Tuesday, September 8, 2009

VMware Releases vCloud API Under "Open" License

For anyone interested, VMware has launched their Vcloud API specification. They describe their new "open" vCloud API as an interface for providing and consuming virtual resources from the cloud. It enables deploying and managing virtualized workloads in internal and external clouds. The vCloud API allows for upload and download of vApps along with their instantiation, deployment and operation.

According to the vCloud FAQ, the API does not expose any aspect of the physical infrastructure (servers, storage, networks) or how the physical infrastructure is virtualized. In a cloud service only virtual forms of the infrastructure can be exposed through the API. The pure virtual nature of the API also helps make the API simple to use and implement

I also found this tidbit interesting. For a cloud service to be multi-tenant, both its API and its implementation must support multi-tenancy. The pure virtual nature of the vCloud API enables it to be multi-tenant. Each cloud customer, or tentant, can only see its own set of virtual resources while having no means to address the shared underlying physical resources. This kind of isolation between tenants is analogous to the isolation between processes in a conventional OS achieved through the use of virtual memory: each process sees a continuous memory address space for its own use, but cannot directly address the underlying physical memory or the virtual memory of another process. Just like the virtual memory sub-system of a conventional OS in cooperation with its platform APIs works to achieve isolation between processes, in the same manner the cloud service implementation together with the vCloud API can support multi-tenancy.

Finally, the vCloud API Specification and schema definition files are being released under a permissive (MIT like) license - Developers and service providers are free to make use of the API under a royalty free license that allows for extension. VMware copyright needs to be included in any redestribution of the API. See specific details on the license terms.

vCloud Hightlights
  • RESTful with full programmatic control
  • OVF standards based
  • Platform independent
  • Pure virtual
  • Supports multi-tenancy

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