Apache Libcloud Shoots To Thwart Cloud Lock-In, Fuel Cloud Standards


The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has prioritized the development of its Libcloud unified cloud interface, a move that could soon pave the way for cloud standards and put an end to vendor lock-in.

The ASF said Wednesday that the Apache Libcloud has graduated from the Apache Incubator as a Top-Level Project, meaning the product and the community have been well-governed under the Apache Software Foundation's meritocratic, consensus-driven process and principles.

Apache Libcloud is an Open Source Python library project that offers a single vendor-neutral interface to cloud providers' APIs. Currently, Apache Libcloud includes backend drivers for more than 20 leading cloud providers, a roster that includes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), GoGrid, IBM, Linode, Rackspace Cloud and Terremark.

"Graduation is a terrific milestone for Libcloud and will help make it a top choice for anyone looking at cloud management solutions," said Anthony Elder, ASF Vice President and Libcloud Incubation mentor, in a statement.

Originally, accepted into the Apache Incubator in November 2009, Libcloud focused on cloud computing functionality. Since then, it has built up a strong community and preliminary support for more cloud services like cloud storage and load balancers as a service. According to the ASF, with one simple API operations teams can write once and deploy anywhere to avoid cloud vendor lock-in, meaning users can move between cloud providers without making massive changes to the code.

The ability to move applications between cloud providers can also help with backup and disaster recovery in the event of a cloud outage. Workloads can be plucked from one cloud provider and moved to another relatively seamlessly.

Cloud standards and vendor lock-in have been lightening rods for the cloud computing industry. Currently, the cloud computing market lacks true standards. Several groups have stepped forward to start working on standards, and the IEEE has put its hat in the cloud standards ring and has begun developing cloud computing standards.

Several open-source cloud computing players have stepped up to the plate to offer solutions they say can put an end to lock-in and help the industry move toward standards. For example, the Rackspace-led OpenStack project broke down proprietary cloud barriers and made a splash in the industry.

"Our goal going forward is to support all the major cloud services offered by different providers," Apache Libcloud Vice President Tomaz Muraus said in a statement. "Developers love the existing Libcloud interface because it is clean and easy to use and we plan to bring this simplicity and ease of use to other services such as storage and load-balancers."

The basic code base for Libcloud was developed by cloud software player CloudKick, which has since been acquired by Rackspace. Other contributors include IBM, Linode and others.

According to the Apache Software Foundation, Apache Libcloud's day-to-day operations, like community development and product releases, will be overseen by a Project Management Committee. It will be released under Apache Software License v2.0.