Cloud Standards – Putting the cart before the horse ?


I have been following some of the chatter in the “Cloud Standards” space. Looks to me, we have more talk about standardization work than actual cloud work. May be I am moving in the wrong circles ;o)

Anyway the reason for the blog is Bob Sutor’s notes from a Cloud Standards gathering . To be fair, I did not attend the meeting and I will be careful to separate the message from the messenger – Bob’s ideas vs. what he is reporting from the gathering.

A few things that caught my eye – some I agree, a lot I disagree:

  • There could be potentially 100s of standards
  • To quote Scooby-doo, “Yikes”. I think this is the wrong approach. The domain (Cloud Computing) is barely born and we are already talking about 100s of standards- new or old ! This will definitely slow down the progress or (most probably) everyone will ignore the “standards” and do whatever is necessary to run the business. We should strive for simplification. I propose that overstandardization was one of the reasons for the demise of SOA and Web Services. (Yep, I know lots of people will disagree. But before you start throwing stones, at least read thru Ann’s blog  – http://apsblog.burtongroup.com/2009/01/soa-is-dead-long-live-services.html)
  • Need “marketecture” & speed of standardization is important
  • This is exactly where I think we have the cart before the horse. Usually standardization happens based on a few running instances and when practitioners realize that some parts need interoperability based on experience – let me say again, actual experience. Because of running code, working protocols, data fields et al, the participants know what to standardize and how. Without the extensive implementation experience to guide us, how are we going to standardize based on an imaginary marketecture ? A marketecture is just that and it should never be confused with actual hands-on experience.
  • And we should never rush standards – usually standards are a little deliberate and systemic. Agreed, once we understand a domain and come across opportunities, we shouldn’t take infinite time.  But I have never heard of standardization based on “marketecture” even before a domain is being developed ! (Until now, of course)
  • Need to understand interchangeable parts vs. interoperability
  • I think we are over analyzing here. To tell the truth, I have no clue what it means.
  • “It is not acceptable to delay standardization until a particular provider establishes lock-in or a monopoly”
  • Eh ? ;o) Very strange. Monopoly or duopoly or … comes via business relevance – not by standardization. Here also I am lost – are we saying that all the hoopla about standardization is against a known or unknown cloud provider ?
  • “Cloud computing is here today, but we are very, very early”
  • Agreed. Of course, this clashes with other statements where it says we already have a monopoly
  • “We should not waste time having an official cloud computing definition of ‘interoperable.’”
  • Agreed. Instead, may be we should define “interchangeable” and move on o;) (Sorry, couldn’t resist) Again, this is right – the domain is very new that we really do not know what it is. Me thinks, we should not smother and suffocate it with too much standardization. What says thee ?
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6 thoughts on “Cloud Standards – Putting the cart before the horse ?

  1. I will have to disagree with you on this one. We don’t have to repeat the same mistakes again and again. There is a lot of scope for standardization, especially from the ITSM perspective. That perspective is important because ultimately all IT revolves around providing an IT service. Standardizing stuff like provisioning new services, how to startup/shutdown, what to backup and how often, what to monitor, how to perform disaster recovery etc is not only helpful for ITSM, but also could be very beneficial for cloud computing. So there is a large scope today to standardize. Admittedly this standardization does not address cloud computing alone.

    • What you are talking about is standardizing operating procedures and interfaces there of. Agreed and it is good. But what I am worried about is the whole scale 100s of standards idea. We need the domain to mature before we can start looking at what needs standards and what doesn’t.
      But good points and thanks for both your comments …

  2. Pingback: William, Chill out, please a.k.a. Irrational Exercuberance in the world of Cloud standards « My missives

  3. Pingback: The Art of Cloud standard(s) « My missives

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