NIST Seeks Public Comment on Cloud Computing Guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is requesting public comments on its most complete cloud computing guide to date.

The guide, NIST Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations, explains cloud computing technology in plain terms for information technology decision makers interesting in cloud services.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has asked NIST to lead federal efforts on standards for data portability, cloud interoperability and security. The goal is to help the federal government reap the benefits of cloud computing.

“Cloud computing is not a single kind of system,” says project leader Lee Badger. “Since cloud computing spans a spectrum of underlying technologies and configuration possibilities, each organization’s requirements call for different cloud technologies and configurations.” SP 800-146 provides that level of guidance.


The new guide reviews the NIST definition of cloud computing, provides an overview of cloud environments with discussions of each and then provides a section on each of the main cloud environments—Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service.

Each of these sections looks at the environment’s scope, its capabilities, benefits, and known issues and concerns. The publication also provides information on how organizations should consider the relative opportunities and risks of cloud computing.

Draft NIST Sp800 146

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