September 19 - Day 3: The Rise Of CloudOps - InformationWeek

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September 19 - Day 3: The Rise Of CloudOps
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If you can't see the University box, please let me know: I'd like to inform our development group of any difficulties.

Strategist

Everyone, we've had a couple of reports that people aren't able to see the InformationWeek University box that should appear just to the right of the "Your Post" box. If you can't see it, here's the URL for the next session in the University program: http://www.informationweek.com/september-23---day-4-cloud-orchestration/l/d-id/1298015?cid=AD_IW_UN_SIDE_SPN&_mc=AD_IW_UN_SIDE_SPN

 

Strategist

You should look at some of the Enterprise Service Bus options as well, like Mulesoft.  The more generalized version of the problem you're talking about is when you have on-premises software and SaaS and you want to share data, and in many cases, you have only APIs.

Ninja

Ok, that makes sense.  The only other option I've seen is to invest in an expensive dedicated connection.

I agree that having the database and app hosts co-exist on the same network is ideal.

I would like to offer solutions that have a cloud based application connect with a customers data (with appropriate security, etc.).  so, I am casting about for alternative approaches.  

Apprentice

If that sounds interesting to you, you should check out BazaarVoice's architecture, described both on their engineering blog and at High Scalability.  They use queues to essentially do this.  (But again, if you're dealing with packaged software, it gets quite hard.  Which is why I like open source better...)

Ninja

@PeteB972--To get even more complex, you could consider running Oracle within the public cloud, and then managing synchronization/replication (like a multi-master setup) apart from the application.  I actually did something like this with MySQL that wasn't the prettiest deployment I've ever seen, but it worked.

Ninja

@PeteB972--You're right that a packaged application that needs to talk to an Oracle database is a challenge, but I do think there's a possibility for a microservice that would improve reliability and availability, although it might be impractical to write.  Imagine a proxy microservice that would serve as a cache and a queue that could--at least for some reads and writes--limit the impact of network partitions and latency between the two.  Again, it might be impractical to write it, but it's possible.  (In fact, such a service *sort of* exists in a software package called ScaleBase).

Ninja

@Pete I suspect Joe is going to say, do not connect back to a DB over the Internet!

Author

In fact, this seems to have been Amazon's first approach to gaining market share and keeping market share about 3-4 years ago with AWS--they built a ton of services for developers so that developers didn't have to write those services themselves.  They've shifted their approach somewhat since then, as it turns out that developers really didn't flock to all that many of them (and now the battleground seems to be performance).

Ninja

My typical case is a packaged application that desires a database connection to an Oracle database.  Sqlnet is the protocol.  I don't know of a set of microservices I could insert into the datastream to handle this over hte internet.

Apprentice

@Lorna--great question.  To the extent you would be building an application that would make requests between public and private clouds, you would write them yourself.  But to the extent that one of the microservices that an application might use would be a cloud service (e.g., something like AWS's Simple Queue Service [SQS] or Simple Email Service [SES]), then you would just interact with the cloud provider's API. 

Ninja

Martin Fowler has a great set of blog posts on microservices (and he's quite skeptical of how good they are vs. monolithic applications).  I would highly recommend reading his main post on microservices (http://martinfowler.com/articles/microservices.html) and then his blog in general for more commentary on them (http://martinfowler.com/).

Ninja

Do the cloud providers supply these APIs, or would the company write them? Or some of both?

 

Author

@PeteB972--The goal of a microservice would be to limit the communcations to a specific set of API calls that are very specific to the requests.  This will be much better for security and maintenance and reliability than making direct network connections.

Ninja

@PeteB972--Yes, VPN is a particularly bad way to connect public and private clouds together.  You're much better off building microservices.

Ninja

The later case is the goal.  What would a microservice do?

Apprentice

@Lorna & Curt--I believe "cruft" was also one of the words on "Says You", the NPR word show. That's where I first heard it.

Ninja

@Lorna--If your production database in on-premises, and you plan to deploy on-premises, but you want to develop/test in the public cloud (and this is a fairly common enterprise use case), then you should just make a copy of the database (with non-PII data) for dev/test, and have that running in the public cloud.  On the other hand, if your end-game is to have applications in the public cloud talking to a database on-premises, then you should really build out a microservice that runs on-premises that handles the communication with the database and the public cloud--a direction connection there spells serious trouble.

Ninja

For connecting application hosts in the cloud with on-premise databases, what are viable reliable network provining choices.  VPN tends to lose sessions.

 

Apprentice

The idea of wiping everything out and starting new has a certain appeal

Author

Reachable from home page / back issues -- sorry I can't post a URL!

 

Author

Joe expanded on the problems with hybrid in our Aug 12,2014 Tech Digest: 

  • New Tactics Needed For Hybrid Cloud Security: Interested in shuttling workloads between public and private cloud? Better make sure it's worth doing, because hybrid means rethinking how you manage compliance, identity, connectivity, and more.
Author

That's an interesting point, Lorna -- these are purely functional systems, not things to which we should hold any real emotional attachment that might cloud our judgment.

Strategist

After all, these are cattle, not pets!

Author

What's wrong with that idea, though?

Author

From Wikipedia: "Cruft is jargon for anything that is left over, redundant and getting in the way. It is used particularly for superseded and unemployed technical and electronic hardware and useless, superfluous or dysfunctional elements in computer software."

Strategist

Cruft? Is that a technical term??!

Author

Question - how does this work if the app the developer is working on needs to link to a database that may be in the data center?

 

Author

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Apprentice

We'd love to have your voice in the class discussion here. To take part, just type your comment or question into the "Your Post" box and then click on the "Post" button below the box. Feel free to introduce yourself before the class starts -- I think you'll find that we're a very friendly learning community here! 

Strategist

Hey, everyone, we're glad you could join us! At 4:00 PM EDT, an audio player should appear above the "Your Post" window. If it doesn't appear, you might need to refresh your browser until it does. If it appears but doesn't start playing, then you may need to click on the "play" button on the far left of the player. 

Strategist


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