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Understanding GoGrid and Cloud Standards

March 29th, 2009 by - 7,806 views

It’s important to us to clarify GoGrid’s position with regard to cloud computing standards and the Open Cloud Manifesto (OCM). There has been a fair bit of controversy in the ‘blogosphere’ recently over the OCM, which is to be released on Monday.

In particular, myself and Steve Gillmor (of TechCrunch IT fame among others), had a somewhat heated, but friendly exchange over his scathing assessment of the situation. Steve invited me to a “News Gang” podcast of the Gillmor Gang on Friday, which was posted here. During that live podcast he asked us to clarify GoGrid’s position.

This post is really about making sure everyone is on the same page and understands how GoGrid views the OCM and cloud computing standards in general.

Background
It’s unnecessary to recap everything in detail. I think James Urquhart handled this fairly succinctly. Geva Perry also has a nice summary including a link to the draft document. In a nut:

  1. Some folks tried to lay down some guiding principles for “open” cloud computing in the Open Cloud Manifesto
  2. Some folks reacted badly feeling that the process wasn’t actually “open”
  3. Bruhaha ensued

Who cares?

Well, we all should really. From our perspective this is a healthy, yet contentious debate. We think there were good points and missteps on all sides. In particular, we think it’s important to realize that given how interconnected we’re all becoming it’s actually very hard for any given group to monopolize the Internet, the “cloud”, or similar.

We believe the following to be true about what happened:

  • The folks involved in the early Open Cloud Manifesto did not intend to “shut out” anyone
  • The process around building the Open Cloud Manifesto could have been more ‘open’
  • The manifesto is not about setting a standard, but starting a conversation
  • This “conversation” is meant to be about principles that already apply to the Internet

Position on Open Cloud Manifesto
We continue to be an enthusiastic supporter of the Open Cloud Manifesto (OCM) and open cloud standards in general. That’s why we licensed our own API under an open license in January. The OCM is an important move forward in the emerging debate about what “Cloud” and “Cloud Computing” mean. We do not support any kind of exclusion in the OCM or of folks who want to be it’s supporters. We believe everyone needs to have a say in these guiding principles. In fact the OCM itself is largely about saying how much “The Cloud” needs to be open, unfettered, and democratized.

That means everyone needs to be involved.

Summary
Simply put: contentious conversations, vibrant arguments, and great people will all eventually yield the right results. We don’t think it’s possible for anyone to cordon off and monopolize this conversation, foist standards on others, and won’t support such efforts. And, we don’t think the Open Cloud Manifesto is anything but a well-intentioned attempt to move the conversation forward. One that was never meant to be ‘closed’ and come Monday when it’s officially released we’ll see that it’s a positive move and all of the folks who worked together on the OCM (including Reuven Cohen, IBM, and many others) should be commended for their attempts to get everyone on the same page even in the face of extreme controversy.

–Randy

3 Responses to “Understanding GoGrid and Cloud Standards”

  1. dennyhalim says:

    make cloud affordable for everyone.
    start with cheap 128meg ram packages.
    that will surely drag all vps hosters switch to gogrid…

  2. Hareem Haque says:

    I would like to state that cloud providers should also provide some tools to create the poor man's cluster on their cloud infrastructure. Something as novel as a ffmpeg cluster for example.

  3. [...] a related note George Reese has a well thought out response to the earlier brouhaha around the Open Cloud Manifesto that was released while I was [...]

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