The cloud is an abstraction above the foundation layers below it: Virtualisation, storage, networking, etc. do not need to be tied to any specific vendor technology infrastructure.
In fact, this open structure is fundamental in enabling robust hybrid clouds that encompass various different physical server infrastructures, multiple virtualisation platforms and a wide range of public cloud services.
- It is based on open standards that are independent of implementation.
For full flexibility, approaches to interoperability should not be tied to specific platforms under the control of specific vendors.
Additionally, an open hybrid cloud should be extensible with an open API that is not controlled by a specific vendor. This allows users to add features, providers and technologies from a variety of vendors and sources. The flexibility and freedom to choose is key to open hybrid clouds.
- It enables full portability to other clouds.
If you develop an application for one cloud, you should not have to rewrite it in a different language or use a different API to move this somewhere else.
An open hybrid cloud framework ensures that retesting and re-qualification isn't necessary every time you want to redeploy. Investments made in developing for one cloud - code, data, frameworks - should be portable elsewhere, resulting into cost savings.
All of these reasons are why the future of computing will be run on open clouds.
The basic step towards open hybrid clouds is already here with OpenStack.
Established late last year in Sept. 2012 by the non-profit OpenStack Foundation[iii], OpenStack is a global software community of developers collaborating on a standard open source cloud computing platform for public, private and hybrid clouds.
To date, it has more than 7,000 individual members from 100 countries and 850 different organisations contributing to it, including companies like Red Hat, HP, and IBM[iv].
In short, clouds will change the future of computing - it is open and it is already here.
Damien Wong is General Manager, ASEAN, Red Hat.
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