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Microsoft, Amazon Oppose Cloud Computing Interoperability Plan

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the stormy-weather dept.

The Internet 121

thefickler writes "Microsoft is opposing an industry plan, the Open Cloud Manifesto, to promote cloud computing interoperability. Officially, Microsoft says the plan is unnecessarily secretive and that cloud computing is still in an early stage of development, but there are allegations that Microsoft feels threatened by the plan because it could boost Linux-based systems. The goal of the group behind the manifesto, the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), is to minimize the barriers between different technologies used in cloud computing. And this is where the problem seems to lie, with the group stating that 'whenever possible the CCIF will emphasize the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions.' Some speculate that Microsoft is actually worried that this will allow open source systems, such as Linux, to flourish, at the expense of Microsoft technology." Amazon is also declining to support the plan, saying, "the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them." Reader smack.addict contributes a link to an O'Reilly piece asking what openness really means for cloud computing.

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121 comments

whatWHAT? (4, Funny)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | about 5 years ago | (#27365467)

Microsoft... complains about something because it is too secretive? wasn't this in the book of revelations somewhere?

Re:whatWHAT? (3, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 5 years ago | (#27365851)

Microsoft... complains about something because it is too secretive?

Hard to corrupt something you're excluded from...</paranoid>

Re:whatWHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366353)

I don't know, they managed to screw up ODF pretty well.

Re:whatWHAT? (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | about 5 years ago | (#27366155)

Maybe. I seem to remember something about the faithful "ascending to the clouds" while the unbelievers struggle below...

Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366167)

I'm guessing that the translation is: "We expect to make a lot of money with internet applications. We'll make more if we can create confusion so that smaller competitors won't be able to enter the field."

And:

"We don't care about our country. We don't care about what is good for the people around us. We only care about making money. If we can make more money being abusive, that's what we'll do."

Re:whatWHAT? (1)

jd (1658) | about 5 years ago | (#27366609)

No, I don't think they had a section on hell freezing over. But there was a bit on how, after the thousand years of heaven on Earth, there'd be a thousand years of hell on Earth. That must be when Microsoft buys out the Linux cloud services.

Microsoft opposition is a given (5, Insightful)

actionbastard (1206160) | about 5 years ago | (#27365497)

Openness implies lower barriers to entry. If they control the technology, they control the admission price. If you want to play on our 'cloud' then it's going to cost a CAL.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27365605)

Could anyone summarize what this "cloud computing" is, and why exactly is it so newsworthy? I tried to read the wiki, but it burned out my buzzword detector in the second sentence.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27365677)

In the broad senses, it's not really caring where your data or applications is. So it could be stored in some data center half a world away.

It's just always available.

You ask 7 people for anything more specific then that and you will get 9 answers.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#27365713)

So it doesn't really mean anything, just sounds cool?

That would explain why the wiki is so marvellously information-free.

Basically, it is not caring about servers (4, Informative)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366019)

You don't have to maintain infrastructure to deal with your peak loads. You just have to keep enough to handle the baseline and than when you get hammered, you "turn on" more "computers" as you go. In theory, those "computers" could be located anywhere, so if you are mentioned on some UK news show and get hammered over there, you can "turn on" more of your "computers" to handle the load and turn them off when you are done.

In other words, basically, you have an infinite amount of computers which start almost instantly that you pay by the hour/minute for. Each of them boots off a standard image you control and all of the service providers have ways to script things like "hey, I've just been booted! lets tell the load balancer to add me to the pool!"

In yet other words, it is basically like a distributed virtual server. Take a single image and on-demand, load up as many virtual servers as you need.

And to follow up to myself (3, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366049)

Here are two excellent use cases:

It is 9/11 and slashdot was hammered. I am too lazy to cite, but they were shoving extra computers into the rack to keep the thing online (slashdot was pretty much the only place that wasn't hammered). With cloud computing, they'd just fire up as many extra servers as the load needs and turn them all off when they are done.

Dailykos. Election night. Rather than buying a shit-ton more hardware to handle such peak loads, they'd just fire up as many extra "computers" as they need and pay for like 24 hours of use.

Your Blog. Slashdot, Digg, Fark and New York Times link to your article about Captain Kirk. Too much traffic? Nonsense... fire up a pool of servers in the cloud and turn them off when you are done!

Re:Basically, it is not caring about servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366213)

Although interestingly if the cloud ran on FOSS you could operate your own cloud node.

That way you could run hardware powerful enough to handle your average load but automatically expand onto hardware run by other people or companies if needed.

That way if the commercial part of the cloud stops working you still have your server and vice versa, if your hardware catches fire then the rest of the cloud takes over.

FOSS has nothing to do with it (4, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366309)

First, the "cloud" doesn't run on anything. The "cloud" is basically a metaphor for an virtually infinite amount of servers you can fire up running your system image at once. It doesn't mean your instances are "floating" around a pool of servers--those images are running on real servers in some dudes rack and each running instance is indeed mapped to one server. If the physical server your instance is running on dies, oh well, you just fire up your image somewhere else. If you looked in the data center, you'd just see a bunch of regular servers running something like VMWare ESX (or whatever) and a bunch of fancy scripts to load and provision customer's images across the data center. You'd probably also see some serious SAN shit too.

All your instances typically connect to the same pool of shared, perminate storage. Each instance (at least on EC2) gets a couple hundred gigs of temporary disk space that goes away when you shut down that instance.

With Amazons EC2 (the only one I've played with), you can shove anything into your disk images has long as it is x64 or x86. "Anything" could be Windows Server, Linux, Sun, FreeBSD, whatever. You can download a lot of pre-build images from the community too--like "here is FreeBSD /w useful stuff already installed".

