The Open Cloud Initiative, an industry body designed to develop a concept of openness in cloud computing comparable to ‘open source’ in software, has published its principles.
The central argument of the Open Cloud Initiative is that fair competition between cloud providers depends on the ability of users to move information to and from providers without undue hindrance.
The group asserts that cloud services must therefore be interoperable, meaning that information can be exchanged between them. It must also be possible to adopt and terminate cloud services without any discrimination based on who the customer is or what technology they use, it says.
To achieve these ends, cloud providers must co-operate to develop interoperability standards that are documented and not patented or trademarked in such a way as to limit usage, "with a view to competing fairly on quality", the group argues.
As well as defining the principles of open cloud computing, the group’s articles of incorporation say that its goal is to encourage the industry to adopt them. It plans to "manage a certification program" to identify "cloud products & services that satisfy the open cloud principles, as determined by way of an open community consensus process".
The Open Cloud Initiative was launched in response to the Open Cloud Manifesto, published by IBM in 2009. The manifesto, IBM said, was an attempt to develop "a core set of principles… rooted in the belief that cloud computing should be as open as all other IT technologies".
The manifesto was criticised by some organisations, notably Microsoft, as having been developed privately by IBM, rather than collaboratively.
The Open Cloud Initiative was founded that year by Sam Johnston, who has since become director of cloud and IT services at London-headquartered data centre operator Equinix.