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Interoperability, portability standards to advance cloud adoption, raise questions, says Messina

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A major obstacle to moving to the cloud is the worry that a client will become trapped or locked in to a single service and unable to transfer data. But in the next 3 to 5 years a tremendous amount of focus will go toward developing interoperability standards for cloud computing, which will encourage broader adoption of cloud computing, said John Messina, a National Institute of Standards and Technology computer scientist and co-chair of the cloud computing reference architecture working group.

"The effort is now shifting away from the reference architecture and the vocabulary as that will go to a final international standard next year sometime," said Messina, who spoke May 30 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.

The need for more clarity around interoperability represents the last few building blocks needed for cloud to really take off, he said.

"Five years out from now, I see us having a suite of interoperability standards that have been developed and in place and generally accepted by industry," said Messina.

These interoperability standards will enable "the cloud of clouds or intercloud"--a tight integration between multiple clouds, which will be especially advantageous for applications that make heavy use of the cloud, such as big data programs.

"Right around the 3 to 5 year point, probably closer to 5, we will have that cloud of clouds that people are starting to talk about," said Messina.

He added that many experts believe that within the next 5 years, up to 70 percent of all cloud services are going to be consumed by other cloud services.

"So, we're getting to the point where you might have an incredible trail of trying to identify who was the one who initially initiated some sort of request. Security is going to get far more complex," said Messina

As the cloud becomes more interconnected questions around security and risk will be paramount in the next 3 to 5 years, he said.

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