7 Ways to Beat the Glut of Cloud APIs

Matthew Casperson
Mar. 18 2010, 12:59AM EDT

Cloud computing is big right now, but the sheer number of options, and the lack of interoperability, can be an issue for developers. Vendor lock-in reduces the options available to those working on cloud computing initiatives, while the variability between APIs inevitably leads to many hours spent pouring over documentation when comparing cloud service providers.

There are a number of projects that can reduce, or even eliminate, some of these problems by exposing the functionality of a number of cloud service providers through a consistent interface. Here is a list of 7 such projects.

  • DeltaCloud is a RehHat initiative that provides a REST API and user tools to manage EC2, RHEV-M, RackSpace and RimuHosting, with VMWare ESX and more coming soon.
  • libcloud is a pure python client library for interacting with many of the popular cloud server providers. The libcloud web pages lists support for 11 cloud services provides.
  • The Simple Cloud API brings cloud technologies to PHP and the PHPilosophy to the cloud, starting with common interfaces for File Storage Services, Document Storage Services and Simple Queue Services. The API page shows support for Amazon S3, Windows Azure Blob Storage and Nirvanix, with more to come.
  • jclouds is an open source framework that helps you get started in the cloud and reuse your java development skills. Jclouds support many clouds including Amazon, VMWare, Azure, and Rackspace.
  • The Dasein Cloud API provides an abstraction for applications that wish to be written independent of the clouds they are controlling.
  • OpenNebula is an open and flexible tool that fits into existing data center environments to build any type of Cloud deployment. OpenNebula 1.4 supports Xen, KVM and VMware virtualization platforms and on-demand access to Amazon EC2 and ElasticHosts Cloud providers. It also features new local and Cloud interfaces, such as libvirt, EC2 Query API and OGC OCCI API.
  • Cloudloop is a new open source Java API and command-line management tool for cloud storage. Unfortunately the cloudloop web site was hacked recently, but you can find more information with this post on TheServerSide.

Just as with the growth of these cloud APIs and platforms, there are more libraries and abstraction initiatives all the time. Feel free to share any others we missed in the comments.

Matthew Casperson Matthew is a freelance writer, focusing on web and multimedia technologies. His work can be found featured on Programmable Web, Brighthub, Hubfolio, Chrome Experiments, Informit, Flash Tuts Plus and The Tech Labs.

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