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What is the use of API's in cloud services?

Continued adoption of cloud computing and growth of cloud services has encouraged system administrators to look for additional ways to integrate with cloud models. Cloud computing is witnessing some direct use scenarios, that require higher levels of customization.

The environment of Cloud Application Programming Interface (API) owes its existence to the ability of enhancing cloud experience and a greater level of compatibility across different clouds.

A cloud API is a type of Application Programming Interface that facilitates development of services as well as applications for provisioning cloud platforms, hardware, and software. It acts as a service gateway to enable indirect and direct cloud software and infrastructure services to cloud users.

Cross platform and cloud provider APIs help cloud users gain ability to access cloud resources not only from their principal cloud provider but from others as well. Since organizations are able to access workloads and cloud resources from other cloud platforms and providers, these APIs enable saving of development efforts and time.

Infrastructure APIs in IaaS facilitate control distribution of specific cloud services such as instant provisioning and de-commissioning of cloud resources. Infrastructure APIs are also used in workload management and network configurations.

Software as a Service APIs are application level APIs and designed to enable connectivity and interaction with a suite of applications. Their objective is to establish connection between the application layer with cloud and its underlying IT infrastructure. Application APIs are extensively used in ERP or CRM applications for creating cloud application extension for specific environment.

In order to provision back-end architecture, Platform as a Service APIs are used. These help build feature rich and intensive applications. These are also used for provisioning access and functionality for cloud environment. The multiple use cases can be listed as integration with messaging systems, portals, databases and storage components.

While using an API model offered by a cloud hosting provider, one needs to confirm scalability and geographic redundancy of operations. The API platform needs to be compatible with the provider cloud model according to the environment. Ideally, one should select providers that provide unified network infrastructure by allowing seamless functioning of both APIs and workloads across the Wide Area Network.

Integration of API into infrastructure can be performed in many ways and it is not always easy to understand cloud API model since every methodology requires its own components. It can be achieved by breaking down the conversation at higher level.

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