OpenStack Pike Cloud Platform Still Provides AWS Compatibility Layer

Tuesday Sep 5th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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After 16 releases, a core component of the open source OpenStack cloud platform remains in place.

The latest release of the OpenStack cloud platform landed on Aug. 30 with the debut of OpenStack Pike. While there are many incremental feature improvements in Pike, there is at least one key feature noteworthy in that it hasn't been removed. That feature is Amazon Web Services (AWS) API compatibility.

Though the OpenStack Foundation and its member companies rarely talk about AWS compatibility, it's a feature OpenStack has long supported.

"Initially, all of the AWS API compatibility was sitting inside of Nova," Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, told ServerWatch.

Nova is the core compute project within OpenStack and is one of the two original projects, along with the Swift storage project that NASA and Rackspace put together when OpenStack was first launched in July 2010.

Bryce noted that a decision was made in 2015 to break the AWS API compatibility out from Nova into a separate service to make the implementation cleaner.

One of the AWS compatibility projects within OpenStack is now known as the ec2-api service, which actually includes two services for AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The ec2-api service accepts and responds to end-user EC2 API calls. The second service, called the ec2-api-metadata service, provides the OpenStack Metadata API to servers.

Additionally, there is an OpenStack project for AWS S3 (Simple Storage Service) compatibility.

"The Amazon API compatibility APIs are still being updated and maintained," Bryce said.

While AWS compatibility has been part of OpenStack for a long time, it's not a feature regularly used by a large number of organizations. That said, Bryce noted some organizations do in fact use the AWS APIs in production deployments.

"For us, we just sort of take the AWS API compatibility for granted; it has been there since the beginning of OpenStack, and people use it," Bryce said. "We just don't always remember that we should talk about it."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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