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Open Cloud Initiative is Open For Business

opencloud150.jpgThis week at the OSCON conference, a group of vendors has banded together to form the Open Cloud Initiative in the attempt to coalesce a collection of open source standards, requirements, products and services. Unlike earlier open cloud efforts, this one is community driven (although with more of a legal tone) rather than coming from vendors.

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On the group’s website is its Open Cloud Principles, which focus on interoperability and on “avoiding barriers to entry or exit, ensuring technological neutrality and forbidding discrimination.”

For example, standards must meet requirements for documentation that are freely usable and free of patents and copyrights. All functional interfaces, user data and metadata must be represented in open standard formats and interfaces.

Sam Johnston, founder and president of the group said, “The primary purpose of the Open Cloud Initiative is to define ‘Open Cloud’ by way of community consensus and advocate for universal adoption of Open Standard formats and interfaces.” Johnston is Director, Cloud & IT Services at Equinix and previously worked at Google’s team in Switzerland where he managed their global tape backup operation.

Other leading players with the group include a Cisco engineer, Sam Ramji who previously led Microsoft’s open source efforts and now is VP of Stragegy at Apigee, and Noirin Plunkett, who is Executive Vice President of the Apache Software Foundation. Certainly the open source chops of this team are impeccable, but whether they will succeed in gathering any steam remains to be seen.

This isn’t the first time that a group of open source folks have gathered on this topic at this show: we covered a similar open cloud story at last year’s OSCON.

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