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Rackspace blogger-in-chief Robert Scoble pooh-poohs need for Amazon API compatibility

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You were warned. We told you last week to gird yourself for another round of Amazon(s amzn) API sniping and here it is. Rackspace(s rax) blogger and tech gadfly Robert Scoble wrote an open letter of his own in response to Cloudscaling CTO Randy Bias’ diatribe on the need for OpenStack players — especially Rackspace — to embrace rather than ignore Amazon’s APIs.

Scoble reiterated Rackspace’s talking points that strict adherence to the existing Amazon APIs restricts, rather than promotes innovation and that contrary to what pro AWS API forces say, adherence to those APIs is a non-issue with most customers. Limited resources should be spent on building new features and functions, not complying with old APIs, seems to be the gist.

Scoble, who said he spends much of his time talking to prospective users, especially startups, sees no pent-up demand for AWS compatibility.  He wrote:

“Not a single startup has told me that they won’t go with OpenStack because of API compatibility issues. Rather they say they don’t see an innovation alternative yet to Amazon (although increasingly they are paying attention to OpenStack BECAUSE OpenStack has gotten momentum as an innovation competitor). “

So there.

Photo courtesy of  Flickr user Joi

10 Responses to “Rackspace blogger-in-chief Robert Scoble pooh-poohs need for Amazon API compatibility”

  1. natishalom

    I think that most of the community would agree with the general sentiment behind Bias’ call that OpenStack should align itself with that of major public clouds. Now zero-in on the Nova API as the means for portability – this is where the debate lies and where I feel that Randy may be wrong in his assessment – See more at:

  2. I don’t personally care about AWS compatibility as I’m not a programmer. It would matter to me if I was looking to run or support a development house building Cloud applications. If my end users only understood AWS API’s then it would be important. But, I’ve yet to have someone ask me specifically for AWS API compatibility. I personally believe Cloud is too much of a green field.

    A year ago you asked the question if it was too late for OpenStack. And the general response was that it’s still an open playing field. I’m not ready to say this isn’t still the case. Organizations don’t want lock-in be it OpenStack (pick your flavor), VMware or AWS. There is still plenty of opportunity for disruption. I believe you just wrote a post (I have yet to read it) about Dell backing away from OpenStack, HP’s OpenStack Cloud seems to have lost steam and where’s IBM OpenStack Cloud?

  3. The right people to talk to about whether AWS API’s are needed for Openstack is not the techno guys but the other guys, the ones who sell Openstack to users. They will know what benefits they could expect from such a move.

    The speculation of the geeks is of no inherent benefits, since biases (not a pun) rule and emotions bordering on religious intensity enslave their reasoning abilities.

    • I don’t want to hear from vendors at all about their opinion be it their geeks or sales guys. There lens is usually self serving. I would rather here from the end user directly via some forum such as a user group. It’s nice to have the vendors kick off the conversation but not control the message.

      • Robert Scoble

        Keith, even if I wanted to control the message those days are over. I don’t control Barb. I don’t control this comment area. Even the comment area on my post is open and uncensored.

        I was just passing along what Amazon customers have told me. Very few people in the world have talked with as many entrepreneurs as I have and that gives me a unique perspective on all this.

        • Robert, other than personality I don’t consider you a “geek.” I think you sit in a unique position and are a conduit and I value it. I agree with you comment above.

          To expand on my point, I like when vendors are conduits for the conversation and don’t filter the responses. I think Rackspace in general does this well.

        • Robert: do you also talk to dissatisfied RAX users to get an even-handed, balanced opinion? Of course anyone the size of AWS are going to have some malcontents – as will RAX – there are two sides to that coin.
          So Robert, you’re entitled to have your opinion, but to some reading it it does seem a heavily biased point of view seen through the lens of RAX talking to some cloud users – as I doubt if you have time or access to every AWS user.
          Lastly, its good to see RAX finally coming out and saying something.