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Developing Quality and Performance Measurements for the Cloud

Carnegie Mellon University is launching an initiative, led by two of its Silicon Valley-based researchers, to address the need for industry-wide, globally accepted measures for calculating the benefits and risks of cloud-computing services.

"We are helping to develop a set of business-centric measures, mixing quantitative and qualitative data that will provide chief information officers with a standardized method for comparing cloud services from internal or external providers," said Jane Siegel and Jeff Perdue, both senior scientists at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley.  

The researchers are seeking industry involvement via a consortium being formed with thought-leaders from other educational institutions, end user organizations and technology providers, who are experts in measuring and managing IT-enabled services. This initiative will develop a dynamic Service Measurement Index (SMI) that will be available for use by members of the Cloud Commons, an independent IT community supported by CA Technologies, a New York-based software company. CA Technologies also is a founding member of the consortium and is hosting the inaugural meeting of this group at its CA World 2010 Customer Conference in Las Vegas, this week.

"Today, there is no single, unbiased source that helps users understand and measure the experience organizations are having with cloud computing," said Martin Griss, associate dean of Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley campus. "This new qualification effort is being led by the researchers at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, where we are launching a new service management graduate education program as well as initiating research programs for large service systems."

Carnegie Mellon researchers said the drive to develop the consortium was prompted by a desire to help develop industry standards for measurement of services, and a tradition of tapping the university's global, entrepreneurial drive for innovative and multidisciplinary problem-solving skills to tackle industry challenges. "We are developing a framework and meaningful measure to enable decision-makers and senior managers to determine the costs, risks, and quality of services for both external and internal cloud services," Siegel said.

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