Here’s a new “drop-in” EC2 API for OpenStackers who want it

Many news cycles have been burned on the debate over whether OpenStack-based cloud providers should or need to support the major Amazon Web Services APIs.

Cloudscaling and its co-founder Randy Bias have long advocated that such support is critical to the success of OpenStack and promised Cloudscaling support for [company]Amazon[/company] elastic compute cloud (EC2) APIs. AWS, after all, is by far the market leader in the public cloud arena.

As of this week, Cloudscaling, now part of [company]EMC[/company], has made available a “drop-in” replacement for the existing OpenStack Nova EC2 API. Nova, OpenStack’s compute module, already offered a degree of EC2 API compatibility that a vendor could expose, or not, in its own cloud offering.

Rackspace notably chose not to expose it. [company]Hewlett-Packard[/company] at first opted to support the EC2 API, then reversed course in late 2013 — but within a year bought Eucalyptus, a provider of private cloud technology noted for its AWS API support. And VMware’s cloud chief Bill Fathers made it pretty clear on the recent Structure podcast that he doesn’t give a fig about supporting AWS APIs.

Bias, now VP of technology at EMC, is unwavering in his belief that AWS API support will strengthen OpenStack’s chances of success in the market. Cloudscaling also has promised support for key Google Compute Platform APIs.

Per Bias’ blog post:

I’ll reiterate again, since folks still sometimes get confused, I’m not advocating dropping the OpenStack APIs in favor of AWS.  I’m advocating embracing the AWS APIs, making them a first class citizen, and viewing AWS as a partner, not an enemy.  A partner in making cloud big for everyone.

His plan is to improve upon the existing Nova EC2 API — actually build it from scratch — and ask the community to test it out and support it. His rationale? People are using Amazon’s cloud and OpenStack needs to attract those people.

Bias used a chart from the November OpenStack user survey (which had 669 respondents) to illustrate his point. Nearly half of users surveyed use the EC2 compatibility API in production, 38 percent use it in development/quality assurance and 38 percent use it in proof-of-concept projects. By contrast, just four percent said they used the Open Cloud Computing Interface in production, one percent in dev/QA and seven percent in proof of concept trials.

Compatibility APIs

If you want the back story of the great API kerfuffle, check out this YouTube video of a debate between Bias, Mirantis co-founder Boris Renski and others.


Is Rackspace holding OpenStack back?

CloudScaling CTO Randy Bias argues that Amazon Web Services APIs are already the lingua franca of the cloud and supporting them is key to OpenStack success.