I'm glad to see that IEEE is at least formalizing this and documenting the conversations. I agree with Duane that technology at the speed of business is the only way to compete, but from a learning perspective, it is critical to pin down standards to grow development and hopefully make it more efficient. I agree with Duane that the demand and competition will drive the growth, but the time those interested in cloud computing standards will allow the most innovative minds to examine critical scalability factors: Theory and design implications informing practice and practice confirming theory...seems scientifically sound.
Is this the right time to be doing this? A few years ago, when cloud computing was emerging would have made sense, as would a few years from now when consolidation is taking place.
Right now seem like it will be more of an exercise in futility. There is a lot of commercial momentum between different players. I suspect competition will drive the formats / protocols and conventions far more than could a standards group. I think it's just poor timing for this.
The measurements tend to be all over the map, but they are all pretty big. Current numbers are in the high 3-digit millions and most estimates are for high single digit billions in the next couple of years.
Interoperability includes compliance of SIP, the trusted certificate, the communication among different servers(aka resources). If guidelines are provided, cloud space will grow with a clearer direction. I will have to look for the papers. Any further information is welcomed.
Interfaces are the critical factor. Standardizing them will allow end-user applications to migrate from provider to provider with (hopefully) minimal pain and effort. That will enhance the entire cloud market because of competitive pressures.
I believe that what they are trying to standardize is the interface between the user and the cloud services. If you think about it as the interchangeability of the interfaces then it makes more sense. Build one app or business process to those standards and attach it to the service provider of your choice.