Red Hat offers its cloud APIs as industry standard

Red Hat's Delta Cloud APIs may be overseen by the Distributed Management Task Force

As the industry call for cloud interoperability grows more fervent, open-source enterprise software company Red Hat has submitted its cloud platform, Deltacloud, to the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force) as a potential standard for cloud interoperability, the company said Wednesday.

"We do not want Deltacloud to be under the control of any one particular vendor, including Red Hat. If you want true interoperability and true portability, you need a third-party governance structure," said Red Hat cloud product manager Bryan Che during a webcast outlining the company's cloud-computing road map.

Lack of interoperability among different cloud providers is one of the major concerns that prevent enterprises from adopting cloud computing, noted Gary Chen, an IDC research manager covering enterprise virtualization software, during a presentation that accompanied Red Hat's announcement.

Beyond Red Hat, a number of other cloud service providers are also tackling the problem. In July, Rackspace and U.S. government space agency NASA launched an open-source collection of cloud enabling software called OpenStack. And earlier this week, Eucalyptus Systems released version 2.0 of its cloud platform, which uses the AWS (Amazon Web Services) API. The company argues that, due to its popularity, AWS has become a de facto standard.

Red Hat launched Deltacloud in September 2009 as a set of open-source APIs (application programming interfaces) that could be used to move cloud-based workloads among different IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) providers, such as Amazon and Rackspace.

In order to move workloads among different cloud providers, customers need "an architecture that is compatible, and a stack that is compatible with what they are running on the inside," said Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president for products and technologies.

To encourage external contributions to Deltacloud, Red Hat relinquished the Deltacloud code base to the Apache Incubator, a repository for programs that may eventually be overseen by the Apache Foundation. The company also started a site, called APIwanted.org, where external parties can submit suggestions for additional APIs and other desired functionality for Deltacloud.

In addition to Red Hat itself, other companies participating in the development of Deltacloud, or using it in some way, include Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Ingres and Intel, the company asserted.

DMTF's Cloud Management Working Group will consider adopting Deltacloud as a standard. DMTF oversees existing standards such as CDM (the Common Diagnostic Model), DASH (the Desktop and Mobile Architecture For System Hardware) and OVF (the Open Virtualization Format).

Red Hat also said Wednesday that it would be assembling a Platform-as-a-Service package built around its JBoss middleware software stack.

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