When I first got into hosting, we had to call somebody at our data center any time a customer wanted to make changes to their configuration, such as adding more resources. Our Racker in the DC would have to locate the physical server and install additional hardware to the machine, or they might have to build and provision a completely new server. Our Cloud Application Programming Interface (API) has changed the game, allowing our customers to easily modify their cloud configuration with just a few lines of code. The API is a powerful tool and something all of our customers should know about, regardless of their level of technical ability.
So what exactly can you do with the Cloud API? Anything you can dream up. By stringing together commands, you can have your application dynamically modify your cloud environment in many different ways. Here are three of the most popular things that customers do with our API.
1. Auto Scale Your Configuration
By integrating your application with a monitoring platform, when traffic to your site changes, you can call the Cloud API to grow or shrink your configuration. Instead of attempting to predict the traffic demands, your application can actually become responsive to the traffic on your site. You can do this with Cloud Servers, Cloud Databases, Cloud Load Balancers or any product in the OpenStack suite.
2. Create New Cloud Environments
The API is effective at creating new environments in the cloud. This could be used when you want to create new environments for a side project or a development sandbox. However, a broader use of this function could be to create new server environments for customers that signup for your SaaS application. For security purposes, you may want them sandboxed in their own environment. Your application can do this by simply making an API call, eliminating the need for you to manually provision out a new environment for each new customer.
3. Integrate With Partner Solutions
Our Cloud API gives you a complete connection to a variety of solutions that have already been created. Many of our Cloud Tools partners can integrate with your configuration, as well as other cloud vendors, via our API. There is a diverse set of solutions, so it may be worth investigating what tools have already been developed in the cloud ecosystem before programing it on your own. This can save you, and your business, a lot of time.
These are the top three uses that I see for the Cloud API. How have you been using it with your application and configuration? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.
Check out Joseph’s previous post and video where he discussed developing on the cloud. Next week, he looks at how Rackspace has a complete cloud solution. Find out more about the API documentation at docs.rackspace.com and check out the Rackspace DevOps Blog at devops.rackspace.com.