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Since when did cloud computing become/need a manifesto?

I'm sorry, but for some reason when I hear the term manifesto, my mind instantly imagines the Unabomber holed up in a cabin making pipe bombs.  Odd as that might sound, that is just where my mind wanders upon hearing that term.  After all, there are number of manifestos that have been written.  And, unfortunately most of them were written around the basis to justify some sort of negative action (i.e. mass murder, world domination, etc.).

But, decree by manifesto is not necessarily a bad thing.  After all, throughout history a number of positively intended manifestos have been written.  For example, one might consider the Declaration of Independence a positively intended manifesto.  Then there is also Jeffery Snover's Monad Manifesto, surely that must be positive in nature.

Needless to say, an interesting thing popped onto the Internet this week.  The item I'm referring to is named the "The Open Cloud Manifesto", if you want to read it here are the links:

Interestingly enough, upon reading this manifesto one might think this is a positively intended effort.  In fact, it's great that people are sitting down and trying to hammer out one Open Cloud standard (this is just one effort).  In the end, standards are good and we really need one for the cloud before things become a big mess.

However, there is a really large problem here.  It seems that this manifesto was developed in secret by only a small subset of companies and individuals.  Granted, there are some big names in the group, but it also seems that this group was bent on secrecy and forcing others to jump onboard without being able to provide input.  For example, just look at this line from a blog posting by Steven Martin:

"We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto. 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.  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. An open Manifesto emerging from a closed process is at least mildly ironic."

Wow... furthermore if you jump on over to what has been deemed an open discussion about this manifesto, you will notice some very interesting things (Link).

First off, you get a really good picture for where the support is coming from: IBM, Cisco, Sun, Intel and a number of other smaller players.  It also seems that this group was started by one person.  Notice the lack of direct involvement or endorsement from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.  In my opinion, these are three very major players and the fact that they were not involved from the beginning seems odd.  Also, if you start digging into the threads within the discussion group, you quickly find a number of people voicing their distrust for the group and their odd behavior.  Heck even the list of action items on the Open Cloud Manifesto Wiki seem laughable:

  1. Dedicated belief that the cloud should be open.  (How is secrecy open?)
  2. Goals: Choice, Flexibility, Speed, Agility, Skills  (I can agree with this.)
  3. Cloud providers must work together (security, integration, portability, interoperability, governance/management, metering/monitoring)  (Last time I checked secrecy does not achieve this!)
  4. Officially being announced March 30th  (Since when does community stuff need to be officially announced?)
  5. Broad Industry Support  (Hardly)

But, to best sum up this abomination, please read Sam Johnston blog posting entitled: Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF) is dead and doghoused.  He provides a lot of details, back story, and some really good summary points.  Hopefully, this was just a rough start.  But, from what I've read so far it, kinda looks like the CCIF was a single person's pet project, which then almost become a vehicle for market place insurgency by himself and IBM, Cisco, etc.

Hopefully, this nonsense will stop...

If you like this, check out some other posts from Tyson:

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