The much ballyhooed Open Cloud Manifesto, as of March 30, is now officially out and supported primarily by IBM and a host of other companies, including Sun Microsystems, VMware, Cisco, EMC, Red Hat, Novell, and Juniper Networks. Other supporters include AT&T, Aptana, Engine Yard, Enomaly, and the Object Management Group. However, conspicuous by their absence are Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Salesforce.
The much ballyhooed Open Cloud Manifesto
as of March 30, is now officially out and supported primarily by IBM
and a host of other companies, including Sun Microsystems, VMware,
Cisco, EMC, Red Hat, Novell, and Juniper Networks.
by their absence in the effort to set the direction for the future of
cloud computing are Microsoft, Google, Amazon.com, Salesforce.com and
the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF).
Google, Amazon and Salesforce probably hold a great deal of real-world
cloud computing sway and are too central to the conversation to be left
The entire list of Open Cloud Manifesto Supporters can be found at opencloudmanifesto.org
However, the list of Open Cloud Manifesto supporters includes: IBM, Sun
Microsystems, VMware, AT&T, Telefonica, Cisco, EMC, SAP, AMD,
Elastra, rPath, Juniper Networks, Red Hat, Hyperic, Akamai, Novell,
Sogeti, Rackspace, RightScale, GoGrid, Aptana, CastIron, EngineYard,
The Eclipse Foundation, SOASTA, F5, LongJump, North Carolina State
University, Enomaly, Nirvanix, the Object Management Group (OMG),
Computer Science Corporation, Boomi, and RESERVOIR.
According to its organizers, the Open Cloud Manifesto "is meant to
start a conversation around standards and help clients ask the right
questions about cloud interoperability. This document is not a contract
with vendors or a position on what standards should be. It is directed
to opening an important discussion as clouds incorporate into business
and society. You can draw a parallel between cloud today and the Web in
the mid '90s when Prodigy and CompuServe had their own proprietary
neighbors on the Web. Back then, people were just starting to ask if it
were possible for things to be open and interoperate. This is just the
In a blog post from March 26, Steven Martin, Microsoft's senior director of developer platform management, questioned the manifesto
, saying it showed bias. Later, when the document began to leak, many observers wondered why Martin and Microsoft objected
to what some called an innocuous document. Martin countered, calling
the document "vacuous." He also questioned the issue of governance of
the organization that would be in charge of maintaining any standards
or practices put forth regarding the future of cloud computing.
"Who will manage this effort and determine who is in compliance?"
Martin asked. "If the answer is IBM, I have significant concerns about
Sources said the OMG has offered to provide that governance role and
is being seriously considered to take over the responsibility. The OMG
has run several standards efforts and is totally vendor-neutral and has
no interest in ownership or gaining anything from any deliverables
resulting from the effort.
Indeed, many appear to have concerns about IBM taking a leadership
role in establishing an organization that champions the cloud when some
believe IBM has no coherent cloud strategy or offering of its own.
However, despite not being quick to provide a cloud offering for
developers, IBM has run what amounts to vast cloud computing operations
for years for its own research and for various Big Blue customers.
Said one observer at one of the holdout companies, "These guys
calling for standards are doing so out of their own self-interest.
They're behind in the cloud computing game, so they're using standards
to slow things down until they can catch up. Standards have no place in
a nascent market like this. The cloud computing market could very well
be 180 degrees different in 6-12 months. Who knows?"
Meanwhile, despite the early hoopla about the manifesto and who is
supporting it, the effort is a step in the right direction. And it is
expected that the big-name holdouts will come to the table in some form
to have open discussions about the topic. Indeed, Microsoft is sending
Andrew Layman, a veteran of standards bodies and standards wars, to
represent the company at a meeting in New York to coincide with the Cloud Computing Expo
that opens March 30. And the CCIF is holding its Wall Street Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum
on April 2, where there will be more room for discussion.