A new initiative from OpenStack called “OpenStack Powered” has been launched today at the OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. While the announcement — made in this morning’s keynote — sets new interoperability standards for service providers operating in the OpenStack ecosystem, major players like Ansible are saying the announcement is very much a commitment to creating a stable API.
OpenStack is an open source project that enables the building of private, public and hybrid clouds. It is used by both enterprises wanting to build and deploy products rapidly, and by service providers wanting to enable customers to use their cloud infrastructure easily.
But as a fast-growing open source project, one of its challenges has been the increasing complexity that has emerged as various tools and products get built out on the OpenStack platform. Almost due to the success of its rapid growth, interoperability becomes an issue.
In a press release published today following this morning’s keynote announcement, Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation said:
OpenStack cloud providers are delivering on the promise of a global network of clouds that app developers can leverage depending on their needs. Today, the OpenStack community is putting app developers in the driver’s seat, giving them the power to choose the price, performance and geography that best suit the needs of their apps, matching workloads to the best resources. No other cloud platform promises what OpenStack can deliver.
The new ‘OpenStack Powered’ is a certification system that, in the future, will require all products on the OpenStack Marketplace — the bulk of which are integrated via APIs — to meet in order to be able to be listed.
For now, 14 service providers have tested their products and are listed as “OpenStack Powered” including HP and Rackspace. These two companies were also part of Ansible’s Simple OpenStack Initiative held this morning at the Summit. Simple OpenStack Initiative aims to overcome many of the same problems that the OpenStack Powered approach is addressing, but at the pain point experienced during IT automation.
As a simple, open source automation language, Ansible enables fast spinning up of new cloud infrastructure on private, public and hybrid clouds. The Ansible Tower UI is the open source’s commercial product and provides a REST API and command line interface to enable embedding Ansible’s automation engine into current organizational IT processes.
“The question underneath the OpenStack Powered initiative is how can you guarantee the API will be the same across different versions? How can you be sure of the way you give the API stability at the end? Until now, that has been difficult,” Greg DeKoenigsberg, VP, Community at Ansible told ProgrammableWeb after the first half of today’s Ansible Collaboration Day at OpenStack Summit:
“That has been the way people have been using Ansible, they use Ansible’s orchestration so that they have all the components you say you have. For users, the API announcement today is great. But we find our customers are standing up their own stack. They need to be making sure their version matches what vendors are standing up.”
Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation supported the efforts Ansible have been taking: "The drive toward faster, more agile and simpler automation is at the heart of the OpenStack project. Ansible Collaboration Day at the Vancouver OpenStack Summit gives participants a great opportunity to learn how the community is using Ansible in production environments to bring OpenStack compute, storage and networking resources to more developers, faster."
DeKoenigsberg said that this morning’s session saw HP, Rackspace, Cisco, CSC and others “figuring out how to work on various projects together”.
With both the moves by Ansible's Simple OpenStack Initiative and the broader OpenStack Powered initiative, APIs are becoming a cetral piece to helping solve interoperability issues and enabling ecosystems to flourish amid rapid growth.