The Open Cloud Initiative, a non-profit organization established to advocate for open standards in cloud computing, officially launched last week and announced a 30-day public comment period on its Open Cloud Principles, which are focused on interoperability, avoiding barriers to entry or exit, and ensuring technological neutrality.

The principles, however, are not intended to point the way to specific cloud standards, according to organization president Sam Johnston.

"We have deliberately avoided being prescriptive in how standards are developed because it's so hard to come up with a litmus test, though open processes are obviously preferable,” he said.

Instead, the organization plans to create a community under which cloud users can find a consensus on requirements for open clouds, and then apply those requirements to cloud products and services.

“It was founded to enable users to sort the wheat from the chaff and for vendors to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” said Johnston, who is also director of cloud and IT services at Equinix, a provider of global data center services. “Users can rest assured when they use a certified open cloud product or service that their data will be able to be easily liberated in the future.”

According to Johnston, vendors are not in the driver’s seat of the Open Cloud Initiative.

“But many have expressed interest on both user and provider sides of the fence,” he added. “We expect to see vendors advertising open cloud compliance and users calling for it shortly after the principles are finalized at the end of the comment period. We believe we've found a happy medium between the needs of users and providers, as evidenced by the fact that there has been little contention over the principles.”

 

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