Cloud Taxonomy: Platform vs Infrastructure

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Information about Cloud Taxonomy: Platform vs Infrastructure

Published on December 18, 2008

Author: sam_at_appistry



Here are some slides I use to distinguish between the different types of clouds in use out there.

The Cloud “Pyramid” Applications, Platform, Infrastructure Sam Charrington Appistry 1

Cloud Infrastructure… • Provides access to “Compute” and “Storage” instances, on-demand • Based an virtualization technology • Advantages: Full control of environments and infrastructure • Disadvantages: Provide little or no abstraction • Examples: Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Amazon S3, Nirvanix, Linode

What About the Applications? After a few hours, the fog of hype starts to lift and it becomes apparent that the clouds are pretty much shared servers just as the Greek gods are filled with the same flaws as earthbound humans. Yes, these services let you pull more CPU cycles from thin air whenever demand appears, but they can't solve the deepest problems that make it hard for applications to scale gracefully. Many of the real challenges lie at the architectural level, and simply pouring more server cycles on the fire won't solve fundamental mistakes in design.

The Challenge: Cloud Presents New Application Requirements • Modular, service-oriented • Unpredictable load • Dynamic • Distributed • Connected • Multi-tenant Traditional Application Infrastructure Wasn’t Built to Meet the Requirements of Cloud Applications

The Solution: Cloud Platforms • Abstract applications across individual cloud servers (“application virtualization”) • Ensure application QoS: scalability, reliability, availability • Provide run-time services for cloud applications via APIs, e.g. state, workload management • Simplify and automate app deployment and management Cloud Platforms Provide the Glue that Allows Cloud Applications to Fully Leverage Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud Layers Infrastructure vs. Platform Characteristic Infrastructure Platform e.g. Amazon EC2 e.g. Appistry EAF, Google App Engine Scope Virtual Machine Application Management Manual; machine-by-machine Automated; single step Ease-of-use Easy to provision new Easy to build/migrate cloud-enabled infrastructure applications; cut time-to-market Scalability Create new servers on demand Applications scale linearly Risk Reduce infrastructure investment Reduce project/development risk Reliability Reliable infrastructure Reliable applications Cost Pay only for what you use; use Enable application agility and reduce only what you need development costs Security Provide secure infrastructure Enable secure applications

Hosted Cloud Platforms (“PaaS”) Provides platform benefits, but: • Focus on single application stack (e.g. Ruby, Python) • Lock applications to single cloud infrastructure provider • Restricted to available services, e.g. can’t use SQL compliant DBs as-a-Service

Cloud Application Platforms • Delivered as software • Used in-cloud or on-premise • Support standard enterprise software development stacks (e.g. Java, .NET, C++ via Eclipse, Visual Studio) • Provide portability across cloud environments • Provide essential services such as data Cloud App. caching and workload management

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