Whenever AWS has an outage, it makes the news. In fact, AWS said the recent issue wasn’t even an outage, and it still made the news. Issues with S3 returning a lot of errors in the US-East-1 region caused application problems for a few hours. Personally, it affected my morning routine. I start the day reading blog posts using NewsBlur. NewsBlur wouldn’t show me any blogs. Instead, it reported server errors caused by this S3 issue, so my usual source of news couldn’t tell me that there was news about an AWS S3 issue. Before we start talking about how unreliable the cloud is, let us ask who among us has private infrastructure that is without fault? While cloud service outages make the headlines, on-premises outages happen all the time, too. Also, who cares if your application isn’t available for a few hours every couple of years? Not every application needs 100% uptime. It may be the right business decision to accept an application outage when there is an infrastructure outage.
Transformation & Agility
Transformation & Agility concerns the utilization of the technical agility derived from the benefits delivered by virtualization and cloud computing, coupled with Agile Development practices that improve business agility, performance, and results. This includes the agility derived from: (Read More)
- The implementation of Agile and DevOps methodologies
- The application and system architectures
- The implementation of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS clouds
- Monitoring of the environment, coupled with processes for resolving problems quickly
- Having continuous availability through the use of high-availability and disaster recovery products and procedures
Transformation covers the journey from A to Z and all points between: how you get there and the roads you will travel; how decisions made on day zero or one, or even day three, will affect later decisions; and what technical, operational, and organizational pitfalls can be associated with an implementation. We examine what tool sets are required for Agile Cloud Development, and it delves into other aspects of Agile Development that integrate with cloud computing, SaaS, and PaaS environments, including DevOps, Scrum, XP, and Kanban.
The new architecture is a sensor net talking to a fog talking to a cloud. This sounds complex, but it is not. This is where many hardware companies can come forward, and where hyperconverged can have a huge impact. The architecture seems simple, but is not. There are quite a few moving parts, all based on various container technologies. Are these the containers we are talking about as the next generation of applications, or something more? Can IoT survive without all these moving parts? Does this change how we define IoT?
The recent Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (S3) outage has taught us quite a bit about fragile cloud architectures. While many cloud providers will make hay during the next few weeks, current cloud architectures are fragile. Modern hybrid cloud architectures are fragile. We need to learn from this outage to design better systems: ones that are not fragile, ones that can recover from an outage. Fragile cloud is not a naysayer: it is a chance to do better! What can we do better?
As I’ve thought about how to implement high-performance, very large-scale networks within a secure hybrid cloud, I have come to the conclusion that the cloud works best with disaggregated network functions. This is the goal of network function virtualization, or NFV, but the real problem is knowing what functions to virtualize and how to do so at scale. Very large scale. We need to consider the multipaths our data will take and the rates at which data can pass through the various virtual components of our system that makes up the hybrid cloud. When we think hybrid cloud, we need to think scale out, not up. Scaling up can cost lots of money, while scaling out may save dollars. This means we need to rethink networking and security as well as protection. With containers on my mind, we have a path for our journey.
One of the big trends of 2016 was the rise of “serverless” application architectures. The most visible was AWS’s Lambda product, but Microsoft has Azure Functions, and Google has Cloud Functions. But what about organizations that want serverless but must run their IT on-premises? Cloud services are not an acceptable option for some businesses, often due to regulatory limitations. Other businesses need a range of options to suit different needs, such as different cost and performance profiles. Is there any way to have serverless on-premises? The cloud fan’s usual objection is scalability: no on-premises data center has the scale of a cloud provider. On-premises clouds only need to cope with the scaling of one organization. Private clouds also benefit from far greater visibility to the business cycles. Private cloud peaks are somewhat predictable. I think that more relevant issues are complexity and skills. Does the IT team have the expertise to build and operate a serverless platform?
With cloud monopolizing many IT discussions, a great many organizations are somewhere between dipping their toes in and having one foot fully in the cloud. Many get started with Office 365. As with any new technology, embracing it involves learning, planning, and yes, making a few mistakes, before making the plunge.