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Agile Digital Transformation: News Item

Public API for Cloud Computing Servers

Provides inexpensive compute capacity that can be instantly sized allowing businesses to pay only for what it uses—as needed

Rackspace Hosting has announced the availability of the public beta of its Cloud Servers® API. Cloud Servers, part of the company’s portfolio of cloud services, is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering that provides inexpensive compute capacity that can be instantly sized allowing businesses to pay only for what it uses—as needed. Through the open, standards-based API, Rackspace Cloud customers can now manage their cloud infrastructure with greater control and flexibility. The API, for example, enables elastic scenarios as users can write code that programmatically detects load and scales the number of server instances up and down.

The Rackspace Cloud solicited feedback and conducted intensive testing with its partners and cloud developers to help ensure that the community shaped the API. With today’s announcement, users now have control panel and programmatic access to the company’s cloud infrastructure services: Cloud Servers, Cloud Files and Slicehost.

The Cloud Servers API will introduce four new features including:

  • Server Metadata – Supply server-specific metadata when an instance is created that can be accessed via the API.
  • Server Data InjectionSpecify files when instance is created that will be injected into the server file system before startup. This is useful, for example, when inserting SSH keys, setting configuration files, or storing data that you want to retrieve from within the Cloud Server itself.
  • Host IdentificationThe Cloud Servers provisioning algorithm has an anti-affinity property that attempts to spread out customer VMs across hosts. Under certain situations, Cloud Servers from the same customer may be placed on the same host. Host identification allows you to programmatically detect this condition and take appropriate action.
  • Shared IP GroupsWhile Rackspace has always supported shared IPs, it’s been made simpler with the creation of Shared IP Groups and the ability to enable high availability configurations.

Rackspace Cloud customers will be able to manage their Cloud Servers or Cloud Files accounts anytime, anywhere on their iPhones thanks to an application built off the APIs by developer Michael Mayo. The application is expected to be available in the App Store within a month.

“It’s been a great experience to collaborate with the Rackspace Cloud team on the development of the Cloud Servers API,” stated Michael Mayo, iPhone application developer. “Working together with the Rackspace team enabled me to develop my application much more quickly. I’m very pleased with the open feedback process as it makes my work a lot easier.”

With the API, developers can create applications for the Rackspace Cloud which can automatically access compute power as required. The Cloud Servers API also allows developers to work with partners on pre-built applications.

"After testing, it is apparent the Cloud Servers API was created to meet the needs of the community," said David Day, CTO, Zeus Technology. "The REST API has a complete feature set and is easy to use. We are excited to be building on such a robust platform."

“With the launch of our API, we’re looking forward to working with our partners and the developer community to create a powerful cloud ecosystem which we believe will generate new tools and applications to make cloud hosting even easier and more efficient,” said Emil Sayegh, General Manager, The Rackspace Cloud. “We see programmatic control as essential for igniting an ecosystem around the Rackspace Cloud. It’s a key tool for generating the ‘next big thing’ in cloud because it gives developers the power and control to bring their great ideas to fruition.”

The Cloud Servers API is implemented using a RESTful web service interface. Aiming to build a cohesive approach to all products in the Rackspace Cloud suite, Cloud Servers shares a common token authentication system that allows seamless access between products and services.

Launched earlier this year, Cloud Servers is a compute service that provides server capacity in the cloud to businesses of all sizes and leverages key technology developed by Slicehost, LLC, a Rackspace wholly-owned subsidiary. Until today, interactions with Cloud Servers only occurred via the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel (GUI) and now programmatically via the Cloud Servers API.

For more information or to obtain access to the Cloud Servers API, please visit: here.

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