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Open cloud: Great for innovation, bad for sleep

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In May 2013, IBM’s open cloud architecture was announced. When I read about it, I was surprised and excited. At last, IBM will enter the platform as a service (PaaS) market and will use many open standards!

Specifically, OpenStack and TOSCA are powerful because developers don’t need to worry about the middleware or platform. Developers can concentrate on application and data development instead. As a result, the developing period becomes shorter, and the user can get service quickly. However, until now, customers have been hesitant about PaaS because of vendor lock-in, even though they know platform as a service (PaaS) can be better suited for their needs than infrastructure as a service (IaaS). PaaS can provide better agility for the user.

(image via: http://ibm.co/HdwYrF)

IBM’s open cloud architecture will be able to escape vendor lock-in as a PaaS.
For example, a core component of IaaS is OpenStack, and a core component of PaaS is TOSCA. As a result, many open standards Application Programming Interfaces (API) will be provided to customers on the cloud. If you develop your application on the open cloud PaaS, you can deploy other cloud environments using API integration service. SaaS should be open because the production ecosystem can have many subsystems or interfaces of systems in the context.

Unfortunately, as a cloud vendor’s architect like me, you won’t have much time to sleep because you’ll be busy providing better templates (like service templates or topology templates using TOSCA), containers (creating object containers using Swift), components (like an OpenStack component for Nova Horizon, Swift, Keystone or Grance) and models to help people embrace the new open cloud architecture.

Furthermore, open cloud architecture provides iterative development. Someone can develop codes, and other developers can improve upon them iteratively. It will eventually contribute to the IT industry and development ecosystem.

For development ecosystems, IT vendors (like IBM) can be open cloud and escape from vendor lock-in. Ecosystems can improve customer IT and then the customer will get the agility of IT and innovative service support people. Open cloud has great potential for innovation.

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