So far, the majority of raw compute services including those from Amazon have been based on Xen. VMware has less presence in the cloud, and this is the problem it must fix. The vCloud API is part of VMwares answer to this problem (another is the companys planned purchase of Java tools developer SpringSource).
VMware recruits cloud supporters
The API defines the function calls for managing virtual servers in the cloud, and has won the support of service providers AT&T, Verizon and Savvis, and a handful of smaller but influential players.
Importantly, this is the first such API to be adopted by multiple large providers. This means that if a business sets up virtual servers to run in one providers clouds but then decides to switch to another it can do so without reworking its control systems. That would not be the case if it had started on a cloud such as Amazons, whose API is not used by others.
VMware has made the API open, and is offering it up to the industry body that is leading cloud standards development, the DMTF, and says it is happy for third parties to extend the API.
This a good move for VMware, but dont count others out
Certainly not by coincidence, Citrix this week announced that the Xen open source project is expanding from the development of the Xen hypervisor into the wider management code needed to run clouds. Naturally enough, one promised focus of this effort is to permit easy interoperability between on-premise systems and external clouds.
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