Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Rainy Days: Some recent hiccups cast doubt on the reliability of cloud services.

But perhaps the biggest issue is the lack of standards, says Reuven Cohen, founder and CTO of cloud-computing provider Enomaly. Right now, if a company starts using the cloud services of one provider, it’s effectively locked in, dependent on that provider. Cohen believes that companies should be free to move their data to whichever cloud provider they want to work with at any time. In the absence of standards that would make this possible, companies such as the startup Cloudkick have sprung up to help users move data from one platform to another.

Mike Evans, vice president of corporate development at the open-source technology provider Red Hat, compares clouds today to the earliest online communities, such as CompuServe and America Online. “They were all siloed communities,” he says. “You couldn’t necessarily inter­operate with anybody else until the openness of the Internet came along.” Evans believes that open-source projects are “critical” to establishing standards that would encourage more companies to use cloud technology.

Two broadly supported open-source projects may help pave the way for such standards. Eucalyptus, which uses an interface familiar to those experienced with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, provides the means to create a cloud either within a private data center or with resources from a cloud provider. And Hadoop imitates elements of Google’s system for handling large amounts of data.

For the moment, Amazon Web Services seems to be the de facto standard, and the company appears not to be interested in defining more formal standards, which would inevitably force it to give up some control over its platform and make it easier for other providers to compete. Says Adam Selipsky, vice president of product management and developer relations for Amazon Web Services: “We think it’s very early to understand not only what the standards are, but along what dimensions standards are even useful.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credits: James Gulliver Hancock, Tommy McCall

Tagged: Computing

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me