The trick right now is everybody has different ways to fire up said images. And once they are fired up, the API's your software must interact with are different. One guys way of provisioning an IP address or mounting a disk is different than another.

But this is to be expected. The whole industry is far to young to ask for standards.

Re:FOSS has nothing to do with it (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | about 5 years ago | (#27368153)

...virtually infinite amount of servers you can fire up running your system image at once. .

You keep on saying that word...I don't think it means what you think it means...

Re:FOSS has nothing to do with it (1)

barmijo (1517645) | about 5 years ago | (#27368269)

a bunch of regular servers running something like VMWare ESX

Amazon's EC2, 3tera's Applogic, Flexiscale, GoGrid, etc all run Xen.

you can shove anything into your disk images has long as it is x64 or x86

Mostly correct. There are a few OS's that don't deal well with para-virtualization yet. You may be able to run them, but the IO will be incredibly slow.

Re:FOSS has nothing to do with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27368643)

You're wrong. Simply stated, you have to purchase software licenses. There is a cost difference between FOSS and non-FOSS software even if only for the OS. Even if the OS is $5, that's $5 that isn't used for something else. If your software stack requires a particular commercial OS, then you are tied to those added costs and porting to a FOSS OS probably isn't cost effective.

Just look at Cloud cost structures today. Windows costs are higher than Linux versions. Why if that doesn't matter?

Re:Basically, it is not caring about servers (4, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#27366319)

And this is exactly why it will fail!

If you have been following the news the governments of the world have become extremely NOSEY! This means (and I am right now personally experiencing it) companies DO care who and what is being shared. In my case we do not want servers in certain jurisdictions. I work for an investment bank, and my laptop does not go outside of Switzerland.

Look at what happened to wikileaks in Germany. Or look at what private banks have been advising their bankers! They say no travel outside of Switzerland.

Right now "cloud computing" is completely ignoring this issue and it will come back to haunt them.

That's why I am extremely skeptical that cloud computing will take off. Since those that would and can pay for it will not take advantage of it.

You are talking edge cases (3, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366419)

For starters, you will not run your HIPAA compliant health care system or your damn investment bank datacenter using some random shmucks pool of servers. That is silly. Privacy issues aside, both systems probably have very predictable loads and wouldn't benefit from cloud computing.

Second, even if you did, you'll probably be able to specify which data centers your virtual machines will run. After all, they want to charge you more for running stuff overseas!

Third, you aren't the market. Startups and web companies with spikey traffic are. If you have a predictable amount of traffic, odds are good this kind of provisioning would cost more. But if you are prone to unpredictable spikes, or you just don't want to deal with maintaining your own equipment, this is probably a good deal.

Lastly, just because RMS says something is evil [guardian.co.uk], doesn't mean he is right. I'll just leave it at that. I know you didn't specify the keyword "RMS", but rest assured that there are a lot of "haters" who have never even heard of the term before that windbag piped up. Now they hate it without even knowing what it means (kinda like how RMS hates it without understanding it).

Since those that would and can pay for it will not take advantage of it.

This statement makes no sense. You take advantage of it by *not* using it. That is the point. You only pay for what you use and no more. Prior to cloud computing (okay, the term is kinda silly), you'd have to provision for your peak load. Now you just provision for your baseline and fire up a potentially infinite pool of servers during peak loads.

Re:You are talking edge cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367989)

No...he is talking data security, and privacy. Two very good reasons why I will never use "cloud computing" just as I do not use online data storage or backup services. Most of my data is not meant to be seen by just anyone, therefore it stays on my own computer, or on backup media, which I can control access to. Any data sent beyond a private PC or private PC network is open to too many prying eyes.

The possibilities of data being lost, corrupted, stolen, or copied by the wrong people are endless.

Re:You are talking edge cases (2, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#27369685)

THANK-YOU...

This is exactly what I was talking about. The cloud computing intiative is completely missing these aspects. And it is these aspects that will form the future of computing.

In 1999 I said at a conference that the future of computing is not in the algorithms, but in the data that the algorithms manipulate.

I said if you had the choice in 1999 to destroy either the harddisk containing the data, or the harddisk containing the algorithms, which would you choose?

Answer the algorithms. What this means is that algorithms are important, but data is more important. Thus by promoting cloud computing you are promoting that the algorithm is more important than the data, and in reality that is not the case.

Re:You are talking edge cases (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#27369737)

>Privacy issues aside

In the last little while I have found developers say, "you know if I live in this fairy tale world, [x] would be..."

Look the reality is that you CAN'T put privacy issues aside. That is the entire argument. Privacy issues exist and while they are not technical in nature they are of the legal nature, and that trumps technical!

Saying that you could just put the servers overseas is actually missing my point. That is the minimum. My point is, and the anonymous poster said this, data security and privacy is key. Are cloud operators giving me assurances that my data will never be stolen? Or are we talking EULA type stuff? Because if we are talking EULA type stuff no way in h**l will I use a cloud. What I see happening with cloud operators is that they think it is a technical issue to resolve, whereas I say "it is now a legal issue that needs resolution first".

You could argue that am I able to provide the same security? Well again missing the point. If I put my valuables in the bank it is because I know that the bank has a much higher level of security. The bank is not focusing on its ability to store my stuff, but in its ability to store my stuff securely. I have not seen any of this being a focus in any cloud computing operator. All they talk about is "oh look you can offload your computing..." Missing the point...

