Talking Tech: Simplifying Cloud SLAs
Buying cloud is complicated, but comparing cloud offerings from different vendors is even harder. Terms and definitions are inconsistent. Responsibilities and metrics vary.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to change all that. John Messina, a computer scientist and senior member of NIST’s Cloud Computing Program, is part of a team trying to roll out international standards for cloud computing service level agreements (SLAs). We caught up with him at the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) Cloud Summit in Washington, where he shared his vision with a large government audience.
By bringing together major cloud vendors and buyers to hammer out consistent terms, they hope to speed the process of buying and comparing cloud services. In this GovTechWorks interview, Messina explains the issues and the work that remains ahead.
“Everybody knew it was a problem, but there wasn’t a whole lot of willingness or movement to work on the solution,” Messina says. Cloud providers had written SLAs to protect their own business needs, while customers felt they had little say in defining terms. But eventually, “pushing at the international standards level, it became recognized that there would be benefits to both the consumers and the providers if we actually got a cloud SLA standard completed.”
The four-part standard is in draft from now, with the first part out for review and subsequent pieces to follow over the next year. To learn more, watch the video.