|By Toddy Mladenov||
|May 29, 2013 03:55 PM EDT||
For decades we have been developing applications that are tightly coupled and bound to the underlying infrastructure. With the introduction of the cloud though this legacy architectures prove not only to be inefficient but also a major obstacle for you to compete successfully in the new competitive landscape.
Let's look at couple of reasons why application modernization is a requirement if you want to leverage cloud technologies, independent of whether those are home grown, private or public.
The Problem With Tightly Coupled Applications
Majority of the applications are developed with some user interaction layer, business logic and backend storage. When those are tightly coupled together your only option to scale the application is to add more hardware to the machine that currently runs this application, approach also known as vertical scaling. However there are few problems that arise:
- Adding more CPU power and memory to the machine has certain limits that are imposed by the hardware architecture. You can invest in more advanced hardware but this increases even more your infrastructure costs (high-end hardware costs several times more than the commodity hardware used in cloud data-centers).
- The performance of your application is determined by the slowest component in it. Thus even if the UI is super fast and is able to handle large amount of users but the business logic is slow and cannot handle the load you will be limited to the load the business logic can handle. Because the UI and the business logic are tied together you will not be able to scale just the business logic in order to handle more users. This leads to inefficient resource utilization and again higher infrastructure costs.
- Tightly coupled applications do not normally have clearly separated tiers with defined interfaces and changes in one part of the application may have undesired impacts in another. Tasks like fixing, updating and extending it become a maintenance nightmare. The budget for supporting and maintaining such applications grows each year.
Here is how those things get solved in a cloud architected applications:
- Adding CPU power and memory is trivial - it is just a matter of adding a new instance of the application (or just part of it as you can see in the next bullet point). Cloud enabled applications scale out by adding more instances of the application or the application components that work in parallel (also known as horizontal scaling).
- The performance of the application is not anymore determined by its slowest component. Because the components of the application are clearly separated you can scale out just parts of the application (i.e. the business logic in the previous example) to match the load that the UI can handle. You have much more flexibility and granular control over the way your application scales.
- Because the components of the application are clearly separated, changes in one component do not impact another as long as the interfaces are kept in tact. Tasks like testing fixes, updating components, improving the performance of particular tier and any other maintenance and support becomes much easier.
The Problem With Local Resources
Another common problem with legacy applications are the dependencies on local resources. Few examples are:
- Dependencies on locally installed software or libraries. Such dependencies can be specialized server software, local queue implementations, client libraries used for special rendering etc. Lot of the times this software comes with additional licensing costs.
- Reliance on the local file system. Application logging is a typical example but you can also think of other things like loading data from local files, storing data locally etc. Server failure results in data loss, which in some cases may not be acceptable.
- Sticky sessions and storing session information locally. Every web application relies on user sessions and each web framework offers a way to manage those on the server side. However if the server fails the session is lost, which impacts the user experience.
The biggest problem with local resources is the assumption that those will be available throughout the lifetime of the application. But even the most reliable hardware can fail and when this happens everything that is stored locally will be lost. The price you will pay for lost data will significantly exceed even the most expensive hardware.
Cloud enabled applications solve those problems as follows:
- Workloads that require specialized software can be deployed on a infrastructure pool that has the software preinstalled. Thus adding more customers will not require new licenses for the software.
- Critical data as well as logs is stored in a central storage local that is regularly backed up and can even be geo-replicated. The chances of data loss in the cloud are significantly lower.
- Sessions are stored either in a shared storage or in distributed cache and accessible from each instance of the application. Thus failure in one application instance does not impact the user experience because the next request is routed to another instance.
The Problem With Configurations
The last one I would like to touch on is the problem with configuration. Near all applications suffer from the configurations problem but in legacy applications this is particularly amplified. The whole problem starts with the need to have one configuration that mangoes all components or at least the front-end and the business logic. Then over time this configuration grows and grows together with the new functionality added to the application.
But this is not the only issue with legacy applications configurations. The bigger issue is the settings that rely on the underlying infrastructure. This was OK when you were in control of the infrastructure and on which server the application is deployed however this approach results in increased configuration sprawl when the application needs to be moved between environments.
When you design your application for the cloud though you are forced to abstract the configuration from the underlying infrastructure and things like hard coded local paths, reliance on local environment variables or machine configurations have no place in your configuration files. Thus you make changes in your configuration only when new functionality is added and not when you move your code between environments (as in development, test, production)
Even if you are not considering immediate migration of your applications to the cloud is worth evaluating your application portfolio and estimating the effort to make it cloud-ready. It is of benefit not only for your cloud efforts but as a general strategy for the future.
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
Feb. 9, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 359
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Feb. 9, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 184
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 9, 2016 05:00 PM EST Reads: 149
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 222
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 589
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 190
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 132
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 229
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 182
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 350
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 9, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 164
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 189
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 389
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
Feb. 9, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 256
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 9, 2016 01:15 PM EST Reads: 368
How Best to Integrate Cloud Foundry into Your Existing Ecosystem By @Gidrontxt | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
Feb. 9, 2016 12:15 PM EST Reads: 170
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, will discuss using predictive analytics to ...
Feb. 9, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 384
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 9, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 401