Posted on March 11, 2022, DataCenter Dynamic, by Jean-Paul Smets.
Cloud providers' proprietary APIs will limit you
Expanding operations globally is a top priority for many businesses worldwide, but in doing so, they are facing numerous roadblocks. One particular area of concern is how to accurately and legitimately store data. Especially if you are a US-based company, when entering the European business area, the GDPR laws in the EU can stop you immediately in your tracks.
The standard APIs from the bigger cloud providers can jeopardize you losing connectivity and facing legal repercussions. This is why fully open APIs can be a great solution to this pressing pain point.
With open source operation procedures, this open source software allows the technology to be reproduced and audited in any region. Let’s analyze how data regulation affects cloud access globally and how fully open APIs represent the axe to cut the regulatory tree.
The cloud conflict
We have recently seen many changes in European security qualifications, including the French-German ESCloud Label for secure cloud computing to improve cybersecurity on the continent. This means that any hope of developing an application by applying US laws to process personal data will be halted.
On the other hand, the US government is increasing its foreign surveillance with the support of Congress to keep an eye on tech company activity. However, most countries require that the technical components needed for surveillance are left out, and herein lies the conflict.
The key API difference
Standardly offered APIs like Microsoft Azure can't offer the same level of customization and accessibility as fully open APIs. Through its single vendor strategy, Microsoft Azure requires that a business has the expertise to manage the cloud services, but crucially, without being able to make changes. Furthermore, While Microsoft Azure undoubtedly gives businesses in Europe and the US fast data accessibility, if you are based in South America, the data region is only classified as ‘Brazil South’, which means much slower access for a business in Chile, for example.
Examples of ways to use fully open APIs
So many organizations are already thriving through the adoption of open APIs. For example, the external API from Nextcloud allows third-party developers to access data provided by Nextcloud apps, as per open collaboration service protocols. Several open source cloud providers offer content delivery networks to end-users, circumventing network congestion for businesses looking to deploy applications globally. This means data is less likely to be lost through backend downtime or congestion.
Those interested in messaging with no geo-restricted data problems could use an application such as Delta Chat – open source and free software enabling users to change and share it with whomever they want. Lastly, OVHcloud shows that you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket for an entire cloud solution. With open standards, hybrid compatibility between different cloud providers is possible. For instance, if you wanted to continue using AWS for some workloads, you could still do this with their OpenStack APIs.
If vendors commit to the fundamental open source concept of interoperability, we can develop a cloud future where developers can innovate and grow
These kinds of solutions, where vendors commit to the fundamental open source concept of interoperability, will mean we can develop a cloud future where developers can innovate and grow. Creating an open API that the external end-user can integrate into their application, and customize to their needs, removes any potential geo-restrictions altogether. If more companies can embrace fully open APIs, whilst acknowledging the need for third-party monitoring that complies with privacy laws, then we could witness a seachange across various sectors.
Jean-Paul Smets, Rapid.Space
Jean-Paul Smets is CEO at Rapid.Space