The Open Cloud Manifesto is a fairly straight forward six page document that aims to establish a core set of principles to ensure that organizations will have freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness as they take advantage of cloud computing.
The document begins with
The buzz around cloud computing has reached a fever pitch. Some believe it is a disruptive trend representing the next stage in the evolution of the Internet. Others believe it is hype, as it uses long established computing technologies. As with any new trend in the IT world, organizations must figure out the benefits and risks of cloud computing and the best way to use this technology.
One thing is clear: The industry needs an objective, straightforward conversation about how this new computing paradigm will impact organizations, how it can be used with existing technologies, and the potential pitfalls of proprietary technologies that can lead to lock-in and limited choice.
This document is intended to initiate a conversation that will bring together the emerging cloud computing community (both cloud users and cloud providers) around a core set of principles. We believe that these core principles are rooted in the belief that cloud computing should be as open as all other IT technologies
The creators of the manifesto in the FAQ say that
While cloud computing has the potential to have a positive impact on organizations, there is also potential for lock-in and lost flexibility if appropriate open standards are not identified and adopted. Customers want to see cloud environments that give them at least as open an environment as they have with today’s IT choices. This openness gives them choice, flexibility, speed, agility and a large pool of skills to draw from. The Manifesto was written as a rallying cry for the cloud computing community to come together around open technologies
However despite its intent at being a document that would benefit all cloud companies and customers, the open cloud manifesto already seems to have run into some trouble. The “big four” of cloud computing, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce.com have chosen to not be signatories to the manifesto.
In an interview with eWEEK, Steven Martin said Microsoft is opposed to the Open Cloud Manifesto on procedural issues and also because it says nothing about governance, such as who will govern the evolution of the effort and what goes into the process of managing cloud computing standards. “Who will manage this effort and determine who is in compliance,” Martin asked. “If the answer is IBM we have significant concerns about that.
Google has pulled out after signing up and Amazon said it would not get involved.
It certainly would be interesting to see how the Open Cloud idea moves from here. One hopes that all the major cloud players manage to sit down and agree on the manifesto as partial acceptance or creation of independent standards by different vendors will only lead to long term headaches for companies and customers.