According to CMSWire’s Josette Rigsby, “there is no firm definition of ‘openness’,” at least as applied to cloud computing. While the Open Data Center Alliance has published a set of standards that are aimed at making the cloud a more “open” place, there’s no clear indication of whether or not such ideals will stick, or if big business and proprietary interests will triumph.
The Open Data Center Alliance has managed to convince 280 global companies which represent over $100 million in IT spending that an open-space model for the cloud is the best way to go. It’s a fact of the industry – without money and clout on a global scale, ideas like open clouds won’t have a chance of getting anywhere.
But while the ODCA is doing their level best to ensure that things like OpenStack make market gains, or considering the possibility of another abstraction layer on the cloud being built to help avoid the mires of proprietary technology, there is a concern that the term “open” and what it stands for might still be co-opted by big business for their own interests.
Because there is no hard and fast definition of what “open” is in the industry, PR execs are able to spin it to their best advantage in many cases, and offer companies that are new to the cloud options that suit their interpretation of the term.
The challenge for the ODCA is developing a common standard of openness – is it merely information sharing, or full portability of programming? Once this is done, the Alliance will have to make sure that their good aims aren’t co-opted by marketing execs and providers that want to get their foot in the door of the cloud.