New Organization Promotes Free and Open Cloud Computing
It is April 1 and the focus on the cloud is as serious -- or not-so-serious -- as ever. A new organization has formed to ensure that cloud computing remains free and open.
According to a group identifying itself as "Sons of the Internet," on April 1:
Today, major cloud vendors, in conjunction with the Free Software Foundation (FSF), announced the imminent creation of the Free and Open Cloud Alliance (FOCA), an industry-wide trade marketing association supporting Free and Open Cloud Computing (FOCC). The group also pre-announced the release of a new license for cloud computing, the "CloudLeft Public License" (CPL). The event coincides with the close of the Cloud Computing Expo in New York City. Full details will be available next Monday.
The major vendors describe the effort as a vehicle for promoting interoperability of ALL information technology (IT) systems, ensuring they are Free and Open. In support of the first marketing and outreach program -- "FOCC: IT in 2009" -- FOCA is sponsoring a technical oversight group, the ZOMG!, which will create a Technical Committee to deliver the CloudLeft Reference Application Platform, a Reference Model for the Management of Free Cloud Management Systems for Management of Clouds.
"In the past, I've said that 'cloud' is complete gibberish, but while discussing fashion during my weekly squash game with Stallman he convinced me that this was a great opportunity. It's not often that a vendor group devoid of products can so easily and quickly get the marketing upper hand, and by partnering with the FSF, we should be able to get the free software community completely on board with us," said Larry Ellison, Chairman and CEO of Oracle. "I'm really excited about working more with Stallman," he added. "I've always been a supporter of the Free software movement, and being able to play a key role in the creation of a new license is very important to me. This should be a great way to level the playing field -- even small players like retail booksellers can get involved."
This new license, the "CloudLeft Public License (CPL)," is the logical extension of the Free software philosophy to The Cloud. It is based on two fundamental ideas; that data wants to be Free, and all your Cloud are belong to us. Building on these core tenets, the license ensures that software running on as well as data passing through a CloudLeft platform will be Free and made available to anyone connected to the internet, whether via REST, web services or SOA -- even over IPv6.
"Clouds want to be Free," said Richard M. Stallman, Founder of the Free Software Foundation. "While I've said that cloud computing is 'worse than stupidity', we found that licensing was lax due to the so-called "user data loophole," even after plugging the "service provider loophole" last year. I'm proud to introduce the "CloudLeft Public License (CPL)", under which both the source code for, and data passing through, a CloudLeft platform will be Free. This license also reintroduces the advertising clause, requiring you to use the name 'GNU/Cloud'. I'm tired of haranguing the GNU/Linux community about this."
The analyst community has been quick to embrace FOCC. "Finally someone gets what we've been saying for years. Subscription models suck. Data wants to be free," said James Governor, analyst at Redmonk, "Except for our reports." According to Gartner, "CloudLeft renders five of the seven main security risks void by making all data available for everyone to see, while simultaneously dispensing with the number two concern by appropriately setting users' expectation of privacy."
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