Cloud Computing Considerations in the Smart Grid

Cloud Computing Considerations in the Smart Grid

  • Cloud computing initiatives that could impact the smart grid
  • Risks unique to the use of cloud services
  • Priority requirements for managing providers of cloud services

Smart grid options for cloud services

The application of cloud computing, a method of configuring and delivering computing power on demand, is growing rapidly. One such increase in cloud computing usage is precipitated by the development of smart grids, which integrate information and communication technologies with the delivery of electricity over the power grid. For the smart grid community — including system planners, program managers, technologists, and others adopting cloud computing as consumers or providers of cloud services — there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind when using cloud computing for the smart grid.

This paper introduces background material on cloud computing and its essential characteristics, reviews the smart grid options for cloud services, and presents some examples of where risks increase due to outsourcing part of the utility’s business process to a cloud environment, such as with regard to privacy or data ownership. Because utilities should actively manage providers of cloud services in order to ensure the quality of services received, this paper also describes some key Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements, such as availability, security, liability, and auditing.

What’s in the report

  • Cloud computing deployment models and categories of services
  • Applications of cloud computing in the smart grid
  • 10 steps to creating an effective SLA for cloud computing

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