>Third, you aren't the market. Startups and web companies with spikey traffic are.

Want to make a bet? Why do you think Oracle focuses on enterprise and not startups and web companies? And why do you think Redhat focuses on the enterprise? Answer because they are the market!!! Or how about IBM? Startups and web companies are a small part of the market.

>This statement makes no sense.

No it makes complete sense. Those that can pay for it namely enterprises will not take advantage of cloud computing since many questions are left unanswered. And those that don't have the money or are loss-leaders will take advantage of this, but they don't make enough money for the entire cloud computing eco-system. So what you have is a underfunded new technology that most likely will just come and sort of be there...

BTW I actually disagree with RMS! It just happens we are probably on the same side of the coin for different reasons.

Re:Basically, it is not caring about servers (1)

barmijo (1517645) | about 5 years ago | (#27368231)

Not all cloud computing providers are ignoring this issue. You can already get AppLogic service in many countries around the globe for just these reasons.

But in reality, it's about the data (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 5 years ago | (#27366955)

Moving system images around isn't that tough to do, but moving the context of that image and it's data are still challenges that lead to differences between the VM providers. If it were as simple as "provide an image", then there wouldn't be much of a market for the cloud computing providers to compete over.

This is a young industry. It's far too early to try to standardize on stacks beyond those being provided by the players in the cloud industry. Sure one could pick a stack of best-of-breed FOSS solutions for the raw technology, but that's not going to address the real interoperability costs of getting the raw data closer to the users without losing integrity.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#27367227)

So it doesn't really mean anything, just sounds cool?

Except that it doesn't even sound cool.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

Shados (741919) | about 5 years ago | (#27365791)

And thats why some companies do not want to see a set a standard being drafted for it right away. Its not even set in stone what Cloud Computing is to begin with!.

But basically, its a design/architecture philosophy that would state that you put your application/code/whatever somewhere, and you dont really care about its physical environment, scaling, etc, because all that is a bit magical (in the "cloud"), and you may have a bunch of these apps in the "cloud" talking to each other, without really being in your company... Hmm, im explaining it wrong.

Try 2. Take virtualization, service oriented architecture, web hosting, clustering, automatic load balancing (that is, more computing power is added/removed as required), grid computing, sprinkle a bit of internet technologies similar to google's services, and you have "Cloud Computing". Hosted, auto-scaling custom apps/ressources/data on infrastructure you dont worrie about.

Yes, its extremely vague, and no one is even sure in which direction its going.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27366017)

Cloud computing meant different things at different times. Right now it seems to mean a virtual data center.

You can have a virtual server or a series of virtual servers. So think of it as if you were planning the hardware for a start-up. You might need 2 webservers, 4 application servers and a database server.

That's a lot of hardware to buy. Instead you can use virtual servers. There is no upfront cost and you only pay for them while they're running. In the beginning you may only need 2 app servers then one day demand spikes and you need more. Instead of ordering servers and waiting for them to be installed at your colo facility, you just provision a virtual server and it goes online. If you no longer need the extra capacity, you turn it off. If your startup fails, then you don't have to worry about liquidating hardware on ebay.

Now lets say you want a staging environment that mimics your production environment so you can test your monthly code changes. Instead of buying a duplicate set of equipment that only gets used once a month, you just provision a new set of virtual servers and only pay for it's usage while you're doing your testing.

Another application is HPC type stuff where you may need to run a simulation or other highly parallel application. It takes 2 days to complete on your machine, but if you had 10 servers you could finish it in 2 hours. Buying 9 more servers you only use once in a while is expensive. Provisioning 10 virtual servers is more affordable. This is was called Grid computing but it will also be part of the cloud.

I think this is one of the coolest videos I've seen that relates the process of using Amazon EC2 for HPC applications [youtube.com]. The video gets interesting about 3 minutes into it. In the example, they have 2 live servers and 2 real servers as spares. If the load grows it can also dynamically provision virtual servers from Amazon EC2 and then once the load goes down, the EC2 instances and the spares go back into the pool.

Google has a type of cloud (app engine), Sun is coming out with their cloud and so are other vendors. The goal of a consortium on cloud computing is to develop some sort of specification and a cross platform API that will allow you to do what was done in that video above using any cloud provider. So one day you decide that XXX Cloud is cheaper than YYY cloud you can easily switch and don't need to buy/download a whole new set of tools.

Cloud computing is also used in terms of using a thin client desktop and all your applications and storage resides in the cloud. That's probably a ways off in public use, though thin clients on private networks and application hosting does work well.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

davidsyes (765062) | about 5 years ago | (#27366177)

"Cloud computing meant different things at different times. Right now it seems to mean a virtual data center."

Computing clouds? How many clouds does it take to saturate a farm of 2,500 hectares?

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

Seth024 (1241160) | about 5 years ago | (#27366075)

It's about not having to operate your own datacenter anymore. (not having to pay for electricity, cooling, multiple system admins, and keeping up with your server requirements...) You get an account with a business who has a big cloud. You tell them what kind of equipment you want to use (i.e. via an internet application) and it gets set up for you automatically (within minutes instead of days/weeks/months. Then you just pay for the storage you are using and the processor clock cycles that are used. You pay less, and benefit is that you can easily add more servers (in case you website gets slashdotted)

Almost (1)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366151)

and benefit is that you can easily add more servers and turn them off when you are done with them

If all you could do is turn them on, the whole thing would be pointless and you might as well go back to owning your own infrastructure. The cost savings comes from being able to pay only for what you use, no more, no less.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (2, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#27366197)

Could anyone summarize what this "cloud computing" is, and why exactly is it so newsworthy?

