There was some great discussion on this when the list was first launched,
but at the time, I don't think the answer was clear, and the group went on
with the practical tasks of actually making things work. That's a decent,
functional response, but as we embark on a bigger strategic plan, we need a
more clear definition of our scope. (Then we can start talking about desired
outcomes within that scope, various stakeholders, and so on.)
The embryonic Fedora Cloud Guide¹ says
Pardon the pun, but "the cloud" is a nebulous term. When well-meaning
people talk about cloud computing, they are often talking about one of
many difference scenarios.
I've put a little jar by my desk, and I'm putting quarters into it every
time I say "nebulous", or "hazy", or anything like that. Clearly,
a marketing term *and* a business buzzword, neither of which lend themselves
to clarity. But it's also a *very real* change in the computing landscape,
and Fedora should take a leadership position in that transition and in the
new tech world. Using a clear framework for our scope will help us through
the fog. (*Plink* — there goes 25¢)
Our Cloud Guide goes on to list Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a
Service, and Software as a Service. That's an important lens, but it's also
jumping ahead a bit. The National Institute of Standards and Technology
recently published an official definition², and while "government-committee
definition" may light up some alarms, this is actually straightforward and
fuctional. Once you get past the preamble, there's really only two pages to
I like this definition because while it's still broad, it focuses on
essential characteristics which distinguish cloud computing from datacenter
virtualization in general and from "it's on the Internet!"
If I haven't lost you already, I encourage you to read the definition.
Really, it's short. But if you're hanging on by an attention-span thread,
the essentials are:
- On demand self-service.
- Broad network access.
- Resource pooling.
- Rapid elasticity.
- Measured service.
And then it goes on with service models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) and deployment
models (private, community, public, hybrid).
I suggest that Fedora adopt this as our definition, and as the basis for the
scope of this SIG. I think this is uncontroversial, but I would like to hear
Of particular note, work here so far has focused on two primary areas:
"JEOS" images³ for Amazon EC2 (and elsewhere), and on software stacks for
deploying cloud infrastructure (Eucalyptus, OpenStack) as a cloud provider.
This has been great so far, but I also want to open up the SIG to some
broader areas as well — those use areas and constituent groups being the
topic of future discussion.
3. That's "Just Enough Operating System", if you haven't heard the
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm(a)fedoraproject.org>