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Entries in cloud deployment (3)

Monday
Dec162013

22 Recommendations for Building Effective High Traffic Web Software

This is a guest post by Ashwanth Fernando, Software Engineer from the trenches at large scale internet companies.

Inspired by the book "Effective Java" by Joshua Bloch, I wanted to share my holistic recommendations on building high traffic web software (i.e. web applications/services that serve high traffic loads). Some of these items may not be just about software design but also around surrounding areas such as the engineering organization, culture etc.

Two disclaimers up front:

1) This is my opinion.
2) There will be real world situations where the below principles will be wrong as in all things "software". Please use common sense all the time.


Consider using more than one datacenter

There have been numerous horror stories about businesses, ahem going out of business because they just had a single datacenter. Its really important to have more than one data center if you want to protect yourself from natural disasters or electrical supply failures. Run all your datacenters in active-active configuration. It may cost extra money, but its well worth it rather than having an active passive configuration and then finding out at the end that for some pieces of data, your passive hardware was not consistent with the active one.

Consider a sparse datacenter deployment

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Monday
Nov052012

Are we seeing the renaissance of enterprises in the cloud?

A series of recent surveys on the subject seems to indicate that this is indeed the case:

Research conducted by HPclip_image001 found that the majority of businesses in the EMEA region are planning to move their mission-critical apps to the cloud. Of the 940 respondents, 80 percent revealed plans to move mission-critical apps at some point over the next two to five years.

A more recent survey, by research firm MeriTalkclip_image001[1] and sponsored by VMware and EMC (NYSE:EMCclip_image001[2]), showed that one-third of respondents say they plan to move some mission-critical applications to the cloud in the next year. Within two years, the IT managers said they will move 26 percent of their mission-critical apps to the cloud, and in five years, they expect 44 percent of their mission-critical apps to run in the cloud.

The Challenge - How to Bring Hundreds of Enterprise Apps to the Cloud

The reality is that cloud economics only start making sense when there are true workloads that utilize the cloud infrastructure.

If the large majority of your apps fall outside of this category, then you’re not going to benefit much from the cloud. In fact, you’re probably going to lose money, rather than save money.

The Current Approach

  • Focus on building IaaS - Current cloud strategies of many enterprises has been centered on making the infrastructure cloud ready. This basically means ensuring that they are able to spawn machines more easily than they were before. A quick look at many initiatives of this nature shows that there is still only a small portion of enterprises whose applications run on such new systems.
  • Build a new PaaS - PaaS has been taught as the answer to run apps on the cloud. The reality however, is that most of the existing PaaS solutions only cater to new apps and quite often the small, and “non” mission-critical share of our enterprise applications, which still leaves the majority of our enterprise workload outside of our cloud infrastructure.
  • App Migration as a One Off Project - The other approach for migrating applications to the cloud has been to select a small group of applications, and then migrate these one by one to the cloud. Quite often the thought behind this approach has been that application migration is a one-off project. The reality is that applications are more of a living organism – things fail, are moved, or need to be added and removed over time. Therefore it’s not enough to move apps to the cloud using some sort of virtualization technique, it’s critical that the way they’re run and maintained will also fit the dynamic nature of the cloud.

Why is This not Going to Work?

Simple math shows that if you apply this model to the rest of your apps, it’s probably going to take years of effort to migrate all your apps to the cloud. The cost of doing so is going to be extremely high, not to mention the time to market issue which can be even an even greater risk in the end, as it will reflect on cost of operation, profit margins and even the ability to survive in this an extremely competitive market, if it is too long.

What's missing?

What we’re missing is a simple and systematic way to brings all these hundreds and thousands of apps to the cloud.

Moving Enterprise Workloads to the Cloud at a Massive Scale

Instead of thinking of cloud migration as a one-off thing, we need to think of cloud migration on a massive scale.

Thinking in such terms drives a fairly different approach.

In this post, I outlined what i believe should be the main principles for moving enterprise application at such a scale.

Read full post: http://www.cloudifysource.org/2012/10/30/moving_enterprise_workloads_to_the_cloud_on_a_massive_scale.html

Wednesday
Aug222012

Cloud Deployment: It’s All About Cloud Automation

Many organizations are facing the challenge of migrating their IT to the cloud. But not many know how to actually approach this undertaking. In my previous post I took a hands-on example of SpringSource’s PetClinic reference application with a Tomcat web server front-end and a Cassandra NoSQL database backend and showed how to onboard it to the cloud in a manageable fashion. But many think this methodology is only good for modern applications that were built with some dynamic/cloud orientation in mind. For example, how different would the cloud on-boarding process be if I modify my PetClinic example to use a MySQL relational database instead of the modern Cassandra NoSQL clustered database? In this blog post I intend to show that cloud on-boarding of brownfield applications doesn’t have to be a huge monolithic migration project with high risk. Cloud on-boarding can take the pragmatic approach and can be performed in a gradual process that both mitigates the risk and enables you to enjoy the immediate benefits of automation and easier management of your application’s operational lifecycle even before moving to the cloud...

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