Summary:

Lew Moorman, president of Rackspace, said cloud providers that clone Amazon APIs miss the point of true cloud interoperability. Eucalyptus and other cloud providers clearly disagree. The debate will doubtless rage on this week at the GigaOM Structure conference.

Lew Moorman (Rackspace), Dries Buytaert (Acquia), John Dillon (Engine Yard), Marten Mickos (Eucalyptus Systems) - Structure 2011

Lew Moorman (Rackspace), Dries Buytaert (Acquia), John Dillon (Engine Yard), Marten Mickos (Eucalyptus Systems) - Structure 2011The battle over whether it’s productive for cloud providers to clone Amazon’s APIs will rage on this week. Amazon rival Rackspace built its new cloud platform atop OpenStack and will not support the popular Amazon APIs while Eucalyptus, famously, will. Rackspace President Lew Moorman is not sure what that support buys Eucalyptus.

“API cloning does not get you to interoperability. The cloud is not a protocol. It’s a deep piece of technology that has to be replicated. If Amazon decided to open source its technology that would be a different story,” Moorman said in an interview going into today’s GigaOM Structure event where he will speak.

“There are big important proprietary stacks in this world, Microsoft and Amazon and maybe one or two one others but there has to be an open alternative. It is a technology stack, not just a set of tools,” he added. Rackspace, IBM, HP and others are backing OpenStack as that open cloud foundation and, many say, a hedge against Amazon’s growing cloud dominance.

“The Microsoft [Azure] platform is the same thing. What people need to call them on is if Microsoft says it’s open because it runs Linux, misses the point of cloud. Spinning up servers is just one thing. The cloud is technology that has to be integrated into applications. Azure is as proprietary as Amazon.”

Amazon and its adherents say that by supporting its various EC2, EBS and other APIs, third parties get the interoperability they need with the gigantic Amazon public cloud. The discussion will continue at the GigaOM Structure event kicking off Wednesday where Moorman, Amazon CTO and VP Werner Vogels and Microsoft Server and Tools president Satya Nadella will all speak.

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