The cloud and customer choice


(Andy Wootton) #1

“I’m no expert but:” It’s a pity there’s a Microsoft Cloud and a Google Cloud and an Amazon Cloud and a Dropbox Cloud isn’t it? That’s a lot of meetings that don’t make my life easier or encourage competition via customer choice. I guess the ones that grab market share first win the game? If there were (more obviously?) Open Cloud standards, I’d probably use more cloudy things. I’d like a layer that abstracts away the implementer’s details, so I’m not technically tied to an organisation that is then commercially free to disappoint me.

I’m sure some people will say standards stifle competition and I’d accept that, if there were any evidence that service providers want competition. Historically, the choices were to either stifle monopolists young (like AT&T’s attempt to compete with IBM, which led to free Unix then Linux) or too late, after monopoly practices have taken hold, which gave us phones made by either Apple or Google, in the US and China. It just isn’t Brexit.


Microsoft Cloud User Group - 18th May
(Matt Andrews) #2

Have you come across OpenStack? It’s not exactly what you describe here but the closest thing I could think of.

The community could also probably take something like troposphere (which is an abstraction layer on top of AWS’ Cloudformation, which it itself Amazon’s proprietary “standard” for configuring cloud setups) and make it output an equivalent for Microsoft / Google / Dropbox / RyanAir / whoever else comes up with their own cloud service.


(Andy Wootton) #3

I kind of have @mattpointblank, because https://www.ubuntu.com/cloud/openstack but at the time it was competing against another standard and the Linux vendors were choosing sides, ready for another stupid scrap :slight_smile:

I like that I can hook Dropbox in as a drive in my file-system. I don’t understand why a set of interfaces haven’t been defined for common services, so I can just move my drive to another provider if e.g. they messed up my billing (they haven’t btw.) It’s like messaging is such a good idea that I need a client for Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and IRC then XMPP tries to do things right but people miss their emoji, so everyone moves to Slack. Did anything come of you organising that meeting about the revolution against the great tyrant?


(Andy Wootton) #4

Have you put me in the corner @Limeblast :slight_smile: ?
I was specifically whinging on the event because Microsoft are one of the companies that have the power to do something about it and I’m hoping they’re going to play nice now they’re losing at Monopoly, like IBM did when they only had the AIX business left. I was actually thinking of buying a cheap Windows 10 laptop now they’ve put bash on it. Small acts of non-Evil should be rewarded. My Mac came free.


(Matt Andrews) #5

Not yet… still trying to work out who the tyrant is first.


(Andy Wootton) #6

They all are. We need to build a parallel political system based on distributed, real democracy that undermines the party power structures. I was very hopeful that Corbyn had some people working on it but I haven’t seen any evidence that they do more than talk about it. @Limeblast will move us into a different corner in a minute. He still believes in hierarchical structures, despite my best attempts to hack him.

I mentioned your efforts to a guy from OpenRightsBrum. He has links into the ‘world of politics’ and comms.