storage Initiative
The Storage Networking Industry Association's Cloud Storage Initiative, which includes members from NetApp, Oracle and EMC, works to promote the adoption of cloud storage as a new delivery model.


CLOUD COMPUTING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

If you're on the hunt for great places to interact and swap ideas on cloud, look no further. Twitter is abuzz day after day with tweets from the Clouderati, a group that includes the best and brightest in cloud computing. Industry leaders can often be found debating topics like cloud security and pricing.

And if you're looking for cloud conversation in more than 140-character bursts, you can chat about cloud computing on both Facebook and Google Groups. Both sites are packed with aficionados looking to discuss the future of the cloud.


NEWS AND BLOGS FROM THE CLOUD PROVIDERS

Amazon Web Services Blog
Everything you could ever need to know about Amazon Web Services, including product releases, tools, updates and development information.

The Cloud Blog from Rackspace
Looking for information on Rackspace? This oft-updated blog covers all official Rackspace  news direct from the company.

Force.com Blog
The Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from Salesforce.com presents its own blog, with information on the company and its development platform.

Think we missed an important cloud resource? Got one you'd personally like to request? Contact us and let us know!


This was first published in March 2010

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