Many of you have seen the announcement from VMware regarding their new vCloud API, part of their vCloud initiative. Details on the API are sketchy, but Dan Chu (VMware VP of emerging business) said that VMware was looking to (according to Network World) "build on its work with Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) on the open virtualisation format (OVF)"....one would presume by submitting vCloud to the DMTF for standardization.
Some of you may be asking, what is this about? Why is VMware doing this and why submit to the DMTF?
Well, the reason is quite simple actually. Although we often associate "cloud infrastructure" with Amazon's EC2, the reality is, the cloud will be comprised of several Infrastructure-as-a Service (IaaS) vendors, each touting their own service features, quality, engagement models...and yes, API. The API is necessary to "engage" their service. It's a way for the vendor to expose service features and enable competitive differences. For example, Amazon's EC2 API is a SOAP- and HTTP Query-based API used to send proprietary commands to create, store, provision, manage Amazon Machine Images (AMIs).
The trouble is, if every IaaS provider creates their own API -- and they will -- then customers and developers alike will need to learn several different APIs in order to engage each vendor's service. That's the reason why VMware created vCloud API. They needed an API as a means for customers to create, provision, manage VMs in the VDC-OS enviornment -- the infrastructure many IaaS providers may use to create a competitive offering to Amazon's EC2.
VMware submitted the vCloud API to the DMTF as a way to standardize the API, hoping that customers and developers will put pressure on IaaS vendors to adopt the API as a standard, easing development issues. Vendors who don't adopt the API will be seen as non-standard/proprietary.
OK, so now we know why, but I'm sure you're asking, was it the right move on VMware's part to submit vCloud API to the DMTF (is the DMTF the right organization to develop the API) and will vCloud API become the standard IaaS cloud API?
I'll answer this in part II....stay tuned.
[posted by: Drue Reeves]