Libcloud, the open source python library released by the vendor Cloudkick, has taken the first steps to be part of Apache Software Foundation by joining the ASF Incubator. Libcloud offers a single programming interface for apps to access different cloud providers including Amazon EC2, Rackspace, vCloud, Terramark, etc.. Even without any standards, Libcloud can offer interoperability between various Cloud providers.
Cloudkick, the company that originally developed Libcloud, offers a management platform for many different cloud providers. Cloudkick was launched during the Under The Radar event last year. It is a comprehensive management solution with a dashboard that can offer a quick overview of all your cloud based servers from different vendors. It is possible to reboot/shutdown/destroy instances right from the dashboard. They also offer a browser based SSH client to log into the server instances. Since Cloudkick uses Libcloud libraries, their employees are active in the Libcloud development.
Libcloud is not the only programming interface available in the marketplace for multiple cloud vendor interoperability. There are other language specific APIs like jclouds and Dasein Cloud API by enStratus. Sometime back, a Redhat supported project, Deltacloud, has emerged as an alternative to these language specific APIs. Deltacloud is a REST based API without being tied to a specific programming language. All these toolkits aim to offer a single programming interface to access many different clouds from multiple vendors.
Even though Libcloud is an independent project, the acceptance into Apache Software Foundation incubator will offer many advantages to this project. The two most important advantages include
- Infrastructure support from the Apache foundation. They are currently hosted on Github and we all know about the reliability issues faced by Github in the recent past. ASF’s infrastructure will offer them the much needed reliability.
- Mentorship from experienced committers and other developers.
Once the project is in incubator, they have to show that they can attract diverse group of committers to the project before they are admitted to Apache Software Foundation. The emphasis on the diversity of committers helps these projects in many different ways including
- A solid group of committers who could play by the meritocratic rules of the foundation
- To offer a long term stability to the project
- To offer a wide ranging technical visions that can help the project mature and grow
Having Libcloud project as a part of Apache Software Foundation can make it truly vendor neutral and it will also help create a trust that will lure more and more vendors adapt Libcloud.