It's a scheme to get us all back to using low resource hardware to connect to the net, which will store all our apps and data so we have to pay to access them. The idea is to eliminate privacy, "piracy", and of course FOSS.

Or it is a scheme to make it successfull (0, Flamebait)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27366497)

Why are so many distributions still maintaining their own compile farms? Why not just fire up a pool of servers on EC2 and use http://distcc.samba.org/ [samba.org] to build all the RMS/YUM's/Packages/Whatever? Why not just fire up a bunch of extra web servers in the cloud when you push out a new release of your distribution? It is probably way cheaper than getting donated hardware and hosting.

Hell if all you haters were smart, you'd be pressuring the FSF to have its own "cloud" that GPL users could tap into as a compiler/testing farm. Your open source project could just fire up a server that is running your testing image and use it to create binaries or run automated tests.

Re:Or it is a scheme to make it successfull (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367433)

Hell if all you haters were smart, you'd be pressuring the FSF to have its own "cloud" that GPL users could tap into as a compiler/testing farm.

Haters? What on earth are you blathering about?

Anyway -- your off-the-wall characterizations aside, here in the U.S. bandwidth is still too expensive/unavailable for "the cloud", even if we wanted it. Lots of people still have a hard time streaming videos reliably.

Re:Or it is a scheme to make it successfull (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27368987)

SourceForge offered a compile farm for nearly a decade. We have moved beyond that. We all want our own compile farms now. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which are resiliency and security. Open source is about not being beholden to commercial service providers, remember?

As for release distribution, the mature distros (read: Debian) long ago solved this problem with flexible packaging, network installs, gradual upgrades, and bittorrent.

Cloud computing on different scales (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27369057)

That may all be true, for certain providers. But it is not true for "cloud computing" as a concept. Cloud computing is about using the network to make the most of available hardware.

It can be implemented on the scale of just a few dozen computers in a single site. LTSP is an example of this. DistCC is an example. Open/Mosix is an example. Hell even VMWare is an example.

It can also be implemented on the scale of a single global corporation. And there are many advantages to this. Lots of people are already (willingly) using "low-resource hardware" to access the net, because it is mobile and convenient. Giving them access to all of their data so that they can work while on-the-go is a huge advantage. When implemented on this scale, there is no loss of privacy, no anti-piracy interests involved, and FOSS only benefits because only open-standards based software is flexible enough to offer these type of solutions on this scale.

Ultimately, though "cloud computing" is not a "scheme". It is a computing paradigm grounded in the economic principle of making the most of available resources. The limited resources of computing (energy, processing-time, storage, bandwidth) will ultimately be optimized using flexible software and free-market principles. "Cloud" computing, utility computing, terminals and virtualization are all just slight variations on this theme. You are free to use any and all of them, or none at all, depending on your resources and preferences.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

jd (1658) | about 5 years ago | (#27366647)

As others have noted, there are many different definitions and comparisons. These are the ones I tend to use, though:

  • Grid Computing: Beowulf clusters over a WAN.
  • Cloud Computing: Content Addressable Memory over a WAN.
  • Microsoft: Fire, Brimstone, the 9 levels of Hell and the 666 levels of the Abyss. Integrated, for easier access.

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 5 years ago | (#27365685)

Openness implies lower barriers to entry. If they control the technology, they control the admission price. If you want to play on our 'cloud' then it's going to cost a CAL.

If Microsoft were a country, they'd be very wealthy. I believe the exchange rate is $1.00EUC to ~$85.00USD. (EUC - Exchange User Cal)

Re:Microsoft opposition is a given (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#27366363)

Openness implies lower barriers to entry. If they control the technology, they control the admission price. If you want to play on our 'cloud' then it's going to cost a CAL.

Put another way "All your base are belong to US, not THEM!!!!". Cloud computing is not about giving you the ability to do new things. It's about tying you to the network for everything you do including what you can currently do independently then charging a mint when they've got you by the balls. They don't want to share that wealth with others, and how do they get you by the balls if you can just go elsewhere when you're fed up? I don't know why people can't see the "cloud" concept for the power grab that it is.

Serves them right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27365499)

Serves them right. With all their "standards".

Seems bad, but... (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27365515)

In the computer world, whenever there are a few entrenched players, the opposing companies often join together to try to counter their power, and they often do it in the name of interoperability and standards. So while in this case it looks like Amazon and Microsoft are the bad guys (let's be honest, Microsoft is always the bad guy), in reality it is just a matter of their competition trying to get a piece of the action. Who are the supporters of the CCIF?

IBM
SUN
CloudCamp
Zero Nines
and some others.

Similar to when Facebook started becoming the dominant social networking site, a few of the others got together to try to make a public API so it is easy for users to switch between sites. Typical corporate politics.

Re:Seems bad, but... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#27365829)

in reality it is just a matter of their competition trying to get a piece of the action.

If a bunch of companies want to gang up on the big dogs, and their chosen weapon is openness, I don't really have a problem with that.

Of course that's only if it ends up really open, but IBM and SUN have done it before.

Re:Seems bad, but... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27366469)

True, I agree. All the same it is not a matter of companies 'taking the side of the customer' or actually being in favor of openness (except maybe in the case of Sun), rather it is a matter of normal business practices. Microsoft would do the same thing if they had the small end of the stick.

Open Standards never work (1, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | about 5 years ago | (#27365517)

Anything designed by committee is doomed to failure from the start.

The market will determine the de facto standard, not academia.

