IBM wanders lonely as cloud computing rivals ignore manifesto


31 Mar 2009

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IBM’s attempt to impose rules for cloud computing in a manifesto – while purporting to create a level playing field – was notable for the absence of key players such as Google, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Amazon as signatories.

IBM’s ‘Open Cloud Manifesto’ attempts to propose rules for cloud computing, the seismic shift in computing values that sees businesses and individuals access their computing resources as a utility via an internet connection.

Signatories to the manifesto include IBM, Cisco and Sun Microsystems.

The purpose of the document is to set ground rules to ensure that the growth of cloud computing will allow for customers to move easily between providers, rather than being locked into a particular company’s set of services.

However, the launch was overshadowed by squabbling between participants over the way the document was drafted.

Several companies that are prominent in cloud computing and that are building significant resources around the model were notably absent from the manifesto – including Microsoft, Google, Salesforce.com and Amazon.com.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft said it was only shown a copy of the manifesto at the last minute, while Amazon.com believes it is too early to set the ground rules for this new era of computing.

At present, is difficult to switch between rival offerings of cloud computing services, and the inability to share information or the lack of standards for transferring information could delay the spread of the resource.

By John Kennedy