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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in API

Gstack, a GCE compatible interface to CloudStack

Google Compute Engine (GCE) is the Google public cloud. In december 2013, Google announced the General Availability (GA) of GCE. With AWS and Microsoft Azure, it is one of the three leading public clouds in the market. Apache CloudStack now has a brand new GCE compatible interface (Gstack) that lets users use the GCE clients (i.e gcloud and gcutil) to access their CloudStack cloud. This has been made possible through the Google Summer of Code program.

Last summer Ian Duffy, a student from Dublin City University participated in GSoC through the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and worked on a LDAP plugin to CloudStack. He did such a great job that he finished early and was made an Apache CloudStack committer. Since he was done with his original GSoC project I encouraged him to take on a new one :), he brought in a friend for the ride: Darren Brogan. Both of them worked for fun on the GCE interface to CloudStack and learned Python doing so.

They remained engaged with the CloudStack community and has a third year project worked on an Amazon EC2 interface to CloudStack using what they learned from the GCE interface. They got an A :). Since they loved it so much, Darren applied to the GSoC program and proposed to go back to Gstack, improve it, extend the unittests and make it compatible with the GCE v1 API.

Technically, Gstack is a Python Flask application that provides a REST API compatible with the GCE API and forwards the requests to the corresponding CloudStack API. The source is available on GitHub and the binary is downloadable via PyPi. Let's show you how to use it.

Installation and Configuration of Gstack

You can grab the Gstack binary package from Pypi using pip in one single command.

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OCCI interface to CloudStack

Posted by on in Open Source

CloudStack has its own API. Cloud wrappers like libcloud and jclouds work well with this native API, but CloudStack does not expose any standard API like OCCI and CIMI. We (Isaac Chiang really, I just tested and pointed him in the right direction) started working on a CloudStack backend for rOCCI using our CloudStack ruby gem. The choice of rOCCI was made due to the existence of an existing Opennebula backend and the adoption of OCCI in the European Grid Initiative Federated cloud testbed.

Let's get started with installing the rOCCI server, this work has not yet been merged upstream so you will need to work from Isaac Chiang's fork.

    git clone https://github.com/isaacchiang/rOCCI-server.git
    bundle install
    cd etc/backend
    cp cloudstack/cloudstack.json default.json

Edit the defautl.json file to contain the information about your CloudStack cloud (e.g apikey, secretkey, endpoint). Start the rOCCI server:

    bundle exec passenger start

The server should be running on http://0.0.0.0:3000 and run the tests:

    bundle exec rspec

This was tested with the CloudStack simulator and a basic zone configuration, help us test it in production clouds.

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About those Cloud APIs...

Posted by on in Cloud Strategy

There has been a lot of discussions lately within the OpenStack community on the need for an AWS API interface to OpenStack nova. I followed the discussion from far via a few tweets, but I am of the opinion that any IaaS solution does need to expose an AWS interface. AWS is the leader in Cloud and has been since 2006 -yes that's seven years- Users are accustomed to it and the AWS API is the de-factor standard.

When Eucalyptus started, it's main goal was to become an AWS clone and in 2012 signed an agreement with Amazon to offer seamless AWS support in Eucalyptus. Opennebula has almost always offered an AWS bridge and CloudStack has too, even though in total disclosure the interface was broken in the Apache CloudStack 4.1 release. Thankfully the AWS interface is now fixed in 4.1.2 release and will also be in the upcoming 4.2 release. To avoid breaking this interface we are developing a jenkins pipeline which will test it using the Eucalyptus testing suite.

Opennebula recently ran a survey to determine where to best put its efforts in API development. The results where clear with 47% of respondents asking for better AWS compatibility. There are of course developing official standards from standard organizations, most notably OCCI from OGF and CIMI from DMTF. The opennebula survey seems to indicate a stronger demand for OCCI than CIMI, but IMHO this is due to historical reasons: Opennebula early efforts in being the first OCCI implementation and Opennebula user base especially within projects like HelixNebula.

