HP Knows Importance of Open Infrastructure APIs
One of the things IT organizations are most frustrated with is how long it takes them not only to stand up IT infrastructure but also how prone to human error those system configurations really are.
To address this issue, providers of IT infrastructure are now embracing REST application programming interfaces (APIs) that essentially turn servers, storage and networking into programmable devices. Now, Hewlett-Packard—in a move that will prove to be as important to its channel partners as it is to HP customers—will actually publish open IT infrastructure APIs.
At the HP Discover 2015 conference last week, Paul Miller, vice president of converged application systems, said HP will not only open its infrastructure APIs, but also APIs up and down its entire software and cloud services stack.
In theory, at least, the existence of those APIs not only means it will be much easier to apply templates to system integration projects; the templates themselves will be reusable in a way that makes sure configurations are much more consistent. After all, when a new server is upgraded, there's really no reason it wouldn't support the same API used by the previous server. In fact, as far as any application is concerned, there's just going to be a bigger, faster server exposing the same API, which means there's no update to the application required.
Arguably, one of the primary reasons many customers have been making a shift to public clouds is because IT infrastructure running on-premise is simply too hard to manage. In fact, most application developers invoking cloud resources don't ever really see the hardware. All they see is an API that tells them how much memory and disk space they have allocated to them. For IT infrastructure, deployments on-premise need to be able to invoke APIs that provide that same level of agility if private clouds running on-premise are really going to flourish.
HP isn't the only IT infrastructure vendor making a commitment to REST APIs. But it is the first to make a comprehensive commitment across every offering it has. It may take HP a while to execute on that vision. But as the time to deliver value surrounding HP products and services starts to diminish, it's only a matter of time before the rest of the IT industry starts to follow suit.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.