The Importance of an Open Cloud

I came across a great blog today by David Young, the CEO of cloud computing vendor Joyent. Fresh off the coattails of some of the comments made by SugarCRM’s John Roberts during our San Francisco Acceleration event on Tuesday, including the importance that open source will play in the cloud computing space. Young lists a number of interesting points within the blog, but in a nutshell, speaks to the importance that cloud computing should be open and transparent, and not proprietary.

Developers should be able to interact with the cloud computer, to do business with it, without having to get on the phone with a sales person, or submit a help ticket. In other words, the customer should be able to truly get on-demand computing when they demand, whenever they demand.

He states early on that “no vendor currently does everything that’s required to serve customers well,” in the context of APIs and access to cloud computing platforms. On that point I disagree. The concepts that Young is speaking to has been underscored and put into practice by open source vendors, such as ourselves and others. Even our proprietary-based brethern are following suit with greater access to APIs and underlying code.

It’s for those reasons that open source and cloud computing have a natural synergy. The Web has become a ubiquitous platform for applications of all kinds. The success of concepts like cloud computing and enterprise collaboration depend on the continued development and penetration of open, standards-based development languages complementing ever-present open source infrastructure and delivery methods. Without it, the “cloud’ will never truly support the interoperability across solutions and organizations that so many of spoken about.