The open cloud manifesto is published on the web ( since late Sunday and is announced by various press releases from the contributing vendors today. Strongly supported by IBM, a major group of thirty six companies signed already this document. Although Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and are missing, the manifesto might mean a milestone in market adoption and vendor strategy of cloud computing along these three major strategy tasks.

Task 1: Spreading Excitement and Gaining Trust – Done

Everybody was excited about the new technical possibilities. The vendor’s communication was about gaining trust and convincing potential customers of a real value for serious business.

Task 2: Fighting for Market Share – Ongoing

Recent announcements from various vendors such as Cisco, IBM, SUN were competitive to each other and the overdue answer to Amazon’s, Google’s and’s market perception. Obviously everybody is concerned about the own market share in the promising cloud market. Some might see their chance more in public clouds which might not be ready for enterprise computing. Others might focus on private clouds which will deliver the same enterprise SLA than other in-house IT infrastructure concepts at slightly higher price points.

Task 3: Help The Cloud Market Take Off As Such – New Challenge

Some enthusiastic customer will not change the world. Neither would a large market share of a small niche market be very attractive to the technology vendors. The companies supporting the open cloud manifesto takes cloud computing to the next maturity level.

Customer used to hate a vendor lock-in to specific platforms in the past. In the new days of cloud computing very few people really want to rely exclusively on The Amazon Cloud or The Cloud or any other vendor’s cloud. People are desperately waiting for The Cloud, meaning a single interoperable cloud based on standards which will allow customer to switch from one vendor to the next. The Open Cloud Manifesto is the right step in a young and still fragmented market. The supporting members have now the chance to work on interoperability guidelines similar to the Open Ajax initiative or prepare drafts of future standards to be filed in one of the existing standard bodies. Hopefully these major vendors that have not signed the document will change their mind and find a common sense with the open cloud vendors. It reflects many customer concerns Forrester hears around cloud computing.

Let me know if this makes the cloud more reasonable for you.

See for more details the official Forrester Report on this topic: The Open Cloud Manifesto Offers Worthy Ideals

Stefan Ried

Senior Analyst