Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Battle for the future of the Internet

Since Khaz banned me from the Google Cloud Computing group back in September (a group I helped create). I've been a missing a cloud community where I could share my ideas. Recently my cloud computing interoperability group has started to take off and I finally have a community outlet for my ideas on cloud computing, standards and interoperability.

In a recent post I asked the question"If not a traditional XML Schema, what other approaches may give us equal or greater flexibility?" In this fairly generic and broad question I received some very thought provoking responses.

Here is an except from the discussion. (Join the group to engage in the conversation)

Thanks for all the great insights. I also agree the the last thing we need are standards. If we do this right the standards will organically emerge over time. My goals for a Unified Cloud Interface (UCI) are fairly simple, although my ambitions are much larger.

The mission is this: Cloud interoperability for the purposes of reducing cross cloud complexity.

I completely agree with Paul and others, let's not re-invent the wheel, boil the ocean, (insert your own metaphor) . Whether it's OWL, RDF, SNMP or whatever. We have a significant amount of material to use as the basis for what we're trying to accomplish.

We must focus on the core aspects of simplicity, extensibility and scalability / decentralization in looking at this opportunity.

In regards to whether or not XMPP is powerful enough would at this point seems somewhat secondary. I'd use TCP as an analogy for our dilemma. TCP is arguable not the most scalable, secure or efficient protocol. But in it's simplicity was its ultimate advantage. The Internet works because it can fail dramatically without affecting the Internet at large, this is because of a decentralized fault tolerant architecture. An architecture that assumes failure. There are numerous messaging platforms and protocols to choose from, but none of which seem to address decentralization and extensibility to the extent that XMPP does. Is XMPP perfect? Probably not, but for our purposes it's more then adequate.

I envision a communication protocol that takes into consideration a future that may be vastly different then today's Internet landscape. In someways my ambitions for UCI is to enable a global computing environment that was never previously possible. A technology landscape where everything and anything is web enabled.

Yes, I have big ambitions, it is not often we find ourselves in the midst of a true paradigm shift. This is our opportunity to lose.

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