What say NIST?

The cloud world has been quite the spectacle lately.  Intrigue, romance, alliances and double-crosses, comedy, tragedy, and zombies.  If you’ve seen the play already, I won’t bore you by recounting it — and if you haven’t, I won’t ruin it for you.

At Eucalyptus, we continue to care most about, and focus chiefly on, making open source cloud software that works for our users.  So let’s set aside the theatrics and talk about users for a moment.

Some of you may be familiar with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST for short.  They’ve taken quite an interest in cloud computing.  In fact, they decided to come up with a definition for the term “cloud computing”.  And when a standards body like NIST decides to define something, they are thorough.  As in, sixteen drafts worth of thorough.  This work culminated with The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, published in October 2011.

As it happens, NIST also wants to build their own cloud infrastructure.  To that end, they’ve put out an RFQ.  Here’s what they’re looking for:

“The Enterprise Systems Division (ESD) of the Office of Information Systems Management (OISM) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking to obtain cloud management software to deploy a hybrid private (on-premise) and public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that uses NIST’s existing VMware ESX infrastructure and supports AWS-compatible public cloud resources.  ESD’s goal is to offer NIST’s Scientists an on-demand, self-service portal to IT resources using NIST’s own IT resources and IT resources in public cloud space.”

And what technology has NIST chosen?  The only one that currently fits the bill: Eucalyptus.  Again, from the RFQ:

“There are many cloud products in the market place, but NIST has determined Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition is the only IaaS cloud management software currently on the market that is built open source and supports private and public cloud infrastructure.”

The cloud market is moving fast.  Lots of competition, lots of churn, and lots of talk.  But we believe that code talks loudest.  We will continue to let our code, and our users, talk for us.

What say NIST?