Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the thought police are back. For years, the open source community was torn apart by fractious debates over what "open" meant and who was open enough. As we've moved beyond name calling to focus on getting work done, the same old debate has shifted to cloud computing, …
I did wonder what cloud washing was (so we need cleaner clouds - some of those grey ones could do with a rinse or two I'm sure), so I followed the link.
From the actual linked article, it would appear that it's actually "cloudwashing" (i.e. like "greenwashing", badging something as something it's really not, in order to get on the bandwagon).
Cloud washing as two words, in this context, would appear to be some headline writer's pig's ear on being presented with an error from their spoil chicken.
I have to wonder
who really cares about what cloud means, and whether it's open- or closed-source.
Really, really wonder.
As a CIO I'd say I want a cloud service (either IaaS or PaaS, with our without storage, as required) for its business value. I'd hand that off to my CIO who would do some due diligence that might include cost, platform (if I'm a Linux house Azure may not be an ideal fit), resilience, entry/exit costs, and so on.
If this article is to be believed then a cloud vendor is in fact being chosen like a mobile phone - dogmatically.
I would argue it would have been more important
6 months ago, while there still doubts about the copyrightability of API's.
Fortunately, it would appear that little idea is now out of the window due to the Oracle-google spat.
So not particulary at the moment.
our cloud uses only free range servers fed natural organic electricity
This is what you do when you can't differentiate on price, performance or services. Accuse the other numpty's of not be true clouds or not being truly open in the hope that (the very small number of) people who care about this shit will chose you instead.
For reasons of semantic interoperability, open source is absolutely essential for creating a free (as in unconstrained rather than captured) utility market whether the providers all run the same system or conform to an open source reference model.
It has to be code (i.e. an expression) rather than a principal in specification document as switching needs to be perfect and the normal interpretation errors of documented standards by one vendor or another would prevent switching.
However, the value to the users is the market i.e. ask most large AWS users whether they want lots of different IaaS cloud or lots of AWS clones ... they'll say AWS clones i.e. they want a market of AWS clones.
So, spot on - the value to users is not how "open" or not this cloud is but instead the existence of a utility market with easy switching. The latter does require an open approach but that is secondary to the eyes of the user and the value of "a market".
I've long supported the attempts to create open source AWS clones in order to form that market. The whole "open API" brigade and how EC2 / S3 / EBS weren't open suffered from a lack of understanding of law. APIs are (and have always been) principles and not copyrightable. Nothing has changed. Of course, the next counter will be the process itself of how AMZN builds those APIs is not open ... ignoring that Android is equally a closed wall process.
So two cheers for writing an article which emphasises that what's importance is user need, in this case the existence of a free (unconstrained) competitive market, and not how "open" something is.
As Benjamin Black would say "Solve user problems or become irrelevant". Being "more open" doesn't solve a user problem, creating "a market" with easy switching does.
Focus needs to be on what users need
At OpenNebula we think that the involvement of the users in the definition of the roadmap is critical to create a software that solves their needs rather than the vendor's. Our point is that we think that the roadmap should not be defined by the vendors. We are all about our users, and we believe this is the reason why we have more than 5,000 downloads per month, reference serious production deployments in companies like China Mobile (flagship Big Cloud Elastic Computing System) and RIM (Blackberry services), and an important adoption in industry (http://gigaom.com/cloud/opennebula-cloud-bigger-than-expected-in-business/) without having invested in marketing and without being backed by any big name or vendor.
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