Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cloud is a Good Thing - Vendor Lock-in Is Not

I equate vendor lock-in to anti-cloud. The entire purpose and value proposition of cloud rests on it having dynamically defined borders. Such an open architecture requires, by nature, strong standards to facilitate the interchange of data, processes, and policies. However underscoring the lack of available expertise in the market and the willingness of leaders to attack without understanding, companies are moving headstrong with short-sighted tactics (I dare not call them strategies for the amount of thinking support the tactic is barely enough to call it more than a whim!). Companies are simply mortgaging their future for benefits today.

The landscape today is Private Cloud. I have yet to see interoperability standards proposed by or supported by a Private Cloud vendor, whether a software provider such as VMWare or a service provider such as Amazon. It was only a few years ago where the cost of virtualization software was so high it was cheaper to add physical servers. Adopting a proprietary platform today is likely not only to lead to higher overall costs, but solution isolation without the adoption of interoperability standards.

As is most often the case I believe it will fall to the open source world to define, build and adopt open standards. Xen came in to existence to duplicate VMWare without the high cost, bloat, and closed architecture. Look at what Amazon AWS has done with Xen! A full slate of tools of in development in the open source community along with improvements in open source operating systems which will subsume many of the capabilities paid for in VMWare, Hyper-V and other solutions today. What today is a service or software will become a component and foundation.

I'm not ready to short the stocks of EMC (VWWare's parent), Microsoft or Citrix (owner of Xen), but I'm watching closely!

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