Rackspace’s Take on the Open Cloud Manifesto

Rackspace is one of 37 companies and organizations supporting the newly released Open Cloud Manifesto. In short, the manifesto seeks to establish a guiding set of principles and goals to promote open and interoperable clouds. While that seems straightforward, there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding its release. No need to go into detail in this post (if you’re interested, James Urquhart does a good job summarizing here) suffice it to say there are concerns that the development of the Open Cloud Manifesto wasn’t very “open.” Given all the hubbub, we felt a clarifying post was in order.

Here’s our take on things:

· From our perspective, the authors were good intentioned and were not explicitly trying to exclude anyone. They were acting as a catalyst in the development of an initial set of open cloud principles in an effort to move interoperability forward. That is to be commended. But for whatever reason, the roll out and execution were rushed. Things moved forward very quickly (too quickly), certain companies did not have enough time to review, comment, etc., and as a result, the development of the manifesto was not as collaborative and “open” as it should have been.

· The principles of the manifesto itself are what’s important and are what Rackspace supports and is committed to. We have consistently been involved in cloud standards discussions and have maintained a “no lock-in” position.

· The manifesto, as it states, “is meant to begin the conversation, not define it.” No decisions have been made. Nothing has been defined. The manifesto is simply meant to begin a meaningful conversation towards standards.

· To that end (although in an unanticipated fashion), the manifesto has already drawn significant attention to the issue of cloud standardization. That is positive and we hope it will ultimately result in productive conversation with tangible results.

· We believe no one should be excluded, or should exclude themselves, from the conversation and that any interested company, organization, or person should be able to participate, and should participate. We look forward to key organizations that have not joined engaging to help shape and define broad reaching and open cloud standards.

The Open Cloud Manifesto is just the beginning. Real action and collaboration are the keys going forward if we are to achieve anything meaningful. Like a good wine, good Texas steak, or any other standardization effort, cloud standardization will have to take its course. Rackspace is fully committed to providing customers choice, flexibility, interoperability, and portability as we believe it will drive wider cloud adoption, and that will benefit everyone. A rising tide will float all… clouds.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me at erik dot carlin at rackspace.com.

Erik Carlin

Chief Architect

The Rackspace Cloud

Erik joined Rackspace in 2008 as Chief Architect helping to launch and grow Cloud Servers as well as integrate and optimize multiple services across the Rackspace Cloud portfolio. Erik has been involved in OpenStack since its inception and helped launch the Quantum network service. Erik currently serves as Director of Product Strategy for the Cloud Infrastructure Product Line, which includes all base cloud building block services (Cloud Servers, Cloud Networks, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Files, Cloud Load Balancers and RackConnect). Prior to joining Rackspace, Erik was Chief Infrastructure Architect for SRA International, where he helped architect solutions for large, complex enterprise and government clients. Erik is a graduate of Virginia Tech and holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a minor in Computer Science.


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