Local MSPs May Drive World Economic Forum Cloud Plan

Local MSPs May Drive World Economic Forum Cloud Plan

An offshoot of the World Economic Forum recently launched an initiative that aims to host open source applications in the cloud for developing nations. MSPs in those nations could end up playing an important role in the rollout. Here's the update.

The Forum of Young Global Leaders, part of the World Economic Forum, recently unveiled its Open Cloud Initiative. The group, according to its Web site, aims to “provide guidance and documentation for the consumption of public clouds and blue prints for the construction of private clouds.”

The project’s public cloud aspect will leverage Amazon Web Services, while private clouds will be based on the OpenStack cloud operating system. Open source applications will reside in the clouds. Those include Drupal for publishing and managing Web site content and Curriki for curriculum design. Open source distance learning and e-mail/collaboration applications are also on tap for the clouds, noted Winston Damarillo, chief executive officer of Morphlabs, a cloud infrastructure provider. Damarillo is among the Young Global Leaders participating in the Open Cloud Initiative.

The MSP Connection

Here’s where MSPs fit in: The cloud project’s blue print deliverable will also be open source, so a local MSP can run with it to develop cloud services.

“What is really interesting about this [initiative] is it does open a broad range of possibilities for local providers to implement,” Damarillo said.

The initial priorities for open cloud deployment are nations in Africa and Southeast Asia. MSPmentor has previously noted Africa as an emerging market for managed services.

As for timing, the project aims to release documentation for the Amazon-based clouds in 90 days. The OpenStack blue prints will follow. Damarillo said the cloud initiative is now designing on the Bexar release of OpenStack, but expects its work to land on the Cactus release, which is expected in April 2011.

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