OpenStack Gets Drop-In Replacement for Amazon's EC2 API

Cloudscaling, an EMC company, has released a drop-in replacement for OpenStack's existing Nova EC2 API. Using this, OpenStack users can interact with OpenStack Compute using a set of APIs that is compatible with the Amazon AWS EC2 APIs.

According to EMC's Randy Bias, the drop-in replacement "has been tested exhaustively with the AWS unified CLI tool, a python CLI for driving all of the AWS services" and "is now ready for prime time." Bias says that EMC is committed to maintaining the drop-in replacement and is open to the possibility of it becoming an optional OpenStack plug-in.

AWS Compatibility Could Make or Break OpenStack

OpenStack is an open source cloud computing Platform that is used to run public and private clouds. With nearly 500 supporting companies, OpenStack's users include names like Yahoo, Disney, Rackspace, PayPal and Wells Fargo. Like most large, popular open source projects, OpenStack has a large number of stakeholders, and consensus doesn't always exist among them.

One area where there has been significant debate is OpenStack's support of the Amazon Web Services APIs. While many members of the OpenStack community, including some of the most influential, believe that OpenStack should have APIs that are differentiated from the AWS APIs, Bias isn't one of them. In 2013, he implored the OpenStack community to embrace Amazon's APIs, writing, "It is clear that AWS (and quite likely [Google Cloud Engine]) will utterly dominate the public cloud race. But more importantly, who cares? Dominance by AWS and GCE does not mean that OpenStack fails. In fact, OpenStack is clearly on a trajectory to 'win' the private cloud race, and a rapid embracing of Amazon will put OpenStack in the pole position to dominate hybrid cloud."

He went on, "In a world where AWS and GCE dominate the public cloud market, private clouds that wish to provide a hybrid option must embrace these leaders.

"All this leads to an inevitable conclusion: OpenStack’s future is predicated on driving hybrid cloud compatibility with the major public clouds, and those are AWS and perhaps GCE."

Nearly two years later, Bias still believes that supporting the AWS EC2 APIs will be crucial to OpenStack's success, and he makes a compelling case for this statistically, pointing out that "usage of the EC2 APIs has actually increased since [2013] and now we’re at 44% for production deployments, a 25% increase in roughly 18 months."

The good news for OpenStack is that EMC's work offers a way forward that can work for the entire OpenStack community. As Bias wrote, "Whether you love the EC2 APIs or hate them, it’s good for everyone to move them out of the default [OpenStack] deployment, create greater isolation between these APIs and OpenStack internals, and to have a path forward where they can be maintained with love."

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