I made a comment about cloud providers not being good long term investments well having a drink with Simon Plant of Rightscale it became clear that actually its already pretty much a cooked goose in the cloud space. Rightscale do the VM creation and provisioning stuff across most of the public cloud providers as well as folks like VM in the "private" cloud space. What does this mean?
Well simply put it means that you can have Rightscale create the VM image for you in a way that means you can deploy it to pretty much any cloud you want. This means you can start doing SLA/price arbitrage across providers and reduce any potential lock-in from the cloud provider. I like to think of this as an "iPhone strategy" as before the iPhone it was the carrier who would specify what the phones did and would put network specific cruft on them. Apple came along with the iPhone and said "nope, our phone, exactly the same, every network, managed by us", Rightscale is effectively the iPhone and iTunes for your cloud provisioning. By using an intermediary approach you get to control not just the standard stuff like number of VMs, CPUs, Storage etc but the more important stuff like which actual cloud you are deploying to. If you want to shift it in-house from an external provider then you can, if you want to shift between providers then you can, and if you want to start off internally and shift it externally when demand spikes or when it makes financial or security sense then you can.
So Rightscale are doing to clouds what clouds have done for tin... commoditising them. This means cloud providers are in a volume business with retail style metrics and margins. Effectively this means that Rightscale are achieving commercially what Open Cloud has so far failed to do publicly.
So in the same way as you wouldn't consider an Intel/AMD box where your software could only ever run on Dell (for example) why choose an approach to clouds that means you can only choose one provider?
Oh and I bought the drinks BTW.