The ISO/IEC 17788: 2015 standard provides an overview of cloud computing, as well as a set of terms and definitions. It’s the Portuguese version of ISO/IEC 17788: 2014, a joint publication by the telecoms standards body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
In Brazil, the work was done by teams from the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT), the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) and the Federal Data Processing Service (Serpro). To Anatel, the standard consolidates the basic reference architecture and will allow cloud technologies to be developed more quickly so the whole industry can develop products that will work together and scale better.
From this year, any Brazilian company wanting to offer cloud services to the international market will benefit from adopting the standard, which allows them to adjust their offerings for international consistency.
Meanwhile, companies that consume cloud services will find it easier to compare the offers made by providers of cloud services, as everyone will have a common understanding. For small businesses, the standard is especially useful, as they usually have few technical IT specialists and will be more susceptible to confusion when marketing campaigns make conflicting claims.
The process of standardizing cloud computing began in 2012, shortly after the completion of some relevant ISO work on electronic documentation standards (ODF and OXML), according to Serpro analyst Luiz Guilherme Aldabalde. This resulted in a new working group, which was set up as a cooperative between ITU-T/SG 13 and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC38.
In Brazil, ABNT teams, Serpro and Anatel worked together for about two years, making recommendations to improve successive versions before the final publication in 2014. According to the three institutions, Brazil was an important player in the development of the standard. Many contributions from Brazil are present in the final translated version of ISO/IEC 17788: 2015. “This is emblematic of Brazil’s participation in the preparation and review of a global standard,” said Aldabalde.
The standard allows everyone to work on internationally valid settings
The release of the standard vocabulary and overview of cloud computing in Portuguese will allow companies, users, industry associations, legislators, regulators and members of the IT and telecoms sector to work with a common understanding of what cloud computing is, said Aldabalde. It also gives an idea of what kind of benefits can be obtained, so those wanting to join the ecosystem can make a better risk assessment.
In addition, the standard allows everyone to work on internationally valid settings that enable Brazilian companies to export their services. It also gives Brazilian consumers a chance to properly review the services on offer.
Brazil now has a set of terms and models that are the basis for preparing bids and establishing what service levels will be offered and required. “Every standard is a reference source for specifications,” said Aldabalde. “Every time you establish a pattern for a technology, it is easier to understand the issue, assess the differences between suppliers and propose improvements.”
From this year, the standard will be one of the references in the acquisition or preparation of any product related to the cloud. The standards will be used to evaluate providers, enabling greater transparency both in sales and in purchasing, promoting competition and removing unique solutions.
Serpro says cloud computing in Brazil is expanding, since there is significant demand for the benefits obtained from the adoption of the technology, such as cost reduction, flexibility, ubiquity and consolidation of processing. But there are still questions about safety, the reality behind the advantages offered and connectivity. Serpro also pointed out that cloud computing offers better use of computing resources and opens the adoption of a utility model in which users pay for the resources they use. But this new world brings in certain fresh concepts, such as the use of servers located outside the company’s own premises, owned by a cloud service provider.
ABNT expects the standard will be widely adopted, facilitating the possibility of a trade in cloud computing services for both cloud providers and cloud consumers. It is hoped the standard will provide greater visibility for the work of the Brazilian standards community dedicated to this technology, enabling greater adoption of international standards to the Brazilian reality.
This article appeared in the April 2016 issue of DatacenterDynamics magazine