Apache focuses on unified cloud standard

The Libcloud project provides a single interface for more than 20 cloud services, including those from IBM and Amazon

Recognizing the growing need for vendor-neutral standards in the cloud computing field, the Apache Software Foundation has prioritized development of its Libcloud unified cloud interface as a top-level project, the organization announced Wednesday.

Apache Libcloud provides a single interface to more than 20 cloud services, including Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute), Rackspace Cloud, Terremark's cloud service, IBM Cloud, GoGrid's infrastructure service and the Xen-based Linode service.

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The interface consists of a Python library that can cover a wide range of uses, such as interfacing with storage services or load-balancing services. Developers can have their programs make calls to the library instead of coding for each individual cloud service.

By using the library, a program can switch to another cloud provider without the need to change the underlying code. The library can also provide an easy way to move workloads to a backup service, should the main service go offline for some reason.

Libcloud became an Apache incubator project in 2009. Developers from cloud software provider Cloudkick, since acquired by Rackspace, provided the basic code base. And developers from IBM, Linode, and others provided subsequent improvements.

By becoming an official Apache Top-Level Project, Libcloud will be overseen by a Project Management Committee (PMC), which will guide the code's community development and product releases. The library is available under an Apache Software License version 2.0.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com.

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