cloud storage API

A cloud storage API is an application program interface that connects a locally-based application to a cloud-based storage system, so that a user can send data to it and access and work with data stored in it. To the application, the cloud storage system is just another target device, like tape or disk-based storage.

The lack of a commonly used cloud API can make it difficult to move data from one provider’s service to another’s, which makes some potential customers leery of cloud storage. Marketing research analyst Bill Claybrook explains the problem:

“Many IT pros view the lack of cloud computing standards as a potential roadblock to adoption, stemming from cloud provider lock-in fears and the inability to move virtual machines and data from cloud to cloud…

What users want is a cloud application programming interface (API) like the network API, TCP/IP, one that’s implemented in all cloud products and services and promotes transparent interoperability. This would increase the confidence of prospective public cloud adopters, as they’d be able to leave their providers whenever they want. It would also eliminate the belief that it’s easy to get into the cloud but difficult to get out.”

See also: cloud storage gateway, Storage as a Service (SaaS), utility storage

This was last updated in May 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
View the next item in this Essential Guide: vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) or view the full guide: Enterprise architect's guide to API best practices and trends

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