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Microsoft, Amazon Oppose Cloud Computing Interoperability Plan 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the stormy-weather dept.
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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Microsoft, Amazon Oppose Cloud Computing Interoperability Plan

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  • whatWHAT? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ocularDeathRay (760450) on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:34PM (#27365467) Journal
    Microsoft... complains about something because it is too secretive? wasn't this in the book of revelations somewhere?
    • by creimer (824291)
      You might want to check out a new book called "Burning the Ships: Intellectual Property and the Transformation of Microsoft" [amazon.com] by Marshall Phelps and David Kline. I haven't read it yet but I'm sure it has some revelations.
    • Re:whatWHAT? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:04PM (#27365851) Homepage Journal

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

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

      • Normally I'd agree, and really I'm still not trusting them... But I gotta agree with this.

        "To ensure that the work on such a project is open, transparent and complete, we feel strongly that any "manifesto" should be created, from its inception, through an open mechanism like a Wiki, for public debate and comment, all available through a Creative Commons license."

        As long as no one party has more power over the process, this would be preferrable to any "organic" choice or this manifesto, as far as I see.

    • Maybe. I seem to remember something about the faithful "ascending to the clouds" while the unbelievers struggle below...
    • by jd (1658)

      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.

  • by actionbastard (1206160) on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:36PM (#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.
    • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:45PM (#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.

      • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:50PM (#27365677) Homepage Journal

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jurily (900488)

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

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

          • by coryking (104614) * on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:20PM (#27366019) Homepage Journal

            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.

            • by coryking (104614) * on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:23PM (#27366049) Homepage Journal

              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!

            • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:56PM (#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.

              • by coryking (104614) * on Friday March 27, 2009 @09:07PM (#27366419) Homepage Journal

                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.

                • >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 secur

                  • by dkf (304284)

                    Privacy issues aside

                    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!

                    Which privacy issues are you talking about? Have you actually looked into how to deal with these things?

                    For example, you could cloud-source some of your basic data processing while keeping the personally-identifiable data on those cloud services encrypted. All the cloud service is going to know is that it's a bunch of bits that it can't look inside. Only once you bring the data back inside your organization do you let the key to unlock it get anywhere close. And the technology to do this is mature. (OK, so

              • by barmijo (1517645)
                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.
            • by msobkow (48369) on Friday March 27, 2009 @10:11PM (#27366955) Homepage Journal

              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.

          • by dangitman (862676)

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

            Except that it doesn't even sound cool.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          That is somewhat misleading. It is all about you renting access to your data and applications and being subject to lock in. Well this is the way the chief promoters of 'crippled' cloud computing view the world or at least are trying to convince potential customers that this is the only way to view the digital world.

          This combined with, oh noes, they will hack your computers if you try to do it yourself or only their employees are competent and all the other tech people in the world are incompetent because

        • by lennier (44736)

          "So it could be stored in some data center half a world away.

          It's just always available."

          The problem is that 1) does not actually guarantee 2).

      • by Shados (741919)

        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 y

      • 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

        • by davidsyes (765062)

          "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?

      • by Seth024 (1241160)
        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
        • 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.

        • by ncc74656 (45571) *

          Then you just pay for the storage you are using and the processor clock cycles that are used.

          Is this how they're actually billing for usage? I've used Amazon S3 for backup for a little while now, and I know S3 bills for storage used and bandwidth in/out. What I'm not clear on is whether EC2 is billed by processor time used or wall-clock time. Amazon's description makes it sound like it's billed by wall-clock time, in which case a VM left running for 24 hours will cost $x, whether it's idle or at 100% loa

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by clang_jangle (975789)

        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.

        • 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 com

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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.

            • Was that open source projects could use "cloud computing" to quickly compile packages and test them on every configuration they support. No need to keep a bunch of servers running idle most of the time. Turn on "Freebsd 6.2 i386", compile all the ports as packages, turn it off. Turn on "Freebsd 6.3, x64 SMP", compile them as packages, turn it off. Turn on "Freebsd 7.0 Sparc64", compile, turn off. Repeat for every supported configuration.

              No need to purchase and maintain separate build servers running ev

          • 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.

        • 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 al

        • by Maudib (223520)

          In so far as we are discussing EC2 type cloud computing, there are no greater issues for privacy or piracy then for any other hosted environment. Amazon has no greater ability to peer into your data or restrict your software then would Rackspace or anyone. A secured server is a blackbox with an IP to them.

          Its just an ondemand x86 instance. The end user has FULL control over whatever is running on it.

          People, take the tin foil hats off and actually investigate what is being discussed here. EC2 is nothing more

      • by jd (1658)

        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.
    • 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)

    • by syousef (465911)

      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

  • Seems bad, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:37PM (#27365515) Journal
    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.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      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.

      • 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.
  • by matt4077 (581118) on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:39PM (#27365533) Homepage
    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.
    • by Shados (741919)

      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.

    • 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 nob

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by dkf (304284)

          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.

          Scope for someone to write some OSS to do the transformation? Why wait for Amazon to do it for you?

          • Either Amazon gets to do it, or more likely, VMWare will do it. VMWare as a vested interest in making sure they can import just about every virtual machine image under the sun.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • by Solr_Flare (844465) on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:40PM (#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.
  • by djupedal (584558)

    > "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.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      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.

      • by suckmysav (763172)

        "I actually think MS is changing"

        I actually think you are quite wrong. Didn't they just recently manage to bribe a standards body into ratifying their totally unimplementable document standard just so they could muddy the waters and try to fool people into thinking that MS cares about standards? Even though they themselves don't even have a working implementation of their own "standard"?

        I hope most geeks have better memories than geekoid here for all our sakes.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      As one attendee stated "You have to be open to having your data shared..."

      I believe the term is, 'squirted'.

  • 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?
  • Everything else is FUD based on speculation.

  • 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 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday March 27, 2009 @09:42PM (#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 (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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

  • 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 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.

  • 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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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.

    • by carlzum (832868)
      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.

  • 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 fa
  • by Tweenk (1274968) on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:33PM (#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.

  • 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 practi

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • 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 CCIF and why should we care?

  • by Akita24 (1080779)
    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.
  • Is that why the Kindle has DRM? Openness is it?
  • by GiMP (10923) on Friday March 27, 2009 @09:57PM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • by GiMP (10923)

        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.

    • by barmijo (1517645)
      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.
    • '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
  • by jav1231 (539129)
    No? Then I say, Hey-Hey, You-You, get offa my cloud!
  • 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!
  • ``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

  • 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 co
  • 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 rel
  • Steven Martin @ Microsoft writes:

    But what about web and cloud-specific standards? Microsoft has enjoyed a long and productive history working with many companies regarding standardization projects; a great example being the WS* work which we continue to help evolve.

    You want to talk web standards? I mean, Really?

    Let's see:
    - IE-specific extensions to HTML since forever
    - IE-specific extensions to HTML used by MS-Office exporters (which is actually a big deal when MS-Office controls the market)
    - Lack of standards support in IE without any sane reason (remember png alpha transparency?)

    It sounds like Microsoft is making headway in the interoperability space, and it sounds like the latest releases of IE are trying to implement standards, but

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