Is it too early for a “cloud standards manifesto”?

Lots of noise the past couple of days around the now not so secret cloud manifesto that aims to set forth proposed standards for cloud computing platforms to follow as the ecosystem of players evolves and penetration in the enterprise starts to take hold.

News broke from a blog post by Steve Martin at Microsoft regarding standards in cloud computing and web services.  In the post Steve, and Microsoft, take the stance of not signing the proposed manifesto citing that it was proposed to them to sign “as is” with no changes or input.  Steve proposes more of an open dialog with the manifesto being published under a Creative Commons license and allowing more of a dialog of input by all parties instead of what seems to be a small group of people/companies banning together to set forth what they think the standards should be and bending everyone else to their will.  There is some good comments in response to Steve’s post including manifesto creator/cheerleader Rueven Cohen and Randy Bias who is VP of Technology at GoGrid an upstart cloud provider.

Steve Gillmor over at TechCrunch is call bullshit on the manifesto stating:

It’s the same back room cigar-smoke-filled scam of the good old days when Web Services first began its inexorable move to reshape computing.

It seems that now Amazon has joined Microsoft is saying no to the manifesto for the time being until things develop a bit more.

Much like Gillmor at TC I too think this it is a little shady to have a manifesto that is supposedly drafted by “several of the largest technology companies” and Rueven which doesnt include Microsoft and Amazon who is the current undisputed leader of the cloud.  Without MS and Amazon we are left with assuming the group of companies to include Google, Sun, IBM.

The cloud does need standards, but like all standards they are open to interpretation.  The first release of this manifesto is slated to be released next Monday.  The cloud does need standards, but like all standards they are open to interpretation.  One thing that would really help, as with ALL standards, is a reference API/implementation.

The first release of this manifesto is slated to be released next Monday so we will have to just wait a few more days before seeing whats in this first draft.