Open Washing in a “Cloud Washed” World

Hidden in an era of “cloud washing”, products, new companies, and marketing campaigns must contain the word “cloud”, is something I’ll call “open washing.”


Today’s Top Open Names:

  • OpenStack – Massively scalable Cloud Operating System
  • Open Compute – Open hardware to build efficient computing infrastructures at the lowest cost
  • OpenFlow – An Open standard to deploy innovative protocols in production networks
  • Open Virtual Alliance – An alliance to promote, foster, and accelerate the adoption of KVM virtualization technology
  • Open Virtualization Format – A platform independent, efficient, extensible, and open packaging/distribution format for virtual machines

Hey, what about Open Source?  Open source isn’t a project or alliance, it’s a philosophy and development model that will outlast any open washed movements.  However, what happened to naming your projects something more innovative?

All this “open washing” reminds me of a famous quote from Margret Thatcher, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

What ever happened to creating innovative and interesting names for projects?

Interesting Project Names:

  • Fedora – Linux based operating system
  • LogStash – tool for managing events and logs
  • Tomcat – open source implementation of Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages
  • Eclipse – Open development platform
  • Hadoop reliable, scalable, and distributed computing

Interestingly enough, these Open projects have spawned some interesting commercial product names such as Piston, Nicira, Nebula, and Big Switch.

In the end, marketing trends like Cloud and Open will come and go, but the disruptive and innovative products that are created via these projects will have an everlasting effect.


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