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NIST Releases Reference Document for Federal Community Clouds

Jeff Brody

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a document detailing the need for transparent monitoring procedures and methods of distribution for federal community clouds to improve the efficiency of, and make cloud processes and transactions easier for, the members of these cloud environments.

According to the NIST Cloud Federation Reference Architecture, federal community clouds are cloud infrastructures that are used by a group of users and organizations who have a particular interest or area common, such as governance, security or missions. Members of a cloud environment include auditors, brokers, carriers, consumers, managers, operators and providers that function in the same online community.

Included in the draft architecture are suggestions for distinctions between different types of cloud-related auditing, varied capabilities for brokers and an identity verification process for new consumers entering a federal community cloud. The CFRA builds on principles found in the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture, a cloud computing treatise published in 2011.

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