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Cloud 3.0 - #Cloud Linked Data

Implementing the Semantic Web on Cloud

Yes, 'Cloud Linked Data' is yet another entry for your Cloud Computing buzzword bingo set, but it does highlight a real sweet spot for Cloud-focused technology investments.

'Web 3.0' is the term often used to refer to the vision of the Semantic Web, the next main phase of web evolution we're moving into following the social media 2.0 explosion, and it's likely Cloud Computing platforms will be used for running this type of software.

Open Linked Data
Recently Sir Tim Berners-Lee focused on a subset of this, called 'Linked Data', which will create an interconnection between information that is often the essence of what we refer to in terms of "the Cloud".

Not least it's this type of technology that will help address the core concerns of Cloud, that of online data privacy security, and it's the paradox of two opposing directions of trend that emphasize this. Open Government is a Whitehouse program to make government more transparent, and it's also a technical framework for governments to adopt OpenID.

At the same time as reform drives more citizen participation in online e-gov, so the standards are maturing and being adopted to make the web experience a more streamlined and secure information sharing environment.

Secure Identity Systems
Most of the concerns over the adoption of Cloud Computing focus on the perceived security of having third-parties hold your personal data, and it's standards like OpenID that will help lock this down, as well as enable more effective data sharing between Cloud apps.

As OpenID has evolved it's taken a deeper focus and expertise beyond simply being a single sign on tool, most notably XDI, a similar standards framework for linking data. This early 2004 white paper (21-page PDF) describes how the standards would enable a 'dataweb' environment of linked information, and as of today is now being used to implement Open Trust Frameworks (10 page PDF).

As governments adopt these it will help them deliver considerable improvements in process efficiencies and subsequent reduction in costs, as they better interlink all the different agency systems.

These are open standards that are in process of being adopted by the pioneers like the USA and the UK, which then enables them to be downstreamed into practical solutions. For example this Cisco white paper (20 page PDF) describes a secure Healthcare Information Sharing environment, incorporating the Whitehouse FEA standards.

Adoption of these standards is also being advanced within the industry. The DMTF is an industry body led by folks like Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco, and recently they published open standards for Cloud service providers that included elements such as Cloud Interoperability, achieved through adoption of these types of Identity ecosystem systems.

As their 'Interoperable Clouds' white paper (21-page PDF) describes this will enable providers to build "Cloud federations" that act as secured clearinghouses for sharing this linked data, offering service providers a whole new generation of IaaS products to sell and fuelling a huge boom in spending on the technologies.

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