DirectX is the standard game API, not OGL.
Flash is the standard vector plugin, not SVG.
Windows is the standard desktop OS, not Linux.

Yes they do. (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 5 years ago | (#27365933)

Open Standards never work

So how did you manage to post that?

Re:Yes they do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366219)

pst, you are supposed to ignore the trolls. I think ringbarer actually starts posts at -1

Re:Open Standards never work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367065)

Ok, I'll bite.

I don't see anywhere listed DirectX to be a standard in any ISO, ANSI or IEEE docs. DirectX is where it is because the Microsoft push.

Flash isn't listed in any ISO, ANSI or IEEE docs. Flash is where it shouldn't be on the first place. Flash is a plague upon humanity. Thank god for flashblock. Flash is where it is because some early idiots thought it would be cool to make dynamic pages using flash.

Windows isn't listed in any ISO, ANSI or IEEE docs. Windows is where it is because of shady business practices by a company named Microsoft (see case for DirectX). Windows is a plague upon humanity. Thank god for Linux. (see the case for flash).

Now, if you excuse me, I'll hit the submit button whilst blocking flash. I have to go play my video games in my Linux box, which happen to use OpenGL to render graphics. Oh, and yeah, there are some great games for linux too, I had to categorize my games submenu on GNOME to fit them all.

Market Timing (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#27368585)

The parent post is rated "-1, Troll" because of the subject and first sentence.

However, I think the rest of the post is pretty insightful, if unfortunate. To me, they are very uncomfortable and inconvenient truths, especially when we're trying to advocate open source and open standards.

I think TIMING of entry to MARKET is the key. First movers get a lot of advantage, as long as the product has high usability, high availability, and most importantly, low pricing.

Yeah, I know, Newton and XO-1. But Eee also.

Somewhat understandable (4, Interesting)

matt4077 (581118) | about 5 years ago | (#27365533)

Maybe it really is too early to focus on standardization. It often freezes the standard quo and makes it harder to implement new stuff, c. f. the x86 and Windows requirements for backwards compatibility. I also don't really see where the problems are (others might have more experience there): EC2 uses standard Xen instances that should be somewhat portable. The only non-portable part is the meta-level configuration.

Re:Somewhat understandable (1)

Shados (741919) | about 5 years ago | (#27365643)

Its way too early, in the same way that HTML/CSS and various other web technologies were made a "standard" way before we knew where the web was going, even vaguely. Right now people are still debating whats the best USE of Cloud Computing...so any standards drafted now will miss the mark by miles.

Re:Somewhat understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366941)

A look at what standards produced by a committee of peers (as opposed to cleanup and ratification of the work essentially created by one vendor or team) has led to in the past:

  • CSS *sucks*
  • XML Schema *sucks*
  • SOAP/WSDL/UDDI/WS-Security etc. *sucks*
  • Every workstation graphics API before SGI's OpenGL *sucked*
  • All those Unix API consortiums *sucked*
  • OSI network stack *sucked*
  • This cloud computing standard *will suck*
  • Duke basketball *sucks*

[Sorry, I got a little carried away. It's still early to see what will happen to the cloud computing standard.]

One thing all these guys could do (1)

coryking (104614) | about 5 years ago | (#27365969)

Is let me import my damn VMWare image. That or get VMWare to suck down their images. Then I could run an instance of my machines locally. Really, aren't all these things basically nothing more than fancy ISO files?

But maybe you and I are both thinking too low level. "High level" would be dealing with what is *on* the virtual machines, not the images themselves. Then you are talking things like IP configuration, where crap is on the disk, etc...

Or maybe I'm just full of it. But I was surprised that nobody has offered a way to suck these things into VMWare Workstation.

Re:One thing all these guys could do (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367285)

Amazon does use some kind of virtual machine images (just running the stuff under Xen I think?). They *should* make it so VMWare, qemu, etc. images could be converted to AMI (Amazon Machine Image) files though, I certianly agree.

Too Early is an Understatement (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | about 5 years ago | (#27366979)

You can tell an idea is still being formulated, when the people using it can not even define it.

Open the "open manifesto" and read the definition of cloud computing then explain to your self what cloud computing is. Whatever it is is just as old as its architecture and since artictectures change it may be obsolete before its even fully defined.

I would say Microsoft has little to worry about, at least at this stage.

more like unnecessarily divisive (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about 5 years ago | (#27365537)

And this is where the problem seems to lie, with the group stating that 'whenever possible the CCIF will emphasize the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions.'

One can be for interoperability without having to be against proprietary solutions. The latter is a political choice of that group's, not a technology one. They're basically saying eff you MS, we really don't want your kind in our little group, so it's no wonder MS and Amazon et al. oppose it.

Re:more like unnecessarily divisive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366283)

Why does you sig say 138?

Re:more like unnecessarily divisive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366879)

Nice - failing both English and math.

But a closed system is bad right Mr Balmer? (2, Interesting)

Solr_Flare (844465) | about 5 years ago | (#27365553)

I mean that's exactly what you said about the iphone 3 months ago, that it needed to be open since closed systems are things of the past....

Queue expected sarcastic eye roll.

Re:But a closed system is bad right Mr Balmer? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366369)

Queue expected sarcastic eye roll.

yeah... balmer cares what a common dick smoker on slashdot thinks. think again bitch. fuck, 95% of us don't give a fuck what you think.

eh? (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 5 years ago | (#27365555)

> "Microsoft is opposing an industry plan, the Open Cloud Manifesto..."

