Defining a Data Center API, on the list of things to do for Open Source Data Center Initiative

I have spent so much of my life working with Operating System nerds both at Apple and Microsoft that I take it for granted the concepts of an API.

An application programming interface (API) is an interface implemented by a software program to enable interaction with other software, similar to the way a user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers.

A critical concept of an API is abstraction.

An API is an abstraction that defines and describes an interface for the interaction with a set of functions used by components of a software system.

The data center is waiting for abstraction..

In computer science, the mechanism and practice of abstraction reduces and factors out details so that one can focus on a few concepts at a time.

But the many people are concrete minded thinkers. Concrete Thinking is.

Thinking characterized by a predominance of actual objects and events and the absence of concepts and generalizations.

Google’s Urs Hoelzle and Luis Andre Barossa wrote on the concept of a Data Center is a computer.


Well if the Data Center is a computer it should have a set of APIs.  It is a fact that Google has interfaces for its data centers.  I haven’t talked to a single Google employee on this concept.  But, it has to be.  How else are you going to interface with all the data centers around the world in Google’s inventory?  if you search the google document you see multiple references to API.



In Google’s Warehouse-Scale computers they close with.

At one level, WSCs are simple—just a few thousand cheap servers connected via a LAN. In reality, building a cost-efficient massive-scale computing platform that has the necessary reliability and programmability requirements for the next generation of cloud-computing workloads is as difficult and stimulating a challenge as any other in computer systems today.

Google thinks about the programmability, the APIs, of the data center.

I don’t need any more proof data centers need APIs.  But, concrete thinkers will not believe it until there are multiple customers already doing this.

In the short term, we can use Johnson Controls solution GridLogix I blogged about as a reference point.

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