buzz around cloud computing has reached a fever pitch. Some believe
it is a
trend representing the next stage in the evolution of the Internet.
it is hype, as it uses long established computing technologies. As
trend in the IT world, organizations must figure out the benefits and
computing and the best way to use this technology.
thing is clear: The industry needs an objective, straightforward
how this new computing paradigm will impact organizations, how it can
with existing technologies, and the potential pitfalls of proprietary
that can lead to lock-in and limited choice.
document is intended to initiate a conversation that will bring
cloud computing community (both cloud users and cloud providers)
a core set of principles. We believe that these core principles are
belief that cloud computing should be as open as all other IT
document does not intend to define a final taxonomy of cloud
charter a new standards effort. Nor does it try to be an exhaustive
architecture and design. Rather, this document is intended for CIOs,
IT users and business leaders who intend to use cloud computing
to establish a set of core principles for cloud providers. Cloud
in its early stages, with much to learn and more experimentation to
the time is right for the members of the emerging cloud computing
to come together around the notion of an open cloud.
is Cloud Computing and Why
order to understand the core principles of an open cloud, we need to
some basic definitions and concepts of cloud computing itself. First,
cloud”? The architecture and terminology of cloud computing is
as clearly and
defined as, well, a cloud. Since cloud computing is really a
technologies such as grid computing, utility computing, SOA, Web 2.0,
technologies, a precise definition is often debated.
definitions, taxonomies and architectures are interesting, it is
to understand the value propositions for cloud computing. We need to
how suppliers of cloud technology will come together to deliver on
of cloud computing.
key characteristics of the cloud are the ability to scale and
power dynamically in a cost efficient way and the ability of the
(end user, organization or IT staff) to make the most of that power
having to manage the underlying complexity of the technology. The
itself can be private (hosted within an organization’s
firewall) or public
on the Internet). These characteristics lead to a set of core value
organizations have to deal with changes in their environments. The
computing solutions to scale up and down is a major benefit. If an
has periods of time in which their computing resource needs are
higher or lower than normal, cloud technologies (both private and
deal with those changes. The organization pays for the IT resources
uses; it does not have to maintain multiple sets of artificially high
resources to handle peak demands.
the Data Center
organization of any size will have a substantial investment in its
includes buying and maintaining the hardware and software, providing
in which the hardware is housed and hiring the personnel who keep
center running. An organization can streamline its data center by
of cloud technologies internally or by offloading workload into the
cloud provides an infrastructure for improving business processes.
and its suppliers and partners can share data and applications in
cloud, allowing everyone involved to focus on the business process
the infrastructure that hosts it.
companies that are just starting out, organizations in emerging
“Skunk Works” groups in larger organizations, cloud
startup costs. The new organization starts with an infrastructure
in place, so the time and other resources that would be spent on
a data center are borne by the cloud provider, whether the cloud is
and Barriers to
the cloud presents tremendous opportunity and value for
usual IT requirements (security, integration, and so forth) still
some new issues come about because of the multi-tenant nature
from multiple companies may reside on the same physical hardware)
cloud computing, the merger of applications and data, and the fact
workloads might reside outside of their physical on-premise
section examines five main challenges that cloud computing must
to deliver on its promise.
organizations are uncomfortable with the idea of storing their data
on systems they do not control. Migrating workloads to a shared
increases the potential for unauthorized access and exposure.
around authentication, identity management, compliance, and
technologies will become increasingly important. To reassure their
cloud providers must offer a high degree of transparency into their
and Application Interoperability
is important that both data and applications systems expose standard
Organizations will want the flexibility to create new solutions
by data and applications that interoperate with each other regardless
they reside (public clouds, private clouds that reside within an
firewall, traditional IT environments or some combination). Cloud
need to support interoperability standards so that organizations can
any cloud provider’s capabilities into their solutions.
and Application Portability
standards, the ability to bring systems back in-house or choose
provider will be limited by proprietary interfaces. Once an
or ports a system to use a cloud provider’s offerings, bringing
back in-house will be difficult and expensive.
IT departments introduce cloud solutions in the context of their
new challenges arise. Standardized mechanisms for dealing with
management, licensing, and chargeback for shared cloud
just some of the management and governance issues cloud providers
together to resolve.
leaders will want to use multiple cloud providers in their IT
will need to monitor system performance across these solutions.
supply consistent formats to monitor cloud applications and service
and make them compatible with existing monitoring systems.
is clear that the opportunity for those who effectively utilize cloud
organizations is great. However, these opportunities are not without
It is our belief that the value of cloud computing can be fully
cloud providers ensure that the cloud is open.
Goals of an Open Cloud
expect that the cloud services they use will be as open as the rest
IT choices. As an open cloud becomes a reality, business leaders will
an organization chooses a provider or architecture or usage model, an
will make it easy for them to use a different provider or
business environment changes. If the organization needs to change
because of new partnerships, acquisition, customer requests or
regulations, they can do so easily. If the organization deploys a
cloud, they can choose between providers as they extend their
functional capabilities. Resources that would have been spent on a
migration can instead be spent on innovation.
matter which cloud provider and architecture an organization uses, an
will make it easy for them to work with other groups, even if those
choose different providers and architectures. An open cloud will make
for organizations to interoperate between different cloud providers.
of the value propositions of cloud computing is the ability to scale
and software as needed. Using open interfaces allows organizations
new solutions that integrate public clouds, private clouds and
As the conditions of the organization change, an open cloud will let
organization respond with speed and agility.
side effect of an open cloud is the availability of skilled
professionals. If there
many proprietary programming models, a given IT professional is
more than a few of them. With an open cloud, there will be a smaller
new technologies to learn (especially when existing technologies are
enhancing the chances that the organization can find someone with
of an Open Cloud
course, many clouds will continue to be different in a number of
providing unique value for organizations. It is not our intention to
for every capability in the cloud and create a single homogeneous
Rather, as cloud computing matures, there are several key principles
must be followed to ensure the cloud is open and delivers the
and agility organizations demand:
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.
providers must not use their market position to lock customers into
their particular platforms and limit their choice of providers.
providers must use and adopt existing standards wherever
appropriate. The IT industry has invested heavily in existing
standards organizations; there is no need to
duplicate or reinvent them.
new standards (or adjustments to existing standards) are needed, we
must be judicious and pragmatic to avoid creating too many
must ensure that standards promote innovation and do
not inhibit it.
community effort around the open cloud should be driven by customer
needs, not merely the technical needs of cloud providers, and should
tested or verified against real customer requirements.
computing standards organizations, advocacy groups, and
should work together and stay coordinated, making sure that
do not conflict or overlap.
document is meant to begin the conversation, not define it. Many
definitions and scenarios, for example) will be filled in as the
community comes together.
have outlined the challenges facing organizations that want to take
the cloud. These issues lead to a call to action for the IT industry
around a vision
an open cloud. We as industry participants must work together to
cloud remains as open as all other IT technologies. Some might argue
that it is
early to discuss topics such as standards, interoperability,
Although this is a time of great innovation for the cloud computing
that innovation should be guided by the principles of openness
in this document. We argue that it is exactly the right time to begin
to build the open cloud.
and organizations that support the open cloud manifesto are listed