Cloud Manifesto makes stormy debut

Open Cloud Manifesto comes under fire from a number of key players including Microsoft

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By  Nathan Statz Published  March 31, 2009

The Open Cloud Manifesto, a set of principles designed to ensure that organisations will have freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness with cloud computing, has come under criticism from a number of key players.

The initiative, which is spearheaded by IBM and has 72 other signatories, including AMD, Cisco, EMC, Novell, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems and Trend Micro, has failed to sign a number of leading companies in the cloud space, such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

The companies who have signed the manifesto do not constitute a standards body for cloud computing and there are no fees or legal agreements involved for those who ink their names to the list of principles.

Steven Martin, senior director of developer platform management at Microsoft openly criticised the manifesto in a blog post on 26th March: “We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto. What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience.”

“Very recently we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input. It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an 'open' process. An open Manifesto emerging from a closed process is at least mildly ironic,” he added.

Also conspicuous by their absence is Google, Amazon.com and Salesforce.com, as together they make up a large portion of the virtual cloud. The manifesto's website addresses the significance of companies missing from the supporters list in the FAQ, claiming the project moved quickly and some companies may not have been reached or did not have enough time to go through their own internal review processes.

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