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Jumpgate: SoftLayer’s free library for OpenStack cloud compatibility

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Nathan Beittenmiller explains in a recent blog entry that Jumpgate, a free and open source library, provides a compatibility layer between the OpenStack Application Programming Interface (API) and a proprietary API.

OpenStack SoftLayerJumpgate does a decent job of translating the IBM SoftLayer proprietary API as OpenStack API, which means that now SoftLayer can be easily used as a cloud provider for products and solutions with an OpenStack API.

IBM Cloud Orchestrator provides an orchestration layer for cloud environments supporting OpenStack API. By using Jumpgate, we can configure SoftLayer as a cloud region in IBM Cloud Orchestrator. That opens up opportunities to explore the value of IBM Cloud Orchestrator cloud management capabilities on top of SoftLayer:

Patterns: IBM Cloud Orchestrator allows for easy identification of workload patterns. For example, Edwin Schouten explains the different types of patterns in his blog post.

Workflows: This is the key differentiator of IBM Cloud Orchestrator from other IBM products, like PureApp or PureSystem. As IBM Cloud Orchestrator ships a business process layer, the user can either write his or her own workflows or re-use the workflows available in the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

Hybrid cloud: IBM Cloud Orchestrator supports many cloud environments, like VMware or KVM. Now with Jumpgate, we can create a hybrid cloud solution, combining clouds running on-premises with SoftLayer, as an off-prem, public cloud provider.

Now, you might think, “Why do I need another API to access SoftLayer?” SoftLayer exposes all its functionalities in a comprehensive proprietary API, so in theory there is no need for a layer like Jumpgate. The key aspect here is proprietary, as users would need to know the details of the SoftLayer API.

The OpenStack value comes as many providers expose their compute resources as a pre-defined API. This way, similar compute resources can be requested and managed uniformly. For example, with the OpenStack nova API, a user can request KVM, Xen, VMware, Hyper-V and now SoftLayer resources in the same way without worrying about the particularities of each hypervisor.

Ultimately, Jumpgate allows users to combine the benefits of using SoftLayer within OpenStack, enabling products like IBM Cloud Orchestrator to be integrated with SoftLayer.

Jumpgate is free, open source and available on GitHub. You can find more information here.

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