Cloud computing standardization initiatives in china economic and institutional considerations
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ITU Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap (Yangon, Myanmar, 28-29 November 2013). Cloud Computing Standardization Initiatives in China: Economic and institutional considerations. Nir Kshetri Professor, The University of North Carolina—Greensboro [email protected]

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Cloud computing standardization initiatives in china economic and institutional considerations

ITU Regional Workshop on Bridging the Standardization Gap

(Yangon, Myanmar, 28-29 November 2013)

Cloud Computing Standardization Initiatives in China: Economic and institutional considerations

Nir Kshetri

Professor, The University of North Carolina—Greensboro

[email protected]


Cloud standards in china
Cloud Standards in China

  • CCID Consulting (2010): Cloud standards and cloud security: urgent issues facing Chinese cloud industry

    • not unique to China.

  • Cloud standards: infant stage.

    • A lack of standards: difficult to regulate the development.

  • Technical standards, service standards and standards of quality assurance of public, private and mixed cloud


China s international initiatives related to cloud standards
China’s International Initiatives Related to Cloud Standards

  • 2011: ChinaLife andChina Unicom--Steering Committee of Open Data Center Alliance:

    • “an independent consortium ….. aimed at providing a unified vision for long term data center requirements”

  • Other Chinese members

    • China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation

    • China Telecom

    • Beijing China Power Information Technology


Dmtf and cesi partnership
DMTF and CESI partnership Standards

  • Jul. 2012: Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), and China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI): adoption of DMTF standards.

  • DMTF to make standards meet requirements outlined by CESI.

  • CESI: encourage Chinese companies/ univ. and non-profit orgs to adopt DMTF standards

    • Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI)

    • Open Virtualization Format (OVF)

    • DMTF standards for Cloud auditing and software license management


Lesson from past it initiatives
Lesson from Past IT Initiatives Standards

  • China’s healthcare industry: “Information Island”.

  • Many large hospitals completed initial IT initiatives in the mid-2000s

    • fragmentation and incompatibility of information systems between departments

    • inability to communicate and share data.

  • A reason for the slow diffusion of EMR: lack of a single standard.


Definition of cloud related concepts
Definition of Cloud-related Concepts Standards

  • Chinese Communications Standards Association (CCSA)

  • Most parts in NIST definition accepted

  • Technical reference materials for virtualization, cloud security, cloud storage and others developed by

    • DMTS

    • Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA)

    • Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)

    • ITU


Definition of cloud related concepts1
Definition of Cloud-related Concepts Standards

  • MIIT’s Telecommunications Research Institute: The removal of “on-demand self-service” as a characteristic

  • Possibility of additional layer of mgmt/control.

    • Extra technical requirements for businesses.

  • Different from the NIST definition-three deployment models (public, private, and hybrid)

  • No “community cloud”: shared by multiple organizations with shared missions

    • Distributed computing resources like CC employed in Chinese scientific research community.



The state s involvement in the economy
The State’s Involvement in the Economy Standards

  • China-specific standards requirements even if not adopted or mandated:

  • Likely to be enforced for municipal/ provincial government contracts

  • Government’s entrenchment in the economy

    • Large/important segment of the Chinese market


Lack of clear regulations transparency
Lack of Clear Regulations/Transparency Standards

  • Major concerns for businesses: lack of clear government standards/regulations and data privacy concerns

  • Uncertainty: regulations’ evolution without transparency/outside input

  • Some degree of foreign participation in

    • CESI

    • NITSTC SOA

    • CCSA standards groups

    • Often not as full voting members.


Lack of clear regulations transparency1
Lack of Clear Regulations/Transparency Standards

  • Some groups under NITSTC: no foreign companies’ participation even as observers

  • In industry groups that allow foreign participation

    • Degree of influence low/uncertain

  • Low degree of transparency/ impartiality compared to the development of most international cloud computing standards.


Strength of nationalism
Strength of Nationalism Standards

  • 1970s, the CCP: standardization to ‘‘quickly build a socialist economy ….to ensure quality, advance performance …’’

    • Since1980s: attempts to develop

      • Chinese computer OS: CCDOS

      • Database management system

      • Network communication system

      • Middleware products.

    • 1990s: Aggressive actions in DVD and CD standards

  • Chinese cloud policies: create “indigenous innovation” requirements for domestic sales:

    • protect Chinese enterprises from foreign competition.


Perception of national security and economic threat
Perception of National Security and Economic Threat Standards

  • Chinese officials/ Chinese business leaders:

    • “[H]ighly confidential data about the Chinese economy, military, and government, as well as crucial technology and science developments, can be stolen or accidentally disclosed to foreign competitors, or end up in the hands of groups or individuals who seek to overturn the national government.”

      L. Ann Ragland, J. McReynolds, M. Southerland & J. Mulvenon. Red Cloud Rising: Cloud Computing in China, Research Report Prepared on Behalf of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, September 5, 2013


Discussion and implications
Discussion and Implications Standards

  • China’s attempt to create domestic standards in many other ICT industries

    • Lesson from largely unsuccessful initiatives in the past (e.g., CCDOS in 1982).

  • Lack of mature technological capabilities/ technical standards/requirements to drive technology development.

  • MIIT 2012: slow development of cloud computing standards

    • lack of participation of mainstream cloud providers.


Discussion and implications1
Discussion and Implications Standards

  • Distrust of foreign providers

  • Complaint regarding protectionist measures: hamper foreign participation

  • Foreign corporations: increase in cost

  • Extra technical requirements may reduce foreign firms’ competitiveness

    • Adapt products to China-specific standards

    • Requirement to custom-design for China


Conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions and Recommendations Standards

A complex interaction of economic and institutional factors in play

Tricky trade off for the Chinese regulators

Many challenges confronting domestic and foreign companies

Offers a number of relevant lessonsfor the cloud standardization initiatives for other developing countries.


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