And in the traditional effort to cover butts, B. Gates, in attendance at Davos, participated in celebrating OC startups that are working to bring OC to fruition. As one attendee stated "You have to be open to having your data shared..." - and we know this automatically rules out MS, so until or unless MS doesn't see Google-backed OC as a threat, we can expect statements against it from MS proper to surface in the press.

Re:eh? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#27365721)

Perhaps.
There point is valid in thios case.

I actually think MS is changing. The up and coming gaurd know the industry is far too different then it was when B Gates made his plans to be the gate keeps of information. It was in their 1000 year plan.
No, to survive they will need to open up is some regards, and figure out how to get the applications into new social markets.

OTOH, when there initial complaints are no longer valid, we will see if they move the goal post.

Lack of openness? (1)

hwyhobo (1420503) | about 5 years ago | (#27365571)

So, the scribd.com from the TFA lists tags for the Open Cloud Manifesto as "Open, communist, cloud"? And the top related document is "The Communist Manifesto"? And Microsoft is still complaining, "We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto"? What do they have to do? Put Fidel's picture on the cover?

Speaking of "FUD" (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#27365765)

From the summary:

Some speculate that Microsoft is actually worried that this will allow open source systems, such as Linux, to flourish, at the expense of Microsoft technology

So in other words, the "Microsoft is opposing such a Wonderful Thing (tm)" is all speculation?

FUD (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 5 years ago | (#27366751)

So in other words, the "Microsoft is opposing such a Wonderful Thing (tm)" is all speculation?

Yes you might justifiably call that FUD but In view of past experience with Microsoft, I'd say this sort of speculation is a lot more likely to turn out to be true than if we were dealing with any other randomly selected evil mega-corp. Micosoft is sitting on a hugely profitable dominant market share in a number of areas. If they lose a significant proportion of that market share they will find it significantly harder to regain that market share than it was to lose it. I'd say it's a safe bet that executives@microsoft.com spend a lot of time these days being paranoid about repeating past mistakes like when they slept through the search engine revolution and suddenly woke up to find that Google had mushroomed into a dangerous rival in a key market segment almost over night. To add insult to injury Google had actually achieved a dominant market share in that very important market segment and has proven frustratingly capable of defending it.

MS FU (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27365799)

I support the MSFU project, which standards for Machine Standard Full Usability... but can also be read in another way more pertinent to Microsoft ;P

It is too early for this (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | about 5 years ago | (#27365995)

Nobody knows the cloud models that will work. Each customer's needs are different at this point. I'm not surprised that any cloud provider is willing to conform to any standards at this point. Give it a few years, the free market will begin to identify what to standardize on.

What it means. (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | about 5 years ago | (#27366059)

What Open Source means for cloud computing is customers will get more hosting options than they otherwise would. Microsoft's plan is to sell you access to both hardware and software, but Open Source software would open the hosting end of the equation to greater competition between hosting companies, allowing customers to choose between hosting companies in a manner similar to how they can today choose web hosts.

WANTED: Devil's Advocate (1)

v1 (525388) | about 5 years ago | (#27366077)

I was hoping that last link in the submission was to someone playing microsoft's side, to see why they are against it - why would want it that way, but it was just more highlighting the pluses of open source and the minuses of closed. So much of the open source noise we here is extremely one-sided. Is anyone able to link to or post up devil'd advocate on closed source cloud? There's got to be some advantages to it, and we need both sides represented here to compare them. (anyone that simply says "closed source is best. always", immediately loses my confidence)

Re:WANTED: Devil's Advocate (2, Interesting)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | about 5 years ago | (#27366159)

Is anyone able to link to or post up devil'd advocate on closed source cloud? There's got to be some advantages to it, and we need both sides represented here to compare them.

Really far-out R&D is expensive with no expected near- or medium-term payback. So it tends to be funded by companies that can charge monopoly rents, like Microsoft [wikipedia.org] or old AT&T [wikipedia.org]. It cannot be supported by providing competitive open services, so a closed cloud will result in more basic research and greater long-term innovation.

Re:WANTED: Devil's Advocate (1)

carlzum (832868) | about 5 years ago | (#27366803)

I can't find concrete arguments for either side of this debate. The blogger for MS says:

In our view, large parts of the draft Manifesto are sensible. Other parts arguably reflect the authors' biases. Still other parts are too ambiguous to know exactly what the authors intended.

To which the CCIF Instigator replies:

as cloud computing matures to address several key principles that we believe must be followed to ensure the cloud is open and delivers the choice, flexibility and agility organizations demand.

The first article in the summary says the CCIF states somewhere that "whenever possible the CCIF will emphasis the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions." But that doesn't appear anywhere in the Manifesto.

This reminds me of a bunch of vacuous marketing types throwing buzzwords around in some meaningless argument. Who gives a crap what the CCIF or a Microsoft product manager think about this vague drivel?

It's the standard story of the standard war (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | about 5 years ago | (#27366115)

This is the standard story of the Standards War.

(This is mostly stolen off of Ed Felten; I think from the famous talk he was at first threated to not give, but I'm not sure my memory isn't playing tricks on me).

The standard story goes as follows:

  • You have several players on the market, offering similar products with add-on products, such as: mp3 players and DRM'ed music services, OSes and support (or App Store apps), Cloud Computing and synergistic turn-key... stuff, a facebook account and access to other facebook users
  • To use an add-on product it has to be compatible with the main product
  • The biggest seller of the main product introduces deliberate incompatibilities to sell more of their own add-ons (or in other ways capitalize or their larger market share)
  • The small players want to move everybody to a standard, so they can negate the effect of the larger player's (or players') market share

Clearly if the large players form a monopoly or oligopoly, it's detrimental to the economy; see your favorite Econ 101 textbook for why they're bad in theory, or look at your ISP or telephony provider to see why they're bad in practice.

