Rackspace is open-sourcing the specs for its Cloud Servers and Cloud Files APIs under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution license, enabling third-party developers to copy, implement and rehash them as they see fit.
In addition, The Rackspace Cloud (formerly known as Mosso) has made available Cloud Files language bindings along with technical guidelines for Java, PHP, Python, C# and Ruby under the MIT license through GitHub. Rackspace aims to offer a reference implementation in Python soon and in a press release casually mentions it “is aware of Ruby, Perl, Java, and Twisted Python Cloud Servers bindings”, which are all in the process of being developed.
With the approach, the company hopes to compete better with cloud computing giant Amazon on its own turf – and also Microsoft with its upcoming Windows Azure service – by generally being more open to developers as far as their client-side tools go. In case you were not aware, Rackspace also recently released its Cloud API for Cloud Servers, which allows users to write code that detects a workload in the cloud and scales up the number of servers meeting it as needed, in public beta. The company is heavily trying to position itself as the best alternative to Amazon, which it acknowledges is bigger in size but lacking an open strategy towards the cloud and standards.
On a sidenote, we’re hearing the company is preparing the launch of a new iPhone application that will let customers manage their Rackspace cloud accounts from their iPhone devices. It should be arriving some time in the next few weeks.
Will Rackspace’s efforts in breaking open their cloud offering be enough of a differentiator to compete effectively in an increasingly saturated market? Time will tell, but judging by its stock performance investors are taking quite a liking into the hosting company and its growth strategy.