Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

(We’ll discuss these issues on Twitter today from 4-5 p.m. ET. Join me (@angelluisdiaz) and Rackspace leaders by tagging your tweets with the hashtag #cloudchat (Twebevent makes it easy to participate). Feel free to send us your questions and comments using the hashtag.)

By Angel Diaz
Vice-president, IBM Software Standards

Cloud computing is changing the way we think about technology, and it’s no passing fad. Whether it’s consumers using the cloud to store music, startups turning to cloud to get up and running without huge investments, or big businesses and governments relying on clouds to make more data more accessible, cloud computing is changing how business and society runs, and opening up huge avenues of innovation.

Yet, as promising as cloud computing is, one of the biggest hurdles to widespread adoption is a lack of open standards.

That’s why IBM is joining with sixteen other tech companies to help establish the OpenStack Foundation, whose goal is to promote open-source technologies and open standards for cloud computing. The foundation is an outgrowth of OpenStack, an open-source software project supported by more than 150 companies that has more than 2,600 individual code contributors. Other members of the foundation include Rackspace, Red Hat, AT&T, Cisco, HP, Dell, Canonical, Nebula and SUSE.

Wide adoption of open-source software and open-standards should be the goal of everyone. It means customers won’t have to fear vendor lock-in, and organizations can participate in a growing market that welcomes a wide variety of cloud technology and service providers.

IBM has a long history of support for open standards and open source initiatives that provide the best value for our clients. What we have learned through our experience is that open standards allow industries such as health care, financial services, automotive, retail, energy and others to share information more quickly and easily and at lower costs–leading to greater innovation.

Open standards communities such as the OpenStack Foundation bring together some of the best minds in the industry to share ideas dramatically accelerating innovation that will take this new computing model to the next level and greatly broaden its impact.

We’ve seen this before. Standards and open source accelerate the adoption of technology and increase the value our clients obtain from that technology. This was evident in the advent of the World Wide Web and continued through the evolution of the web application server, J2EE, and service oriented architecture – just to name a few.

Cloud is no different – and today — we are at an inflection point, where focusing the industry on important standards for interoperability and open source reference implementations will:

·           Ensure that end-users have a strong voice in establishing and adopting cloud computing paradigms

·           Reduce the barriers of entry into cloud computing [e.g. development skills, freedom of choice, etc.]

·           Increase the long term viability of today’s cloud investments today and

·           Prevent unnecessary architectural complexity and fragmentation.

The true advantage of cloud computing is that it provides organizations with the ability to re-invent business models, and create new markets and revenue streams. With the adoption of open cloud standards, there may be a time in the near future when we no longer call it “cloud computing,” but just computing.


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