Today in Cloud

The Open Cloud Initiative (OCI) launched yesterday during O’Reilly’s OSCON event in Portland, Oregon. Intended “to provide a legal framework within which the greater cloud computing community of users and providers can reach consensus on a set of requirements for Open Cloud,” the OCI actually began back in March 2009. This week’s announcement sees the previously ad hoc group take on legal status as a public benefit corporation, registered in California. The organization supports the Open Cloud Principles, and hopes to encourage industry adoption of open formats for data and open interfaces for access to cloud functionality. CloudAve’s Krishnan Subramanian — normally quick to welcome open approaches — appears unsure about OCI, and I share some of his misgivings. Openness and (especially) interoperability will certainly become increasingly important as the cloud matures and becomes a bigger part of the enterprise IT toolkit, but this must surely be tempered by commercial reality — and recognition that the R&D budgets of commercial companies push so much of this area forward. Open has a place, but it is not always helpful to push open in a manner that is unforgiving of real world practicalities. Does OCI, perhaps, do that?