Entries in APIs (1)


More on the OpenStack - AWS Conversation

Last week, Randy Bias, the interim CEO of Cloudscaling and an outspoken advocate for cloud computing infrastructures of various flavors, published an open letter to the OpenStack community.  It caused something of an uproar and a lot of 'digital ink' was spilt as a result.  (I personally found it rather unsettling that some cloud-literate readers made the interpretations they did, based on what must have been a very cursory reading of the letter.  That said, it was a bit of a Jeremiad.) 

This week, Randy responded to his own letter, taking much of the response he received into account, in an attempt to get the message across with a reduced generation of affect in the readership.

Looking in the Mirror: A Response to My Open Letter | Cloudscaling:

In fact, a lot of discussion was created, and I feel pretty good about that. Surprisingly, much of it was supportive of the general thesis with only a minority of dissenters.
Miscommunications & Misunderstandings
Among the dissenting responses were four general categories of reactions that were categorically incorrect:
  • Randy is calling for the removal of the Nova API (incorrect)
  • Randy is calling for only Amazon compatibility at the expense of OpenStack innovation (incorrect)
  • Randy doesn’t want the OpenStack community to control their own API (incorrect)
  • Randy is calling for slavish replication of AWS APIs *only* in OpenStack (incorrect)   
Just to be clear, what I’m saying is:
Nova should have its own API that is controlled by the community
That API should be a low-level API without an “opinion”
The Rackspace API is NOT the right low-level API or abstraction layer
Amazon compatibility must happen in addition to all other OpenStack innovations
OpenStack can and should innovate in parallel with efforts around AWS compatibility
I don’t think any of this is actually counter to how most people feel. The only problem I see is that folks tend to have a lot of feelings about moving the current Rackspace (Nova) API elsewhere. I’m not really certain why since it is no more “native” to OpenStack than the EC2 API. Both are relatively alien. Both have an opinion that limits innovation on some axis.