The Vitality Of Seeding Openness Within The Cloud
In the context of cloud investment and associated justifications, present day ventures are particular about three core concerns that are by no means novel and have haunted the IT industry since day one – agility, flexibility and customization. The parameters sound exceedingly familiar, especially to those who have had a taste of Linux, an operating system that takes pride in capitalizing on the said concerns and morphing them into benefits. Although contemporary cloud giants are burning midnight oil to deliver on the best of consumer-end innovations, monetary restrictions are clearly holding them back from providing the much-needed open eco-system for cloud technology.
The IT industry today stands at a turning point where openness in terms of software dynamics is in escalated demand, rather than mere acceptance. Cloud computing is evidently undergoing the same characteristic chain of pre open-transformation phases, just like operating systems and virtualized environments had once. Initiatives like OpenStack have exhibited clear-cut commitment to develop open-source private and public clouds by supporting like-minded developers and software architects. The community software project has successfully secured backing of over 180 organizations (and counting).
The very conceptual foundations of open-source software philosophy provide the boost to proceed ahead of the procedural restrictions intrinsic to proprietary technology, rendering software collaborative, reasonably priced and easily accessible.
Cloud computing should deliver fully on its promise of scalability, seamless deployment and ease of use. Achieving the said feat while being stuck with a single solution seems quite unlikely. There’s a fierce battle out in the open; the top guns are ardently preparing custom cloud solutions on top of their indigenous ‘hypervisors’ – a term that has its roots in virtualization and has extended to cloud computing. On real grounds, however, only a handful of ventures deploy a single hypervisor. This translates to dependency on multiple cloud solutions expected to collaborate autonomously. This is not flexibility; anything that doesn’t integrate well doesn’t fit well. The open cloud initiative on the other hand offers better integration and is continuously pumping resources to improve on the same, leading to organization-wide hassle-free operations.
In addition, within an open solution, security concerns are easier to manage – breaches traceable and rectifiable. The same with a proprietary system is near to impossible. The reason is simple. A number of security experts and experienced developers with a broad spectrum of experience, interacting in a highly collaborative open setup, scrutinizing the code for vulnerabilities – this all adds up to an overall reduced probability of security lapse and within-code bug prevalence. Unlike the proprietary approach, it is not up to a single vendor to come up with a solution should a situation arise; the open-source advocates are prompt to response with fixes and updates (unpaid that are).
There is sufficient rationale to promote an open cloud ecosystem. A powerful open community that craves for cloud novelty and technological advancement is all that is needed to steer cloud computing towards an entire new level.
By Humayun Shahid
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