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OpenStack and Keystone have already built-out basic support for federation. This includes federated identity management, and the ability to "federate-in" and "federate-out" the other OpenStack services.
However, with modest additional work, OpenStack and Keystone could support general federations across multiple administrative domains. This could include federations at the IaaS, Paas, and SaaS levels. This would facilitate a wide variety of collaborations, including areas as diverse as international "big science" efforts, international disaster response, and supply chain management, just to name a few.
These types of federated clouds, or inter-clouds, are being pursued by the Open Research Cloud organization:
and the NIST/IEEE Joint WG on Federated Cloud:
ORC's goal is to support international science collaborations. The NIST goal is to "define" federation, build a conceptual model, map-out federation deployment models, and identify needed areas of federation-specific standardization. The IEEE goal is to push these federation standards through the standardization process.
The success of these efforts will depend directly on engaging with cloud builders, operators, and stakeholders. OpenStack and Keystone are in a unique position to provide technical leadership and create a new market for cloud-based collaborations. We want to present this value proposition, and start this process in the OpenStack community.