CIMI was promising and probably still is but it will most likely face an up-hill battle since RedHat announced it's scaling back on supporting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%3E">Apache DeltaCloud. I recently heard about a new CIMI implementation project for Stratuslab from some of my friends at Sixsq, it is interesting and fun because written in Clojure and I hope to see it used with Clostack to provide a CIMI interface to CloudStack. We may be couple weeks out :)

While AWS is the de-facto standard, I want to make sure that CloudStack offers choices for its users. If someone wants to use OCCI and CIMI or AWS or the native CloudStack API they should be able to. I will be at the CloudPlugfest Interoperability week in Madrid Sept 18-20 and I hope to demonstrate a brand new OCCI interface to CloudStack using rOCCI and CloudStack ruby gem. A CloudStack contributor from Taiwan has been working on it.

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A vote has started on the libcloud dev list for the 0.13 release. The release notes detail all the new features and fixes. I am stoked about this because a few patches that I submitted are included in this release candidate. I patched the CloudStack driver quite a bit to improve the support for Clouds with a basic zone like Exoscale. There is more work to do on this driver including better support for Advanced zone especially for port forwarding, firewall rules and more unit tests. A the CloudStack hackathon last sunday @pst418 submitted a few patches for unit tests and they made it as well into 0.13 RC, terrific.

If you don't know libcloud, it's a python based API wrapper to abstract the various cloud APIs. With libcloud you can create connections to multiple clouds, potentially using different API. At a high level, it is similar to jclouds for JAVA or deltacloud written in ruby. There was already a CloudStack driver but its functionality was limited. If you grab my quickie libcloud shell, you can try to follow this walkthrough of what you can do with libcloud and a CloudStack basic zone. Of course you will need a CloudStack endpoint.

Start the libshell and check what zone you are on:

$ python ./libshell.py 
Hello LibCloud Shell !!
You are running at: https://api.exoscale.ch/compute
>>> conn.list_locations()
[<NodeLocation: id=1128bd56-b4d9-4ac6-a7b9-c715b187ce11, name=CH-GV2, country=AU, driver=CloudStack>]

You might notice a wrong country code, it is hard-coded in libcloud, I need to file a bug for this. Get the list of templates (or images in libcloud speak):

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CloudStack University

Posted by on in Cloud Strategy

At Apache CloudStack we recently started an initiative to organize our content into learning modules. We call this initiative CloudStack University. Everyone is invited to participate by contributing content (slides and screencasts), suggesting new learning modules that are needed and even creating exercises and assignments. School fun ! As we were discussing the initiative on the mailing list we started by looking at our existing content: slideshares, youtube videos and thought about organizing them into a CloudStack 101 course. This is still a work in progress that requires everyones participation to make it a great resource.

In the meantime I have been putting all my CloudStack content on slideshare and I wanted to provide a narrated version of these slides together with hands-on demo to show folks how to do a few things with CloudStack specifically but also related Cloud and OSS tips and tricks. Here comes the CloudStack university screencasts. I will add more of them as I go along and receive requests from the community (reach out on twitter @sebgoa and tell me what you want to see). I wanted to give you a preview of what this looks like. To create a self-paced learning module, I decided to create slide decks that people can download from slideshare and cross-post the corresponding screencasts (for most of them at least) on youtube. People can choose a particular topic, or take the entire series. The idea is that at the end of watching all the screencasts and reading the material people graduate from CloudStack University.

Certainly one can imagine how this could evolve into a full fledge training and certification program. I do plan to create a final exam once I am done with a consistent set of modules :) In this post I wanted to introduce you to some of the first modules I created. I welcome all feedback and suggestions to improve them. Reach out to me on twitter (@sebgoa) or contribute your own modules via the wiki and the mailing lists.

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Open@Citrix

Citrix supports the open source community via developer support and evangeslism. We have a number of developers and evangelists that participate actively in the open source community in Apache Cloudstack, OpenDaylight, Xen Project and XenServer. We also conduct educational activities via the Build A Cloud events held all over the world. 

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