Tag Archive: Cloud


SCAM – Story of Data

Read many articles on SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) but none could connect all the dots. So, I tried mine by reordering SMAC as SCAM. What do you think of it?SMAC

From Data Scientist Viewpoint:

“Social Networking brings customer together to share data about products/services usage. To address the scale of this shared social data, Cloud platforms provides scalable & elastic storage to facilitate this large and complex social interactions between customers. To make sense of this complex social interaction in cloud, Analytic collects and correlates this Big Data to bring insights into customer’s behavior about product/services usage. Closing this loop, using these analyzed insights, Mobile delivers personalized products/services into customer’s context.”

From Mobile Developer viewpoint:

“Cloud is the platform which makes the lives of developers a lot more easier and helping developers churn out Apps on the fly (services like BaaS and PaaS is making the lives of developers a lot easier in terms of cost and time). Social engagement is the means through which you spread word about your Apps and to help expand your user base. Analytics is where you understand the user behavior, the market behavior and gain insights that help you make your App even better. And you start with the cycle again.”

References:

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IBM, Oracle, SAP and MS all are gunning big for piece of enterprise cloud computing marketplace. But questions remained open “Why should one go for it?”. Virginia Sharma, Director @ IBM, attempted to answer in an impressive keynote speech during SOA India 2009. Here are my pickups:

IBM launched “Smarter Planet” marketing campaign last year to align its smartplanettechnology and consulting offerings with next generation solutions to revolutionize every aspect of life.  The main idea was to present smarter organization by Instrumentation, Interconnection and Intelligence to realize its meaning “Achieve more with less”. Her talk was not about SOA or Cloud, but about wider concept of synergies between business, technology and people. She mentioned three major aspects of a smarter organization with her case studies.

  • Business can evolve better to adopt and respond to dynamics by smarter supply chain management, analytics systems and asset optimization mechanism.
  • People can collaborate better to maximizing effectiveness by smarter collaboration system, resource allocation mechanism and product development environment.
  • Technology can enable better to flexibility to meet business need by smarter network systems, business applications and production planning management.

In this session, she laid a foundation for decision makers to embrace cloud with their “Smart” offerings.SOA Conf-2

In another session, IBM folks presented “Cloud In A Box”, a packaged Websphere on to a server box to enable, control and manage a private cloud. Call it “IBM Websphere Cloudburst” , a cloud infrastructure solution under Smarter Cloud program. In offline discussions during conference, many participants were not voting for private cloud as it is against the pure cloud concept and its benefits.

MS Azure – SOA India 2009

Sachin V. Rathi talked about Microsoft’s offering toward cloud computing. Personally, I don’t use any MS offerings except my 6 year old XP and a XP marked key chain from Microsoft 2001 seminar. Anyways, I must admit that Microsoft has transformed all its products towards cloud computing in applaud-able manner.

MS Azure Services are very comprehensive stack for cloud transformation. Some of the notes from presentation about it. MS Azure

Sachin also presented few case studies of their recent work in cloud computing services. What was interesting  for me their approach toward case studies. All of them presented in following fashion.

Build > Run > Consume > Monetize

Few of Cloud services build on Azure are:

  • PhotoSynth: A cloud based 3D image processing application to recognize and synthesize picture of same object/location.
  • Eve Online: A cloud based multilayered networking platform where server maintains the state of game for each player and notify intelligent client about state change of other players.
  • eBooks – British Library: A cloud based eBook library which allows user to view and read British library book with windows 7 gesture technology.

Liked two of his suggestions for enterprise and architects:

  • Enterprise needs to have clear emphasis on Web 2.0 to retain knowledge bank of their employee and let the intellectual juice flow through out organization.
  • Devices are becoming powerful and enterprise needs to find innovative usage to use these in enterprise. Just like radio frequency emitter tag called RFID has found place in shipment and others services.

In another session, Ramkumar Kothandraman, from Microsoft, has talked about MS emphasis on interoperability since they received SOA India 2009mail from Mr. Gate four years back. But their claim of interoperability has always seen with skepticism. Surely, Interop must be true for their own products but how well they operate with others has raised question marks in past. Mr Ramkumar claimed that they has a Vendor Partner Alliance to work on integration with many partners, open source and even competitor products but past experience has proved that their integration approach is to hamper the integrated product capability to the extend that the real essence of that product is lost and you land up replacing it with offerings. Their JVM version is a great example of it.

