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Principles of an Open Cloud

Of course, many clouds will continue to be different in a number of important ways, providing unique value for organizations. It is not our intention to form standards for every capability in the cloud and create a single homogeneous cloud environment. Rather, as cloud computing matures, there are several key principles that must be followed to ensure the cloud is open and delivers the choice, flexibility and agility organizations demand:

1. Cloud providers must work together to ensure that the challenges to cloud adoption (security, integration, portability, interoperability, governance/management, metering/monitoring) are addressed through open collaboration and the appropriate use of standards.

2. Cloud providers must not use their market position to lock customers into their particular platforms and limiting their choice of providers.

3. Cloud providers must use and adopt existing standards wherever appropriate. The IT industry has invested heavily in existing standards and standards organizations; there is no need to duplicate or reinvent them.

4. When new standards (or adjustments to existing standards) are needed, we must be judicious and pragmatic to avoid creating too many standards. We must ensure that standards promote innovation and do not inhibit it.

5. Any community effort around the open cloud should be driven by customer needs, not merely the technical needs of cloud providers, and should be tested or verified against real customer requirements.

6. Cloud computing standards organizations, advocacy groups, and communities should work together and stay coordinated, making sure that efforts do not conflict or overlap.

Conclusion

This document is meant to begin the conversation, not define it. Many details (taxonomies, definitions and scenarios, for example) will be filled in as the cloud computing community comes together. We have outlined the challenges facing organizations that want to use the cloud. These issues lead to a call to action for the IT industry around a vision of an open cloud. We as industry participants must work together to ensure that the cloud remains as open as all other IT technologies. Some might argue that it is too early to discuss topics such as standards, interoperability, integration and portability. Although this is a time of great innovation for the cloud computing community, that innovation should be guided by the principles of openness outlined in this document. We argue that it is exactly the right time to begin the work to build the open cloud. Companies that support the open cloud manifesto are listed at www.opencloudmanifesto.org.

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Click on the opencloudmanifesto.org URL and you get an "under construction" page. All should be revealed on Nehalem day, sorry, Monday, March 30th. ®

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