Cloudscaling Opens Google Compute Engine APIs To OpenStack, Provides Alternative To Amazon Web Services

Cloudscaling has opened up the Google Compute Engine (GCE) APIs to OpenStack, allowing customers that use the open, federated cloud to access Google’s vast infrastructure.

Cloudscaling, a San Francisco startup, is one of the pioneers in building open, distributed clouds in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) style. The company will provide engineering and code development to implement GCE APIs into the OpenStack project, the open cloud effort that started two years ago. It is now the world’s largest open-source project with more than 5,600 individual members representing more than 850 organizations in 88 countries. The OpenStack Foundation has secured $10 million in funding from members and from 21 platinum and gold corporate sponsors.

Cloudscaling Founder and CTO Randy Bias said anyone in the OpenStack community can download the code and add a patch to their version of OpenStack. They will then be able to use the GCE API. He said the code is being provided on a beta basis and has been well-tested, but it will require some more time in the wild to learn how it needs to evolve.

Cloudscaling will support the GCE API code either as part of OpenStack or as a separate patch. Bias said they will accept changes and updates to the code from the OpenStack community as it’s offered.

The move is a turning point for OpenStack and GCE – providing some proof that OpenStack may prove to be an option to AWS, the undisputed leader in the market. Bias said this to me in an email interview:

We believe that this creates choice in the marketplace. It’s important that customers be able to create federated solutions between clouds, which means supporting the APIs of major public cloud systems and providing the maximum amount of compatibility between them. Compatibility starts with the API and ends with architectural and behavioral fidelity.

The issue here is about portability and it is at the center of what makes OpenStack appealing. Google is a nascent player in the cloud but has the world’s deepest infrastructure. It will become a significant competitor to AWS. It also shows that the private cloud bandwagon will have to slow down as customers realize that OpenStack, Google and AWS all provide affordable, easy to access services that can run light apps or the mission critical, legacy software suites that the older enterprise giants claim best runs on their own hardware.

A federated cloud is the goal here but even with Google in play there are still many developments to come before we see customers with the capability to move between different clouds.