Object API, a long debate…

December 16th – API or not API ? that is the question…

Most of the time users can’t really choose and decision is controlled by application. In 2 words, if the application is a commercial one, users don’t have access to the code and can’t embed any specific code. In that case, if the application requires a file access and users pick an object storage solution, the only possible glue between the two is a gateway. Now when users design their own application, a decision must be taken between several available object API. Among others people have choice between an Amazon S3 compatible API, a proprietary HTTP/REST API developed and promoted by the vendor itself or other layers such as CDMI. The other key angle to consider is standardisation approach. What about the 3 top object APIs ?

  • S3, created by Amazon, which is today a de-facto standard largely adopted and acting as a locomotive,
  • Swift, promoted by the OpenStack Foundation, very visible due to the power of the community and its members, with a growing adoption with today less deployments,
  • and CDMI (Cloud Data Management Interface), specified by the SNIA, the only official industry standard among the 3, with today approximately 12 vendors offering a CDMI server.

From a Scality standpoint, in addition to our own object API, the RING supports and offers a S3 compatible API, a CDMI compliant server and a Swift interface. We let the user pick the one he needs based on application requirements. In addition to this effort with OpenStack, Scality contributes since the Grizzly release with a Cinder connector to enable a block device on Scality RING to be consumed by an OpenStack Compute cluster.

Philippe Nicolas, Product Strategy (pn@scality.com)

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