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NIST releases draft definition for cloud computing

The ship of state turns ponderous and slow, but it appears that the National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a working draft definition for cloud computing.

Dated May 22, NIST’s definition isn’t substantially different from what most accept as “cloud” — scalable, on-demand and pay-as-you-go computing — but it is notable, as NIST develops standards for everything from weights and measures to data encryption, and its definitions tend to be the end of the argument. This definition, however, appears to be of the ‘big-tent’ variety, and may not please all comers. Broadly speaking, NIST’s definition cleaves to the now-familiar, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS model, and admits it is trying to be all things to all people. “The cloud computing industry represents a large ecosystem of many models, vendors, and market niches,” it says. “This definition attempts to encompass all of the various cloud approaches.”

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