The Cloud: The battle for control

(c) by Hasbro

This morning I spent some time updating myself on the major Cloud offerings - Microsoft Azure and their hosted offerings, Amazons EC2/S3, Google AppEngine. IBM BlueCloud and VMWares vCloud (a quick comparison can be found here).

This stuff really gets me worried because none of it is open or free (as in freedom). Even though at least Amazons and Googles offerings are based on Open Source software, they themselves are anything but open.

Why worry? 

In addition to not being open in terms of Software, Protocols and Data Formats, all except one are not open to running your stuff on anything other than their datacenters, the only exception is VMWare. Even the applications now offered as SaaS, like Microsoft's Sharepoint and Exchange Online, can not run on anything other than the Microsoft Cloud - not exactly great news for Hosters and Telcos and Internet Service Providers.

So this is really about the freedom of the cloud. A single vendor Cloud lock-in would be even more disastrous than the software-only monopoly we already have. The foundation of Cloud computing is the Internet, the Internet as we have it today would not exist without Open Source Software. Cloud computing is the next iteration of how we use the Internet and Computers.

Cloud architectures and applications need to be open and free.