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Rackspace Opens Up Cloud APIs, Bindings

In a bid to expand its appeal to cloud computing customers, Rackspace has opened up an additional cloud interface, drawing a contrast between Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN)'s EC2 and itself.

Rackspace announced recently that its Cloud Files API, which links customers' workloads to file handling services on Rackspace servers, has become open under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution license. It previously released its Cloud Servers API, which links customers to VMs on Rackspace servers, under the same license. The company is off to a fast start in cloud computing and is trying to differentiate itself, said Emil Sayegh, general manager of the Rackspace Cloud, in the announcement. It competes with Amazon, which offers EC2 servers, Elastic Block Storage, and S3 permanent storage through a set of closed Amazon APIs.

Making its APIs public is both a gesture and a concrete act that makes Rackspace's core functionality available to developers who want to place workloads in the cloud or develop products that add value to cloud computing. The APIs also become available to anyone who wants to mimic Rackspace's business.

Rackspace also made available the specifications its Cloud Files language bindings for Java, PHP, Python, C# and Ruby under the MIT open source license. The source code for the bindings is available on GitHub, a public versioning site.

Technical guidelines for the Cloud Servers bindings is also available at the site to help developers build bindings in a similar way for a variety of languages. A reference implementation for Python will follow, Sayegh said.

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