The interesting question is whether regulation of such markets is beneficial. In principle I'm in favor of government intervention if and only if there's a good case to be made that such intervention is a net benefit; preferably such a case would be supported both by economic theory and empiric evidence.

I don't know what either economic theory or past empiric evidence offers in terms of tests for whether government intervention is useful.

Also, this is my precious intarnets. I want the gubbermint to keep its greasy paws offa it, except to prevent debit card fraud so I can buy stuff on-line and not worry about losing my money. I especially don't trust the US government (based on what I hear on /.) to intervene in a competent way; I should probably read more newz.dk (~= "slashdot.dk") to see whether I should distrust my own gubbermint as much.

But, to all those who have to deal with this cloud thing: sorry there'll still be incompatibility. An insincere "Yay!" for individual rationality.

Microsoft is trolling (3, Insightful)

Tweenk (1274968) | about 5 years ago | (#27366117)

I think Microsoft is trolling. In this specific troll posting they are exploiting the fact that people don't realize that an open standard process does not necessarily result in an open standard. The reality is probably that the manifesto group is not willing to get subverted by them ('subvertible' is MS's definition of 'open').

Their mode of action seems to be: first try to subvert a standards process to introduce proprietary technology into it, thus giving itself an advantage; if that fails, call the process "not open enough". Proceed to form a new "more open" standards process stacked with Microsoft partners that competes with the existing one.

Are we reading the same article? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#27366193)

The 'Open Cloud Manifesto' will launch on Monday in New York. Itâ(TM)s a joint project that includes IBM, Amazon and Google among many others and aims to produce guidelines for how different operating systems should interact in cloud computing. Thatâ(TM)s a name given to services which run online rather than on a userâ(TM)s computer: think Gmail vs Microsoft Outlook for an idea.

And the CNet article does not imply a rejection by Amazon, it states:

"Like other ideas on standards and practices, we'll review this one," Amazon said in a statement. "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.

The real irony (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366251)

In summary - "they had a party, and I wasn't invited!" bawls well-known local playground bully Microsoft.

Amazon in an author, Amazon is against .... (1)

olddotter (638430) | about 5 years ago | (#27366397)

One article linked to says Amazon is an author of the manifesto. (http://www.itworld.com/windows/65198/cloud-computing-linux-has-microsoft-blogging)

Another article says Amazon is against it (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10206077-56.html), but doesn't link to a reference.

I suppose both could be true, but then I would expect to know why Amazon changed their mind.

Who is this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366519)

Who is the guy who proposed it, and who cares?

Cloud computing is a farce, and a waste of resources.

I ploped the author's name into google and frankly, after you see all the buzzwords, he has the most to gain.

fuck the cloud, fuck stupid "standards" and "plans" which really have no purpose.

Plus, what about people who want to keep things separate?

I sure as hell dont want some of my files on thsi "cloud" among other things.

Let the Best Cloud Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27366563)

the rest will tend towards open source, as that is what always happens to the also rans.

see:
Eclipse
Mysql

Yawn (1)

Akita24 (1080779) | about 5 years ago | (#27366667)

MegaCorps want to lock you into their crap so they have to do as little work as possible, take as much of your money as they can, giving you as little of what you want as possible. IOW they don't give a rats ass how easy anything is for you or what you want. Film at 2300.

From inside the trenches (3, Informative)

GiMP (10923) | about 5 years ago | (#27366855)

From someone that is following this closely from within the "cloud services community", has read every article, every relevant blog, twitter, forum, and newsgroup post, I hope I can bring some enlightenment to this issue.

The CCIF is an organization that is supposed to be little more than an "open forum" between those in the cloud services community. I'm not certain if its role should even be to make such statements or issue documents, but if it is, that those statements should be discussed and agreed upon by its members. This manifesto appears to have been created secretly by the founders of the CCIF without discussion, review, or disclosure directly in contrast to the goals and promises of the CCIF. Instead, that review and disclosure only happened behind closed doors with "large companies" such as Microsoft and IBM. As I made it quite clear on the CCIF newsgroup, regardless of the origin of the document, it is of my opinion that the CCIF as an organization should not endorse any documents without a vote by its members.

So far, it seems the plan is that the CCIF will officially release this document on Monday, prior to the meeting it will hold on Thursday in NYC. I hope that those behind the scenes here realize that the best course of action is to wait until Thursday and secure a vote by members present at that time.

CCIF was not behind this manifesto (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367401)

See Reuven's post [elasticvapor.com]. Certainly the CCIF leadership was involved, but to my knowledge, It was led by IBM, who doesn't want to be named so they don't make it look like an "IBM initiative". See this CNet article [cnet.com] for more information on how IBM approached Microsoft.

IBM completely fumbled the ball here, they were disorganized and got their PR organization to call people up 1 week ago to sign the document, a fait accompli. You might be able to do that to smaller cloud companies, but you don't fucking do that to Microsoft and expect acquiescence.

Re:CCIF was not behind this manifesto (1)

GiMP (10923) | about 5 years ago | (#27367687)

Right, I've read Ruv's "damage control" post.

I know that IBM is playing a part of this, but it seems to be more than a little related to Ruv, and after reading it, I really don't buy the suggestion that the "leaked" document was written by an IBM staffer. Ruv and Jesse are promising news by Monday, so we'll see then. However, I hope that if their plans for Monday contrast in any way with the goals of the CCIF, or the community, that they reconsider and "do it right" before it is too late.

