An API interface for management is definitely the way to go.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
For those who continue to view Amazon(s amzn) Web Services as bare-bones infrastructure, the company’s new OpsWorks may come as a shock.
The service, based on technology Amazon acquired when it bought Peritor last year, lets AWS users configure and manage their applications more easily without resorting to custom tools. According to Amazon, OpsWorks — which uses the OpsCode Chef framework — handles rollback, patch management, auto scaling and auto healing.
The service — free to users of EC2 and other AWS services — takes on some of the tasks traditionally done using Scalr, Rundeck or Opscode Chef or Puppet (see disclosure.) Although most of those other tools do higher level work than what OpsWorks promises. And, as one GigaOM reader commented, OpsWorks also takes aim at some of the tasks that Rightscale takes care of for AWS customers.