We are covering the controversy surrounding the Open Cloud Manifesto here at Cloud Ave. There were some interesting developments during the weekend. To start with, Open Cloud Manifesto has been released on their website as expected. The supporter list includes a decent group of companies, from giants like Cisco, IBM, SAP, AT&T to Cloud startups like Rightscale, Appistry, rPath. In fact, I am a bit surprised to see some of them in the list. It neither appears to be totally doomed nor a vapor tiger. However, we cannot deny the fact that it has lost the legitimacy initially expected by its authors.
According to James Urquhart, Google has joined the ranks of Microsoft and Amazon in refusing to sign the Open Cloud Manifesto.
shrinking further–I have confirmation that Google has refused to sign,
along with the already well-known Amazon and Microsoft
declinations–but that the only open alliance of any kind and one of
the chief proponents of the document has backed out.
However, the biggest surprise today is the withdrawal of Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), a community of technology advocates and consumers interested in promoting interoperability between the Cloud vendors and standardizing the Cloud Computing. Its original instigator, Reuven Cohen of Enomaly, sent an email today to its members saying that CCIF has withdrawn from the list of signatories of Open Cloud Manifesto.
March 30, the CCIF’s name will not appear as a signatory. This decision
comes with great pain as we fully endorse the document’s contents and its
principals of a truly open cloud. However, this community has issued a
mandate of openness and fair process, loudly and clearly, and so the CCIF
can not in good faith endorse this document.
Knowing what has happened in the past few days and the firestorm that ensured after Microsoft desperately threw a hail mary pass, this is a sensible move on the part of CCIF. In fact, CCIF emerged stronger from this controversy reaffirming their willingness to fight to ensure openness in the field of Cloud Computing. The whole controversy has put Microsoft on notice and, now, the onus is on them to come clean of any backroom maneuvers and offer real openness in their Cloud Computing offerings. If the current controversy taught us something, it is the fact that the community is willing to fight for openness, as it should actually be than what some vendor(s) might want it to be.
Before I put the tracking of this controversy to rest, at least momentarily, I want to point out to a set of legitimate questions raised by the security guru, Christofer Hoff, in his must read blog.
What confuses me is how Azure, as a platform, will be limited to
deployment only in Microsoft’s operating environment (i.e. their
datacenters) and not for use outside of that environment and how that
compares to the statements above regarding the interoperability
described by Martin.
Doesn’t the proprietary nature of the Azure runtime platform, “open”
or not via API, by definition limit its openness and interoperability?
If I can’t take my applications and information and operate it anywhere
without major retooling, how does that imply openness, portability and
If one cannot do that fully between Windows Server and Azure — both
from the same company — what chance do we have between instances
running across different platforms not from Microsoft?
Doesn’t this sound familiar to all of us who had fought for openness forever? Well, sometimes you just can’t straighten a dog’s tail.