By Angel Diaz
The transformative and innovation driving benefits of cloud computing have long been reported, but now we are at a crossroads that could prevent cloud from reaching its fullest potential: the divide between proprietary and open standards.
Twenty years ago we faced a similar decision point with the Internet and World Wide Web. We had individual online providers like Prodigy, CompuServe, and AOL to which people could subscribe. You could logon to each, read your email, get information, and interact within that particular Internet Service Provider (ISP) environment. You couldn’t reach across from one service and do something in another in an interoperable way.
That is where we are with cloud today. We have several competing and proprietary providers, but just as the web and its open standards came along to the demise of closed ISPs, so too will open standards mean the end of siloed cloud providers. They will evolve into more open models or go out of business.
With the news this week of IBM’s plans to make all its cloud software and services open standards based, we are once again investing heavily in the open approach — similar to
our support of Linux over the past 20 years — in an effort to protect client data from being trapped in proprietary systems . A major advance to validate and advocate open cloud standards, IBM is one of the first major vendors to deliver OpenStack cloud offerings of the nearly 7,000 members.
As demonstrated by our Platinum sponsorship and long standing relationship, we believe OpenStack is leading the way in open source for IaaS. By capturing the attention of the cloud customers, business partners and vendors alike, OpenStack is producing a ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds. In fact, individual OpenStack membership is up 286 percent since April 2012.
As the members of OpenStack understand, speed to market and improving ROI for new cloud services are important elements for adopting cloud computing. Open source
technology translates into savings for clients in terms of flexibility and interoperability.
It’s time to move beyond vendor lock-in and enact “IT without boundaries”— systems and processes that break down traditional silos and simplify access to information in order to deliver better business outcomes.
Cloud computing offers organizations dramatic increases in agility and efficiency —innovation to ensure speedy, cost-effective delivery of products and services
— the very benefits that proprietary approaches to cloud computing threaten to negate.
Cloud means choice in how we deploy applications — and never before has interoperability had such profound implications for business and society. If we are going to reinvent business with more efficient, flexible and collaborative computing models we need to leverage an open cloud.