OCI Wades In To Develop More Cloud Standards

Back from the brink, the Open Cloud Initiative returns, adding to the profusion of cloud standards bodies

The Open Cloud Initiative (OCI), an organisation founded in 2009, has resurfaced to hold its first annual general meeting. Since its formation, the company has been tackling its registration process as a California-based charity.

It also suffered a setback when its president Sam Johnston moved from Google to become the director of cloud services at Equinix. He said that the organisation has recruited a board of directors and is now concentrating on building a community.

Breakaway Cloud Organisation

The number of open standards for cloud is increasing and OCI was formed as a splinter group of the Open Cloud Manifesto (OCM) when several members decided that the jockeying for position that it claimed was going on at the group became too much for them.

The OCM was launched by IBM and has support from Cisco, HP, SAP, Rackspace and numerous other companies. What its members list lacked was major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft without which it cannot achieve its aims of developing a federated cloud with any power.

The same applies to the OCI which has yet to publish a list of members or even have a website outlining its aims – the current site has two pages yet to be filled with information which is promised for an official launch of the organisation at OSCON 2011 at the end of this month.

OCI has decided to follow the principles of the Open Source Initiative which is where the community becomes essential. Despite the rift with OCM, Johnston said that he had no problem with proprietary systems if they comply with interoperability standards that would allow customers the mobility of their data and applications that a federated cloud community requires.

He sees one of the roles of OCI as being a centre for customers that need guidance in choosing suppliers when developing and open cloud infrastructure. Part of the OCI remit is to offer accreditation for suppliers denoted by an Open Cloud logo.

Although the website is currently being updated, a set of principles has been published and nearing the end of its public consultation period. This will establish the requirements for interoperability, a removal of barriers for joining or exiting cloud service provision, and an open process for collaboration.