Earlier this month, NIST went public with their perspective on cloud computing. This is important because NIST is a well-respected, public standards organization, and there is still a lot of confusion about what cloud really is (the *-aaS affect).
They released only a short, two page document and a longer, 72 slide PowerPoint (you can find their main page here). They are offering a broad definition based on essential characteristics, delivery models, and deployment models:
Ubiquitous network access
Location independent resource pooling
Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)
Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
There’s not really anything new here, but that’s fine; it’s more important as a validation of the emerging models and ideas from a public standards body. I do like the three pronged approach, acknowleding that cloud is a lot of things but at the same time keeping it simple and concise. Brevity is the soul of great standards.
It’s worth keeping an eye on this effort.