Today, VMware and the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) announced that the vCloud API has been submitted to the for work within the DMTF's VMAN initiative toward becoming an industry standard. You can view the spec here.
The idea is to create a standard RESTful API that cloud vendors can use as the interface to their service...ala EC2 API.
My take: This is goodness for the industry and may spark a wave of cloud management application development. However, the measure of a standard is adoption. I mean, if a standard is developed in the forest and no one adopts it, does it make a sound...or is it a standard? History tells us that standards adoption from the DMTF has been mixed (see DASH and SMASH), but on the other hand, vCloud API is closely tied to OVF -- one of the DMTF's more successfully adopted standards, so only time will tell.
It also remains to be seen if vCloud will become the cloud standard or if the EC2 APIs will become the defacto standard. In fact, Eucalyptus has already adopted the EC2 APIs, reinforcing EC2 API's defacto leadership.
The real key is VMware's army of vCloud partners. The more cloud vendors that adopt the API (say Terremark, Verizon, etc) the more pressure they place on non-compliant vendors to adopt the API. In this way, VMware could flip the tables on Amazon, making the EC2 API look proprietary.
In any event, this announcement is leadership by the DMTF and VMware in the cloud space and a key API to watch.
Posted by: Drue Reeves