Towards common standards and interoperability for cloud computing

Dynamic capability offering resources as and when needed with greater ease of access for individual end-users is one the compelling features of cloud computing. This new way of delivering computing resources has found fertile ground in the current economic climate and is gaining momentum not only in the SME and large enterprise landscape but also for academia and eResearch. Recent government investment in several countries could also be a tipping point for wider adoption in Europe and globally.

This diversity of technology, services, providers and users brings the need for deep collaboration. To ensure European citizens gain real benefits from the cloud, it is essential to address legal and institutional barriers as well as technical challenges such as interoperability.

To this end an EU-wide strategy for 2020 has been established by the EC Digital Agenda and it is expected that a standards and policy framework for distributed computing will be defined over the next two to three years. Such a framework should ensure fair competition and, from a European perspective, adherence to the EC’s strategic priorities for e-Infrastructures full potential.

SIENA (the Standards and Interoperability for eInfrastructure Implementation Initiative) is supporting Europe’s Distributed Computing Infrastructure (DCI) initiatives and the European Commission in working towards the delivery of a future e-Infrastructures roadmap that will be aligned with the needs of European and national initiatives. The SIENA European Roadmap on Grid and Cloud Standards for e-Science and Beyond is being created by the SIENA Roadmap Editorial Board made up of representatives from DCI projects, SDOs, Grid and Cloud research experts and user community representatives.


Cloudscape workshops explore these important issues with insights from funding agencies, service providers, end-users, IT analysts and information security experts coupled with practical use cases, success stories from Europe’s R&D landscape and ample networking opportunities. The SIENA project organizes annual Cloudscape workshops bringing together carefully selected experts, developers and end-users in the cloud computing space for intense dialogues on current and future trends with special emphasis on real use cases, best practices, policy issues and the benefits of interoperability through a bottom-up approach.

Cloudscape III

Cloudscape III, 15th and 16th March 2011 (Brussels), will delve deeply into the topic of standardisation in Cloud computing through a series of keynote presentations from the EC, industry and eScience communities. A series of use-cases will highlight best practices and challenges being faced by both cloud providers and end-users, while interactive roundtable discussions will engage participants in a 2-way dialogue with key players in the cloud landscape.
Cloudscape III will also see the launch of the first iteration of the SIENA European Roadmap on Grid and Cloud Standards for e-Science and Beyond.

Cloudscape II

Cloudscape II, 22-23 February 2010 (Brussels) brought together over 120 experts, developers and end-users in the cloud computing space. The insights delivered were underpinned by new market analysis and a look at Europe’s strengths, new opportunities, and the research and development that is needed to take cloud computing to the next level.
Participants ranged from 23 large enterprises, including BT, eBay, Microsoft, SAP and 12 SMEs, to 45 representatives from academia and research, Japan and US representatives attending specifically for Cloudscape-II and representatives from three Directorates of the European Commission: GÉANT and Infrastructure Unit, Software & Service Architectures and Infrastructures and Policy. The Irish government was also in attendance, offering new insights in current trends and challenges in the Cloudscape.