Oracle Announces Cloud-Based APIs for Interoperability

With the Oracle Cloud API, Oracle joins the crowd of companies vying to get customers to accept their vision of cloud interoperability as the industry standard.

Oracle announced on Nov. 3 an application programming interface to manage private clouds and to address cloud interoperability.

As more companies shift applications to the cloud and private clouds become increasingly popular, interoperability becomes critical. Organizations need to ensure the clouds can talk to one another and workloads can be easily moved among clouds. Currently, each cloud provider has its own set of rules; having all providers follow a single set of standards would encourage even more organizations to make the shift.

"Enterprises are continuing to look to cloud computing to extend the value of their IT investments and better service users," said Sushil Kumar, an Oracle vice president.

The Oracle Cloud Resource Model API uses standard HTTP methods to interact with available resources to provision machines, modify configurations and retire unused resources, the company said. It also treats different resources such as storage volumes and virtual machines as logical entities, without forcing IT administrators to understand the details of the physical infrastructure, said Oracle.

A subset of the Cloud API, the Oracle Cloud Elemental Resource Model API was submitted to the Distributed Management Task Force to be considered in the proposed Infrastructure as a Service Cloud API standard, said Oracle.

The Oracle Cloud Elemental Resource Model API addresses the "+basic building blocks"-machines, storage volumes and networks-within a cloud to encourage standardization, said Oracle. The submitted specifications describe how to provision a machine from an image, attach a volume onto a machine and connect the machine to the network, said Oracle.

The Oracle Cloud API ensures users can easily and efficiently manage cloud-based resources, said Oracle. The company said organizations can achieve "better business agility and flexibility," high utilization, and reduced costs.

"With the Oracle Cloud API, Oracle is further enabling customers and partners to build and manage cloud environments-based on an open, application-aware IaaS platform-to improve service levels and the overall end-user experience," said Sushil Kumar, an Oracle vice president.

IT managers can use cloud management software based on these APIs to deploy virtual servers across clouds run on different hardware platforms, said Oracle.

The announcement comes a week after Intel and 70 large global enterprises, including BMW, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase, formed the Open Data Center Alliance to make clouds interoperable. The coalition members believe that as organizations continue to embrace cloud computing, the industry needs to standardize data center components by defining hardware and software requirements. This will lead to more open and interoperable cloud and data centers, according to the group.

Oracle joins the growing list of companies interested in private cloud interoperability. Red Hat's DeltaCloud can be used to move cloud-based workloads among different providers. Red Hat has submitted DeltaCloud to DMTF and to the Apache Foundation for consideration as an independent standard.

Rackspace teamed up with U.S. government space agency NASA to launch OpenStack, a combination of Rackspace cloud architecture and NASA's Nebula Cloud Platform.

The APIs were originally developed by Sun Microsystems and refined by Oracle after acquiring the company, Oracle said.

The Oracle Cloud API specification is available on the Oracle Technology Network, the company said.