Cloud computing is moving at an incredibly fast pace, calling for more flexible and swifter responses not only to address adoption barriers but also take up of new opportunities.
In the scientific arena, data intensive problems are gaining significant success with cloud computing as they have the closely coupled structure well supported in clouds and are typically “new applications” that are attractive to build from scratch with programming models suited for clouds.
While cloud may not be a magic wand for all situations requiring some form of distributed computing, we are getting closer to understanding where it works best in scientific settings. However, a great deal of work remains to be done in achieving interoperability and portability of data to avoid vendor lock-in and build choice so scientists, governments and citizens can decide which technologies work best for them. Data protection is a hot topic that needs addressing at policy level as one of the three pillars underpinning the European Union’s cloud computing strategy to create a legal framework regulating users’ rights.
Cloudscape IV, 23-24 February at the European Commission in Brussels, aims to drive forward the priority actions captured in the SIENA Roadmap by placing interoperability, data portability, legal impediments and security high on the agenda. Industry views come from several large enterprises at the forefront of cloud computing to help foster standards implementation for interoperability and data portability in the light of on-going and future work. A Call to Action is supported by major standards bodies in response to current and emerging requirements. “Through the flagship Cloudscape workshops, SIENA offers a forum to track emerging standards and technologies, evaluate impediments and raise greater awareness of this dynamic and complex landscape", said Silvana Muscella, Technical Coordinator of the SIENA initiative (pictured right), which is funded by the Commission’s GÉANT and e- Infrastructures Unit.
On the international front, Cloudscape IV will seek to blaze a trail for stronger international cooperation on global challenges. The workshop host, the SIENA initiative, will be seeking to build on synergies with the US National Institute of Standards (NIST) and the Global Inter-Cloud Technology Forum (GICTF), a Japaneseled initiative. Insights into cloud computing in Brazil will also shed light on global developments paving the way for new cooperation partnerships with Europe.
European perspectives shine the spotlight on cloud computing for the Digital Agenda, with a keynote from Mario Campolargo, Director DG INFSO Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures, European Commission (pictured left). Other perspectives will focus on re-usable assets of distributed computing infrastructures, insights into use cases for e-research and government, new cloud partnerships, research and development and initiatives like EuroCIOs and EuroCloud.
The multi-stakeholder dialogue will thus seek to define steps for the public and private sector dialogue in an effort to overcome barriers, stimulate uptake and innovation so as to reap the full potential of cloud computing in Europe. “We hope that our roadmap will heighten awareness and reinforce the importance and value of sustainable einfrastructure providing vital services to a broader research user base In Europe and internationally” said Martin Walker, Roadmap Editorial Board Chair (pictured right).
The SIENA Roadmap will be launched at Cloudscape IV along with position papers from speakers and selected panellists.
23-24 February 2012, European Commission, Avenue de Beaulieu, Building, 25, Brussels, Belgium