Cloud Operations – Preface

I have been spending a lot of time lately looking at the cloud from an operational perspective w.r.t. applications – I guess it would fall under the banner that some analysts would call DevOps and others would call AppOps. I see the difference between the two as either looking at applications from the perspective of everything that needs to be done before you can deploy an app, the other looks more at everything that needs to be done to deploy an app and monitor it afterwards. The line between the is really blurry – and as the cloud becomes more production oriented it will become even blurrier.

What I found is that actual enterprise production applications (not SaaS applications) are few and far between –  so not a lot of attention has been paid to the lifecycle issues of managing enterprise production applications in the cloud. Dev and QA are the kings of cloud usage in the enterprise at the moment. I also found that as opposed to the NIST definitions of cloud computing – IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) which seem to describe a nice progression of functionality for the cloud – the real world is much messier. SaaS came first and most SaaS providers didn’t build their applications on IaaS or PaaS, they built their own homebrew “Private PaaS” tailored to their specific application using a mixture of bespoke and off-the-shelf tooling. I think that enterprise production applications will look very similar – just that they will use off-the-shelf IaaS for infrastructure provisioning, and off-the-shelf PaaS for specific components in thier application stack.

As was I was learning all this I think I finally understood why the cloud matters – way beyond its value as a cheaper delivery model, or a way to save on infrastructure costs. Cloud will enable IT to work like an agile production line from dev to delivery.  I use the term production line, but the cloud actually holds the promise of being able to provide much more than a physical production line –product lifecycles of days or hours, not months or years. I think as this picture becomes whole – it will drastically change the way we think about applications.

In my depiction below, I clumped together Infrastructure and Platforms, not because they aren’t important but because I wanted to focus on what most people are ignoring at the moment – what happens after the app is assumed to be ready for deployment. Using “classic” application delivery metaphors, that means understanding what happens after dev has finished and the app has moved into the realm of operations.

In my next few blogs I am going to spend more time describing this picture.

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2 Responses to “Cloud Operations – Preface”

  1. Russell Rothstein (@RussRothsteinIT) Says:

    Great post Jacob!

  2. Cloud Operations – 1. The Frontal Lobe « Jacob Ukelson's Blog Says:

    […] Jacob Ukelson's Blog An Unstructured View of Technology, Data and Process « Cloud Operations – Preface […]

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