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While I am sure there were other motives for splitting the Image service from Nova, I can think of this: Cinder also needs Glance when creating a volume from an image. There may also be non-technical reasons related to the organisation of OpenStack development. Finally, by now Glance is becoming a repository for the metadata available for the various types of resources in a cloud (see http://docs.openstack.org/developer/glance/metadefs-concepts.html), so that it is now potentially used by all other parts of OpenStack.