Open Cloud Demanded by Users and Businesses

By | Sep 13, 2012

In a recent study conducted by the Linux Foundation and the International Data Corp., researchers found that both users and businesses desired open solutions for cloud computing. The demand for APIs, software, and operating standards are part of an overall desire for business collaboration and the improvement of each open solution.

How Users Become Involved

Amanda McPherson's recent Linux Foundation blog post contains information about the first CloudOpen, which is taking place as part of LinuxCon. Concerning enterprise users, she notes that people want to be involved in the creation of the open cloud. She continues this thought by stating, "Today, collaborative development isn't one way to build software; it's the only way that produces the very best technologies."

Users are quickly figuring out that closed models have their limits in reliability and usefulness. As a result, the desirability for closed-source products is slowly fading, and it is making room for a progressive, open-source model.

Covering the specifics of what users are after, CNET reports that 47 percent of users are planning to help develop open-source software that will assist their current cloud purchases. Programs that run in, or access, the cloud can be anything from mobile apps to backup software that links the cloud with a user's home computer. Obviously, the reaches are endless, and the variability is infinite.

Infinite Variability for Businesses

It is the pliable nature of open cloud development that should be catching the eye of midsize firms. CNET goes on to state that 72 percent of businesses are developing software and APIs for their cloud servers. The ability to run the self-chosen, open-source software is becoming a very important issue for businesses when they are choosing a cloud host and when they are using a cloud server either hosted by a third party or created in house.

For the midsize business, operating a home-built cloud environment may prove to be expensive or unnecessary, given the amount of choices that are otherwise available. In that case, it will be important to look for hosts that support open software, run on a Unix-based server, and are part of the overall open-source community.

The reach of businesses is not limited to API calls or common software, either. Technical software, for instance, can reach into server operations. An example of this power and precision can be found in software defined networking, a relatively new use of software which can control the flow of information between servers to create a more efficient environment. IT departments have the skill and personnel necessary to develop applications that run as shallow as user level or as deep as server level. They have the power to develop a workspace that is specifically tailored to their business' needs, but that can only happen with the assistance of a proper cloud host.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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