Re:From inside the trenches (1)

barmijo (1517645) | about 5 years ago | (#27368295)

GIMP is correct. CCIF doesn't really have members, but I've been a participant since day 1. Not only had I never seen the document until this morning, I'd never even heard of it until the Microsoft post.

the secret closed open forum (1)

rs232 (849320) | about 5 years ago | (#27369583)

'it is of my opinion that the CCIF as an organization should not endorse any documents without a vote by its members'

"This document is meant to begin the conversation, not define it"

'A few key points of clarification regarding the "Open Cloud Manifesto" Although I had personally being speaking with Microsoft about http://www.elasticvapor.com/ [slashdot.org]">inclusion of some of their requested alterations to the document, we are dealing with several very large companies with numerous points of contact'

So, MS tried and failed to get the document altered and then trashed it in public before it was released.

THE CLOUD COMPUTING INTEROPERABILITY FORUM [cloudforum.org]

This was an IBM manifesto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367467)

See this CNet article [cnet.com] for details.

They really fumbled the ball on organizing this, expecting Microsoft to acquiesce with one week's notice.

Firs7 p0st (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367493)

bad for *BSD. As A conscious stand then J0rdan HubMbard

just build an open source wrapper for now ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27367525)

I say, let's go without a standard a bit longer; ~2 years. Clouds are too new. I don't want someone deciding what the standards are until we have more disruptive innovations. Until then, build a wrapper (or create an open source one) around the API of your current cloud provider.

Does anyone know if IBM and Sun are behind this? (1)

nerdville (1517591) | about 5 years ago | (#27367739)

I was curious if this is the direction we are going to see in cloud-computing: Open Clouds versus Closed, Proprietary Clouds. I read an article a few days ago which got into how Sun and IBM could hurt Microsoft's Azure offering even before it got any traction: http://cloudstoragestrategy.com/2009/03/sun-ibm-open-clouds-ahead.html [cloudstoragestrategy.com] GiMP, I'd be happy to hear more from you on this!

Amazon said what? (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 5 years ago | (#27367841)

``the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them.''

Well, I'm sure hoping that it's because it's late and I could really do with some shuteye but I can't figure out what the heck that means. Does it mean anything besides ``We, Amazon, will do cool things that make it easier for us to sell you something''? That illustrates openness? Personally -- thanks to Amazon's One-Click patent -- I take it to mean that Amazon doesn't want anything like openly available, patent-free software to be something that they may have to adopt. Lord knows that they couldn't survive without their Sooper Sekret, patented, proprietary software running their business. Now I'm sure I'm being too hard on poor ol' Amazon so can anyone please translate Amazon's business babble to something resembling English so I and everyone else can understand?

Oh, and I really loved this from the Cnet article:

"'We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the (Open) Cloud Manifesto,' Microsoft's Steven Martin wrote in the blog post. 'What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document, despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience. Very recently, we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input.'

Martin wrote that 'it appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an 'open' process.'"

My guess is that Martin has only recently joined Microsoft and has not done enough reading about the company's recent track record in participating in standards bodies. Either that or Martin is just spouting another variant of "Our shit don't stink."

Re:Amazon said what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27368925)

"the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them."

Well, I'm sure hoping that it's because it's late and I could really do with some shuteye but I can't figure out what the heck that means.

I read it as "talk is cheap." Amazon delivers working web-services and APIs to same. It's not necessarily in their interest to have different APIs imposed on them by some blue-sky proposal not grounded in working software.

It's not like you can't spin up an EC2 instance running whatever x86 or x86_64 OS you want (Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, etc) on your own system images you built, etc. Amazon web services are basically content and usage agnostic - they'll care if you're trying to run a botnet in EC2 or sling child porn in S3, but Amazon won't boot you or charge you more if you want to use EC2 to run a bookstore or use S3 to distribute or sell (non-pirated) ebooks.

What further openness is demanded here? Amazon's service APIs are all published. Is the demand that Amazon disclose its backend software and architecture? Because that's stupid - even the GPL doesn't demand companies that use GPL software publish how they use that software internally, or publish modifications made to that software that aren't distributed outside the company. (As an aside, yes, Amazon does publish source [amazon.com] for the GPL software on the Linux-based Kindle.)

I love and hate cloud computing (1)

dudeeh (877041) | about 5 years ago | (#27369241)

Cloud computing, as we generally view it: keeping data offsite and running apps over say a browser. There is nothing worse in my eyes. First, I like to hang on to my data myself, second, I like being able to toy with programs (read: open source & local).

And yet, I develop most of my apps to be website-driven.

This is because I like to have most of my stuff on a central computer under my control. Also, I generally develop my apps so I can in fact host them somewhere else, but very easily retrieve copies of the data. This make them highly accessible and yet circumvents the problems I stated above. I still control the data and I can toy with the program as much as I want.

an open interpretation .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | about 5 years ago | (#27369525)

Microsoft gets wind of the 'Cloud Manifesto' gets hold of the document and preemptively trashes it in public. See here [edge-op.org] where Microsoft acted to innovate Intel out of the NetPC business.

'if we don't dive right in with something, Intel will undoubtedly be happy to dictate terms to us ,-))'

'They did 2 things that amaze me: a) They kept the NC specification around despite saying they would not. b) They snuck in a server specification .. Marshall and I told him the only way for us to participate in the release is if: 1) No NC mention in any specification [edge-op.org] '

I guess the next move for Microsoft is to join the consortium and sabotage it from the inside ,-)
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