Reflections on the NIST/IEEE/ORCA Federated Cloud Workshop

Both the South Big Data Hub and West Big Data Hub provided sponsorship for the NIST/IEEE/ORCA Federated Cloud Workshop, held on March 21-22, 2018, in Gaithersburg, MD. The workshop was chaired by:

  • Robert Bohn, Program Manager, NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) Federated Cloud Conceptual Architecture, and Chair IEEE P2302;
  • Craig Lee, Chair, NCCP Federated Cloud Conceptual Architecture, and The Aerospace Corporation; and,
  • Khalil Yazdi, Chair of Open Research Cloud Alliance (ORCA).

The overarching goal is “to foster cloud computing systems and practices that support interoperability, portability, and security requirements that are appropriate and achievable for important usage scenarios.” The organizers laid out their objectives for defining standards that will enable federation of cloud services (https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/nist-cloud-computing-program-nccp).

Florence Hudson, senior advisor to the Northeast Big Data Hub, speaks at the NIST/IEEE/ORCA Federated Cloud Workshop

Participants represented a wide range of stakeholders from government, academia, industry, and consortiums, including NIST, IEEE, SDSC, US Air Force, Los Alamos, Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago, UMBC, Rutgers University, Data Machines, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), EarthCube, National Science Foundation (NSF), Cisco, The Aerospace Corporation, Microsoft, Unisys, Internet2, Box, and more, which participated in the room and on the livestream.  John Goodhue, in his capacity as co-Chair of the All Hub Cyberinfrastructure Working Group, and Florence Hudson, senior advisor to the Northeast Big Data Hub, attended on behalf of the Big Data Hubs.

Presentation topics ranged from concepts to implementation examples to use cases that present opportunities and obstacles for cloud federation.  In addition to overviews of current standards efforts by the committee chairs and technical leaders, the workshop included sessions on current federation projects, Data Access and Mobility, Identity Federation, Resource Federation, and Networking. Breakout sessions on the second day of the meeting worked on ideas and directions suggested by the presentations.

Presenters included Florence Hudson from the NE Big Data Hub on the challenge presented by trust, identity, privacy, protection, safety and security (aka TIPPSS) as we consider Internet of Things data. This was a recurring theme throughout the meeting, and a catalyst for spirited discussion.   Barr von Oehsen from Rutgers University discussed the research cloud federation initiatives across the Rutgers campuses and between research institutions. Barr suggested that the NIST/IEEE/ORCA group work on creating a scheduler to connect cloud with campus credentials, like an eduroam for cloud credentials, to ease the development and use of federated clouds for research in a secure environment.

We look forward to the next steps in enabling a Federated Cloud environment with trust, identity, privacy and security to support data sharing for collaborative research and science. The organizers expressed strong interest in engaging with the Hubs as a source of use cases that can inform the standards and technology development work being done by NIST, ORCA, and the IEEE working group.

For more information or to get involved in this effort, please contact either John Goodhue (jtgoodhue@mghpcc.org) or Florence Hudson (flo1980@alumni.princeton.edu)

Authors: John Goodhue and Florence Hudson 

 

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