The IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative, launched in April 2011, has picked up momentum since it received additional funding in January from the IEEE New Initiatives Committee. Several products and services in the works for months are about to be introduced, including a website, conferences, continuing education courses, publications, standards, and a platform for testing cloud computing applications. The initiative is the first broad-based collaborative project for the cloud to be introduced by a global professional association.
A Web portal to all things related to IEEE cloud computing launched this month. The portal includes news about the cloud computing initiative’s progress, articles from the IEEE Xplore digital library, conferences sponsored by IEEE and other organizations, standards, educational materials, and interviews with experts.
Two conferences organized by the IEEE Computer Society have already been scheduled: IEEE Cloud 2012, being held from 24 to 29 June in Honolulu, and IEEE CloudCom 2012, taking place from 3 to 6 December in Taipei, Taiwan. Other IEEE conferences will include a session or two covering the field [see “Conferences: June–December”].
An IEEE Cloud Congress will be held every year or two, bringing together thought leaders, users, vendors, and interest groups, according to Kathy Grise, senior program director with the IEEE Future Directions group, in Piscataway, N.J., which oversees the Cloud Computing Initiative.
Congresses are under way in Asian, European, and Latin American cities. One congress is scheduled to be held in Shenzhen, China, from 8 to 11 November, and another in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 26 to 27 December.
An annual IEEE Cloud World Forum is in the works for high-level innovators.
To get members up to speed in the field, IEEE is developing several e-learning courses. Given by experts, the courses offer professional development hours and continuing education units. Some courses will charge a nominal fee, while others will be free.
Few publications regularly offer articles about cloud computing, so IEEE plans to launch new publications on the topic. An online-only quarterly journal and a magazine are to debut next year. Also, Cloud Computing Letters, designed for rapid dissemination of original, cutting-edge ideas and significant contributions, is to be available in 2014. How frequently the magazine and Letters will be published are yet to be determined.
IEEE is also exploring a publishing business to take advantage of the vast amount of data being accumulated in such fields of research as astronomy, meteorology, genomics, biology, social media, and finance. The raw research data usually is not stored in a central location and so is inaccessible to other researchers.
Small data sets present no dissemination problem. Data files of less than, say, 100 gigabytes could be published as a digital-only paper and stored in the IEEE Xplore digital library. But larger data sets may be stored only in the cloud. Publishing the data and providing access to it requires a complicated infrastructure, which is where IEEE comes in. Certain aspects of traditional publishing, such as standard formats, methods for downloading and securing data, an editorial process, and a glossary are required, and IEEE is setting up the infrastructure for them.
Standards and Test bed
Another area IEEE plans to explore involves developing environments for creating and testing protocols for the IEEE P2302 Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation [see “Standards for Seamless Cloud Computing”]. To that end, IEEE wants to partner with governments, universities, and research institutions around the world that already have cloud computing resources. The goal is to create a well-connected, standards-based platform. The test bed could also be used to experiment with other IEEE cloud computing products and services, such as education modules, conferences, and publications.