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IBM-led Open Cloud Manifesto: Who's in, who's out?

Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce.com, Google play dodgeball

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The Open Cloud Manifesto, spearheaded by IBM, landed today with a small thud - but it's the vendors left off the list of supporters who are making the biggest bang.

Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com are all notably absent from declaring their support for a document that claims to be a “call to action for the worldwide cloud community”.

It is backed by the likes of VMware, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat, Cisco and Novell. But the world’s largest cloud vendors have effectively shunned the initiative and declined to put their name to what some feel is a closed process.

Microsoft’s Azure boss has already grumbled about how some of the Manifesto’s views really stick in his craw.

Steven Martin leaked details about the project last week, and complained about being “disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto”.

Since then Amazon has issued a more guarded statement about why it has no plans to join the party soon.

“Like other ideas on standards and practices, we’ll review this one, too," said the web retail giant. "Ideas on openness and standards have been talked about for years in web services. And, we do believe standards will continue to evolve in the cloud computing space.

“But, what we’ve heard from customers thus far, customers who are really committed to using the cloud, is that the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them.”

In reality Big Blue has found a stick to beat Microsoft with by asking the software giant to sign up to a pre-defined manifesto that carries with it a "dedicated belief that the cloud should be open" with no questions asked.

Similarly, Amazon, Google and Salesforce.com have all shied away from the restrictions imposed by IBM’s own system of belief about how the world of cloud computing should function.

After all, none of the big players in the cloud computing game are going to want to lock themselves into fluffy terms that don't sit with their own internal navel-gazing about how to run things.

There's also the small, but extremely important matter of keeping resellers - who are still grappling with how to punt cloud-based services and their nascent biz models to customers - happy in amongst all the "let's hold hands and work together" talk.

Later tonight a Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum meeting is set to take place in conjunction with Cloud Expo in New York City.

Many of the manifesto's supporters are expected to be there to talk about shaping cloud standards for the future. And, interestingly, even though Microsoft has made the loudest noises about why it has no intention of signing on the dotted line, the company still plans to attend the event. ®

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