Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cloud Computing - Who should define the standards?

Personally, I don't think there is a definitive answer to this question; at least not at this point in time. Whether defined by an individual company or by a group, there are plenty of examples of standards that have failed in both cases. For example, CORBA (POA, IIOP, etc.) defined with the full backing of the OMG never really reached its full potential. On the other hand, Java (and its family) created initially by one company, Sun Microsystems, have become de-facto standards that are now supported by a whole community. Cloud computing is still in its infancy. Yes, it shows great promise, but so did Robotics and AI. Cloud computing still needs to prove itself to be viable beyond a few initial applications. As it proves itself, standards will emerge; some defined by an enterprising company and some by a group. The good news is that we have both going on right now. Companies such as Amazon and Google are leading the way with a solid beginning. At the same time, there are community efforts as well with the Open Cloud Manifesto and Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum. What is certain is that plenty of standards will emerge but only a few will survive. Only time will tell which standards will succeed.

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