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When The Open Cloud... Isn't
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rbias570
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rbias570,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 6:33:19 PM
Re: APIs are copywriteable
Thank you for this follow up.  It's valuable for folks to see that the Oracle v. Google ruling *could* change; however, until it does so I think we'll have to go with the current ruling.  The fosspatent.com writeup is compelling, but it's not a legal ruling.  I am hopeful that the original ruling stands, but we'll see.

Also, it's unclear how long this will take to resolve. These are all super recent events and the case still needs to hit the federal circuit, so we probably shouldn't make a call on it until it moves further along.
ggruber66
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ggruber66,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/27/2014 | 12:18:07 PM
APIs are copywriteable
Randy, one of the key points in your article was that open APIs are not copywritable. But the reference to the Google/Oracle lawsuit is a bit out of date. At the time, many thought that the Alsup ruling was incorrect and in fact it seems as if it will be overturned. Take a look at this article by FOSSPATENT's Florian Mueller for more info: http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/12/oracle-apparently-winning-android-java.html ...
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/24/2014 | 6:28:57 PM
Bias says OpenStack alongside Amazon?
Randy Bias is scoring more points for his position in the comments below. Specifically, in his response to Rackspace's Gerardo, he's saying that those who try to distinguish themselves from Amzon on a basis of "open APIs" are barking up the wrong tree. This is a continuation of his disagreement with those members of the OpenStack community who campaign against AWS. As the market leader, he thinks Amazon and its APIs must be respected and OpenStack membefrs must find their place in the universe alongside Amazon rather than entertaining hopes of displacing it.  
rbias570
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rbias570,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 5:52:38 PM
Re: All in the family
OpenStack is not monolithic just as Linux is not monolithic.  This is its fundamental strength.  Certainly Canonical, RedHat, and SUSE don't agree on all things related to Linux operating systems, nor should they.  In that same way, all OpenStack vendors can look for eachother's success without necessarily agreeing on business model or technology.

This is why there are hundreds of companies involved with a project like OpenStack, but only dozens with OpenStack's competitors.  It's inclusive, democratic, meritocratic, and messy.  That's part of why we like it.  It's like any other market place, just in micro, not macro.

Viva OpenStack!
rbias570
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rbias570,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 5:49:55 PM
Re: Our views are closer than it seems
Choice of a public cloud provider is another freedom, but the problem is that any given public cloud is no more "open" than another.  Switching costs are high regardless of the underlying technology and data gravity creates it's own problems.  There is inherent value in open source software and even open hardware, but there isn't really any relevant to me as the buyer of a public cloud service if that public cloud service is running on open anything.  All hosted services are "closed" pretty much by definition.

I'm afraid your assertions about applications using the same paradigm being manifested by the same API does not wash.  See my OpenStack Summit presentation on this matter:

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLMiLmHC6bU

The reality is that the API is mostly irrelevant.  You can have different behaviors between two clouds built with the same software and APIs, but different architectures.  VM spinup times could be different, number of NICs per VM could be different, and more.  All of these items create friction for the application developer or DevOps person.  Just look at Rackspace's two offerings: the public cloud provides 2 NICs per VM and the private cloud provides 1 NIC per VM.  If your automation tools assume one NIC they will blow up when moving from private to public.  And this is literally just one example of dozens I could give.

Saying that the same code and APIs create choice, openness, or compatibility does not make sense.  Android on a smartphone runs a Linux operating system tuned for ARM and low power consumption.  A Cray supercomputer runs a Linux operating system tuned for a custom parallel processor and very high power consumption.  Try taking an application designed for one system and run it on the other.  You can't.  It's not a simple recompile.  Same software, same APIs, different architectures.

This isn't about software or APIs.  It's about architectures.

OpenStack has no reference architecture just as the Linux kernel has no reference architecture for an OS built into it.  RHEL is a reference architecture for a Linux OS that includes Linux.  Open Cloud System is a reference architecture for a cloud OS that includes OpenStack.  OpenStack itself does not create interoperability and compatibility.  Nor does it's APIs.  Only a reference architecture will do that and those reference architectures will not come from OpenStack itself but from those who build a true cloud operating system from it.

We have seen this movie before.  It's not rocket science.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/24/2014 | 4:50:58 PM
Welcome, Rackspace's Gerardo Dada
For the record, gdada570 is Gerardo Dada, manager of product marketing at Rackspace and author of the Rackspace blog that Bias takes issue with. His Rackspace bio follows: Gerardo A. Dada is an experienced technologist with over 15 years of experience in enterprise software and web technologies. In his current role, he is responsible for all product marketing initiatives at Rackspace inclusive of defining our go-to-market product portfolio strategy, global launch readiness, market analysis and segmentation. Follow him on Twitter @gerardodada.
gdada570
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gdada570,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 4:12:40 PM
Our views are closer than it seems
Hi Randy,

I wite the post you referenced for Rackspace and I appreciate your point of view. We are close on our fundamental views. We both agree being open is about freedom and choice.

My argument is that the value is not in being able to see the code or change it. The value is that you can build a private cloud with the same software, and choose between many providers (Rackspace, HP, IBM, etc) to run your applications using the same paradigm, which is manifested in the API. 

An open API means the community (i.e. OpenStack) can agree on a way of doing business that is more inclusive and does not limit what is possible to the specific views or architecture of a vendor.  Being open also means tolerance to divergent points of view and alternative ways of looking at the world, so while I disagree, I respect your opinion.

Cheers,

-Gerardo

(p.s. my comment reflects my personal opinion, which may not be the same as that of my employer)

 
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/24/2014 | 3:27:36 PM
Salesforce CRM is a silo,
As Randy says, Salesforce CRM data is a good example of a new silo in IT operations. Indeed, Judith Hurwitz aptly pointed out here how frequently cloud coimputing ends up generating new silos, even though it's not supposed to. "How To Break Down The New Cloud Silos" at http://www.informationweek.com/cloud/cloud-storage/how-to-break-down-the-new-cloud-silos/d/d-id/899722?. So far, openness only comes to vigilent end users, employing all their skills and engagement.
robertcatheycloud
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robertcatheycloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 2:10:03 PM
<-CLOSED-------------OPEN->
Open v closed is not binary. It's a continuum. In reality, there are multiple dimensions of open-ness to consider at different layers of the IT stack, all the way down to the concrete and up to the user experience.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/24/2014 | 1:43:17 PM
Re: All in the family
Right -- at this point, the term "open" is about as well-defined as the term "cloud." And while it's true that few companies will in practice yank all their data out of Salesforce.com, CIOs damn straight should know that they can if circumstances dictate.
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