Cloud is for REST of the World

IT industry is always been hyped with ever-growing buzzwords and its excessive usage. New entrant, Cloud Computing has been buzzing in Enterprise world and every IT company iscloud img try to get on to this bandwagon by positioning themselves with feature differentiators.

But I have tried to find the mean of cloud computing for myself. I went to find out from an Architect view-point for 5-W questions – What/Why/How/When/Where.

Lets find out what is the problem with current model?

PlatformAAS

A business owners can’t anticipate the growth of their business and to choose an infrastructure scheme/architecture, they just have to rely on historical data or gut feeling. Later point, they meet with reality to realize that initial calculations were well below/above the reality mark  and forced to choose another scheme/architecture.  And it goes on.

But with advent of Cloud, above problem has been address to certain extend for time being.  Now their focus is just application not infrastructure or application/middleware server capabilities. Cloud will take care of these.  Enterprise can focus on application and can choose to go either conservatively or aggressively. This  allows them the flexibility of change depending upon response and requirements.

Cloud Computing is an IT Infrastructure utility model of  “Pay As You Go”. Till today, cloud has comes in many shapes. E.g

  • Service Oriented Architecture
  • Software As A Service
  • Software + Service
  • Rich Internet Applications

All these are certainly applications to use cloud as a base. Lets go to fundamental components of Cloud architecture.

Roles: In two-tier system architecture,  Web Layer and Business Layer are mapped to corresponding roles in Cloud architecture.

  • Web Roles – Web Interface to system
  • Worker Role – Business Logic implemented using Cloud APIs

Storage: All the data system generates and uses needs to be stored and keep it available all the time.

  • Table/Blob/Relational – System data in many forms

Messaging: Asynchronous communication is the glue between Web and Worker roles to keep system connected as well as decoupled.

  • Queue – Queue is preferred choice of communication between Web and Worker.

Technology: There are many competing technologies trying to provide “Right” solution, but my choice goes to RESTful Architecture.

Patterns: Recurring problems brings patterns of solutions. According to architect of cloud, there are five problem space in cloud.

Now, lets discuss about application designing in cloud.

Cloud Computation:

A system which require heavy data crunching on continuous basis. E.g. search engine indexing. MapReduce has been the solution to do this in grids but throws a challenge of managing grid’s growth.

compute-pat

Cloud Solution: Cloud provider will take the responsibility to managing Grids.

Cloud Storage:

A system where data keeps growing, storage longevity becomes critical factor and data type can range from Blobs, Tables to Relational.  It also throws another issue of tight affinity between logical data and actual hardware storage.  To add to more complication, architect assess distance of Data Access Layer(DAL) between client and server.

  • Code Near – Data is controlled by Client’s DAL and generally has large data upload. E.g. offline data
  • Code Far – Data is controlled by server DAL and generally smaller chunk of contiguous data. E.g. Browser, Chat.

storage-pat

Cloud Solution: Data in cloud is logical entity defined in URL style. Cloud uses REST data modeling to address any type of data. This releives Cloud Infrastructure Provider to manage affinity of storage and hardware independently. REST lets designer define the a logical business data expressed in terms of URL. Client Applications can perform CRUD operations directly through these URL.

Cloud Communication:

A system which requires to talk to multiple external systems to perform their operations in coördination. But this poses the of negotiation on infrastructure and security and protocol. Preferred choice is HTTP but custom solution needs to be implemented.

communicate-pat

Cloud Solution: Cloud wraps REST service over messaging solution to provide uniform communication between multiple parties without any overhead or responsibility on either parties.

Cloud Scalability:

A system where user base is very large and traffic load is not uniform. To bear the burden of heavy loads, Network Load Balancers are called in service but still either does not fit the required bill and keep both architect and Sys Admin on toe all across.

Scale-pattern

Cloud Solution: Cloud provides will manage it with elastic computing and storage capacity depending on load dynamically.

Cloud Multi-Tenancy:

A system which provides services to multiple business partners. E.g B2B model. In this each partner demands its own data schema and UI customization on their choice. Providing this service from one setup is not advisable but it can be done with proper design consideration.

Tenancy-pat

Cloud Solution: Cloud provider can provide multiple entry point to this system, but design and identity consideration needs to be looked carefully  by system architect.

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