Apache news roundup: raining cloud projects

It’s been a surprisingly quiet couple of months at Apache; well, at least in terms of new projects graduating from the Incubator.

  • Welcome to the Apache Libcloud project – “a standard Python library that abstracts away differences among multiple cloud provider APIs.”

The Apache Libcloud graduation does bring up an important point about Apache project governance and the Incubation process. Apache is happy to host any community-driven projects that wish to use the Apache license and follow the basic Apache Way. This includes potentially competing technologies. In fact, the Apache Incubator currently has 4 other podlings currently that all deal with cloud API abstractions in one way or another!

  • Apache Deltacloud – a REST-like interface allowing common operations across multiple cloud providers – is the most obvious technical competitor to Apache Libcloud.
  • Apache Nuvem is a podling attempting to put a higher level of data and operation abstraction atop cloud APIs, for a slightly different programming model.
  • Apache Whirr is aiming to provide a level of service abstraction for multiple cloud providers, perhaps allowing your Apache Cassandra, or Apache Hadoop related projects to easily move about the clouds.
  • Apache Tashi goes further along the services model, focusing on providing Apache Hadoop and big data processing services that can be pushed to the clouds.

Sound crazy to have competing technical projects? Not at all, once you realize that Apache is all about the communities behind our projects. As a public charity, Apache’s purpose is to provide software for the public good. The way we have found most effective to do that is to allow any healthy communities to compete and grow independently, within the general Apache way. We’re happy to have multiple communities working on the same kind of technology, and all the better if they can each succeed at finding their niche, both for the software they provide, as well as for the community they can build.

This also points to the special place that the Apache Incubator has at the ASF. Bertrand has an great post discussing some of the whys and hows of the Incubator, and the process that new communities (and their projects!) go through before becoming a top level project at Apache.