We here at SugarCRM have been touting the idea of an Open Cloud for a while now.
So, we were not surprised when the Open Cloud manifesto appeared this week. Spearheaded by IBM and a number of other large tech firms, the document basically says that cloud computing must remain as open as possible to foster innovation and total interoperability. Good.
We have always said that cloud computing must offer data AND application portability. And cloud computing must not entail other lock-in strategies.
So, it was not surprising to me when I read that both Microsoft and Salesforce.com refused to sign the Open Cloud Manifesto. (I was, however, slightly surprised that Google is not inking its name to the document.)
Both Microsoft and Salesforce.com have built their cloud infrastructures as offshoots of their proprietary stacks. And I personally think it would have been a bit hypocritical for either to be a part of any truly “open” initiative. This is not to say these companies are not cloud ready. Salesforce.com is a major leader in this space, and Microsoft has the power to do amazing things – but if they simply push proprietary code into the cloud, it is anything but open.
Ultimately, I think it is great that some of the largest cloud providers are pushing openness. Everybody wins in this equation. And those hawking lock-in models in the cloud may have some early market mover advantage, but I believe that in time the open, highly accessible cloud providers will be the ones thriving.