Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our cloud offering is ... a stamp.

I was all excited about Red Hat's entry into the cloud computing space until I read the press release.
Here's my problem ...

Today, a whole range of public cloud providers offer Red Hat as a virtual machine operating system (along with every other operating system). Tomorrow, Red Hat will certify some of those cloud providers.

Either I'm missing the point, or this is just the same as before but with a stamp of approval from Red Hat? Is it me or does that just seem incredibly arrogant? We can fix the cloud by applying our magic pixie dust stamp of approval.

I've worked extremely hard with the Ubuntu team and Eucalyptus to provide users with their own open source cloud system for building private clouds. We've created official images which run both on your private cloud and a public provider (i.e. Amazon EC2) and an ecosystem of management tools (RightScale, CohesiveFT).

We've provided real products for real users and our aim has been to provide an open source reference model for cloud computing at the infrastructure layer of the stack.

Whilst I agree that the solution to many of enterprise concerns over cloud can be resolved by such a common substrate, this needs to be far more than just saying run our operating system in your VMs and here's our stamp of approval.

I'm seriously disappointed. However, disappointment collapses into despair at sight of the following statement:

"How can a CIO be sure that an application written for a Google cloud will work with Salesforce, Amazon, or another cloud?"

[Hint: You can't, they're completely different levels of the computing stack]

I keep on getting this horrible feeling that they haven't got to grips with the changes in the environment but that doesn't make sense because the changes are plainly visible. Every time I look at the landscape it gets me confused ... what on earth are they upto? Have they found some new area of value I just don't get?