The Performance Beacon

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The Open Cloud Debate: A Customer’s Perspective

My company SOASTA has provisioned over 30,000 cloud servers in the past year, using four different cloud platforms in doing so. Enterprise customers such as Intuit, Hallmark & Proctor & Gamble use our cloud testing service to load and performance test their web sites.

While I will not claim to be the largest cloud computing customer, I would assert that we know a little about the Cloud and its vendors.So, when I saw two recent blogs denouncing a new cloud initiative (one that is not even public yet) that calls for a movement toward an “Open Cloud” environment, I found their negative comments both amusing and disturbing.Amusing in that these individuals claiming to represent two leading edge cloud vendors were denouncing a new “idea” before it was even announced.Now that’s leading edge . . . and pretty amusing.I guess good ideas are only good when they are your ideas.

I also found their comments disturbing and lacking of in any real customer perspective on what we need from our cloud platform vendors in the first place. I became even more disturbed when one of the commentators was my leading cloud platform vendor . . . a vendor from whom we have provisioned nearly 27,000 servers with in the past year.

Dismissing an idea as not having merit without allowing it to see the light of day . . . being charitable . . . is a bit narrow.Why would these detractors shoot down openness in the first place?Seems a little like saying, “I’m against daylight”. You can complain all night, but the sun is still coming up in the morning.

As a CEO and a significant customer of cloud computing services, I would ask all the current and future platform vendors not to engage in traditional software politics and focus on what’s important.New ideas (especially in our industry and particularly in our current economy) should never be dismissed out of hand privately or publicly.They should be discussed and analyzed on their own merits, not dismissed on the basis of how they were introduced.I for one fully support this manifesto for an” Open Cloud Platform” and asked its authors to place my company’s name as one of its supporters. They have agreed to do so which suggests that the people who are pushing this open initiative are at least interested in how some “actual” customers of cloud computing may be thinking, while the companies who choose not to participate have sent a message to me (and others) that perhaps they are not.

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Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.