Yahoo to open-source cloud-serving engine

Yahoo is developing an internal cloud-serving engine to boost its own productivity, and intends to release the code as an open source this year.

Yahoo is developing an internal cloud-serving engine to boost its own productivity, and intends to release the code as an open source this year.

"We're committed to open-sourcing all of our cloud infrastructure, for the simple reason that we don't believe the cloud infrastructure is a competitive differentiator for us," says Todd Papaioannou, Yahoo's vice president of cloud architecture. "I have this question pop up from time to time, 'Is Yahoo ever going to move into the cloud?' And the answer is, 'No. We are the cloud.'"

FAQ: Cloud computing, demystified

Nonetheless, Yahoo's internal project could make deployment of its own Web properties more efficient and give enterprises and developers a free software platform to build their own clouds. Papaioannou says Yahoo's cloud will provide infrastructure-as-a-service along the lines of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, but with a higher level of abstraction to make it easier for developers to build services.

The cloud-serving engine lets developers build services in containers that sit above the virtual-machine layer, letting developers quickly deploy applications that are up and running with a set of common services. It's somewhere between infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service - offering, for example, a lower level of abstraction than that provided by the Google App Engine, a pure PaaS play.

Over the past 15 years Yahoo has had to become quite sophisticated in provisioning new services, Papaioannou says. But "sometimes sophistication becomes complexity, and we are trying to abstract that complexity away from our developers," he says.

Yahoo intends to start running the cloud-serving engine in production before the end of March. The timeline for releasing the software as open source isn't set, but Papaioannou is hoping for this year. "The simple answer is I'd like to prove that it works in production, with heavy traffic running across it," before releasing as open source, he says.

Papaioannou, who joined Yahoo in May 2010, says the project started development last year and is in alpha stage now.

Yahoo, known for its contributions to Hadoop, typically uses the Apache license in open-source projects, Papaioannou says.

The cloud-serving engine is written in Java and C++, and will support PHP and JavaScript. Once open-sourced, users could adopt other languages, such as Python, although Microsoft's .Net Framework "might be tricky" because the cloud-serving platform is based around the LAMP and Java stack. Before releasing as open source, Yahoo will strip out some components that are specific to Yahoo and therefore wouldn't help outside users.

"We believe there is a huge benefit to open-sourcing our infrastructure, allowing other people to augment it and make it better," Papaioannou says. "That's what's made the Internet successful to date."

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingopen sourceinternetsoftwareData CenterYahoohardware systemsConfiguration / maintenance

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?