In the stream of non-stop cloud computing chatter that was surrounding VMWorld 2009 that wrapped up last week, I noticed a pattern - folks were paying disproportionate amount of attention to API, API portability and API standardization, as opposed to actual technology concepts and constructs that are going to power new clouds.
API indeed is important - I blogged about it before. But so is curb appeal of a house you might be looking to buy. But you are not going to buy a house just because it looks nice from the outside, right? You will want to consider interior, location, and many other factors before making a decision. Similarly, API alone (or portability of API between multiple vendors) is not nearly enough to get you to choose this cloud other its competitor. There are other things such as features, infrastructure decisions, bandwidth, pricing, tech ops, technical support that play a significant role (or at least should play a role in your decision making).
Well-thought-out, scalable, responsive and easy-to-use API is a NECESSARY condition of a successful cloud, but not SUFFICIENT.
It means that a successful cloud implies good API, not vice versa. Another way to read the same would be to say that bad API implies unsuccessful cloud (A->B is the same as (not B)->(not A)).
I am very excited about recent developments in infrastructure-as-a-service space, but would like to see core concepts and technologies that power clouds discussed as much as new API.