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Architecting Multi-Cloud Environments


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Josep Blanquer, Sr. Systems Architect at RightScale, led this session at the RightScale User Conference 2010 in Santa Clara. …

Josep Blanquer, Sr. Systems Architect at RightScale, led this session at the RightScale User Conference 2010 in Santa Clara.

Session Abstract: Deploying in multi-cloud environments involves much more than just choosing which cloud provider to use. It requires seamlessly deploying parts of a company's infrastructure across multiple clouds that function in concert while spanning infrastructure providers. In this session, you'll learn about the abstractions necessary to deliver portability and ease of management in a multi-cloud environment. Some important concepts to address include image management, template management, mixed deployments and data portability. We'll present examples of multi-cloud scenarios and describe the design principles to consider when architecting deployments that must span and migrate across different clouds and providers.

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  • Sharing considerations/insights about going multi-cloud
  • Will start by defining a cloud, so we all are in the same starting pointThen I’m going to go into describing what multi-cloud means (the holy grail, future looking thoughts)Then I’ll explain how RightScale helps in the road towards that holy grail
  • So here’s a graphical representation of existing clouds
  • So here’s a graphical representation of existing clouds
  • So…this sounds like a pretty onerous goal…quite a challenging…so how do we approach such a thing? What is different from working in single-cloud mode?
  • The punchline here is that one needs to step back, and look at the challenges a bit like an integration problem. That is, one needs to work with “portable abstractions” and be able to integrate them across.I think it is very similar to what one would do in building an application or service, consisting of several sub-applications written in different languages.So let me share some considerations to be had in mind when going multi-cloud [POINTS]So it is a fairly different way to think about stuff…it’s all about higher-level abstractions.But not all is lost, RightScale helps with these a lot….let me tell you how…
  • RightScale already provides several abstractions that are cloud-agnostic. In fact you’re already using probably all of them (despite you might only be deployed in 1 cloud)..We have the concept of a server (something that can be launched/running on any cloud)The concept of a ServerTemplate, which specifies the configuration we want on a serverAnd the concept of an MCI which specifies which image configuration we want (lower-level stuff)And all these things are RS concepts…the cloud is not really involved in all this…
  • Right not we focus on the ability to migrate applications…the next steps will be to run concurrentlyWE use some of these techniques…but are not packaged …let me finish with a multi-cloud deployment use case that can be realized today. We and others are using. Note it’s not about the more future looking scenario of having you production app runnig simultaneously in multiple clouds….it’s about being able to migration applications/deployments from cloud to cloud, much like in a cookie cutter type of way…
  • Transcript

    • 1. Think Multi-Cloud!
      Josep M. Blanquer
      Sr. Systems Architect
    • 2. Outline
      What do I mean by a cloud?
      What is multi-cloud and what’s different?
      How does RightScale help?
      Servers and ServerArrays
      Multi-Cloud Server Templates
      Multi-Cloud Images
      Data locality and mobility
      A multi-cloud example
    • 3. What do I mean by cloud?
      Services vs. Cloud Types vs. Clouds
      A cloud is a physical entity behind an API endpoint
      Amazon Web Services is not a cloud
      It is a set of services: S3, CloudFront, SQS, SNS, EC2, …
      EC2 is not a cloud
      It is a type of cloud, defined by a public API
      Eucalyptus, are not a cloud
      They are the tools that allows to create them, following a cloud type
      EC2 East, EC2 AsiaPacific, my private cloud… are clouds
      They are instantiations of a cloud, providing a service API of a given type
      An availability zone is not a cloud, it’s part of one
    • 4. Where is my cloud in the wild?
    • 5. Where is my cloud in the wild?
      There might be just a few big cloud players
      …but there will be a myriad of clouds
    • 6. Where are my clouds in RightScale?
      Dashboard example:
      AWS, Rackspace and several private clouds in one account
      A cloud is first registered with RightScale
      Public clouds like AWS, Rackspace are automatically added
      Private clouds are registered by admins.
      Once a cloud is registered, a user can start using it
      By providing its credentials to it.
      AWS uses same creds for all its clouds, that’s why this is only done once
    • 7. What does multi-cloud mean?
      It’s about deploying your application:
      Across different clouds
      Spanning cloud providers (most likely with different API’s)
      Utilizing private and public ones
      It’s about evolving your application to:
      Incorporate new clouds as they appear
      Or quickly moving servers to utilize leftover or new cloud capacity
      all seamlessly:
      Without having to learn a new interface every time
      Working together in an integrated manner
      It’s not about choosing one cloud provider, but multiple
      Current focus: cloud portability
    • 8. Multi-cloud: benefits
      Redundancy, disaster recovery and geo-presence
      Leverage unique cloud-specific services when needed
      Leverage public cloud cost benefits (cheaper and/or infinite)
      Leverage existing investments: private cloud
      Move services with bursty, unpredictable apps to public cloud
      Private cloud for red-tape bound apps
      Support varying levels of security concerns
    • 9. Multi-cloud: pain points
      APIs differ
      Different sets of resources
      Different formats and encodings
      Several simultaneous versions for a single cloud
      Abstractions differ
      Network architectures differ: VLANs, security groups, NAT, ACLs, …
      Storage architectures differ: local/attachable disks, backup, snapshots, …
      Hypervisors and machine images differ
      Supported features differ
      Not just by cloud type, but by cloud instantiation or version
      …cost models, billing, reporting…etc
      They are truly different applications, with different semantics
    • 10. How to think multi-cloud?
      “Akin to designing your application using several programming languages”
      Deploy using cloud-specifics, design using generic concepts
      Utilize unique features when needed, but don’t lock yourself in
      Have tools that translate your concepts to cloud-specific ones.
      Not just the API calls, but higher level concepts like backups, etc.
      Design for geographic dispersity
      Communicating and moving data across clouds can be expensive, slow
      Think of how to share data across
      Global storage, periodic backups, live replication, etc
      Know if you’re designing for HA or simply for portability
      Tightly coupled HA setups look much different than isolated subsystems
    • 11. How does RightScale help?
      Unified Multi-Cloud UI and new API (in progress)
      Multi-Cloud Servers/Arrays
      Multi-Cloud Server Templates
      Multi-Cloud Images
      Others in the pipeline
      runnable abstraction
      software config
      runtime config
      cloud resources
    • 12. (Multi-Cloud) Servers and Arrays
      Servers and Arrays are runtime abstractions
      All Servers look and smell similar, regardless of cloud:
      Can be started, stopped or run operational actions in the same way
      Show monitoring data, and can configure alerts in the same way
      Backed by the same mirror service to provide frozen repositories
      They coexist in mixed deployment listings, same filters, columns…
      They can be tagged, and configured in the same way
      Can be very different beasts, but they are seamlessly integrated
      runnable abstraction
      software config
      runtime config
      cloud resources
    • 13. Parenthesis: What are ServerTemplates?
      Configuring servers
      through bundling Images:
      Configuring servers
      with ServerTemplates:
      Custom MySQL 5.0.24 (CentOS 5.2)
      Custom MySQL 5.0.24 (CentOS 5.4)
      A set of configuration directives that will install and configure software on top of the base image
      MySQL 5.0.36 (CentOS 5.4)
      MySQL 5.0.36 (Ubuntu 8.10)
      MySQL 5.0.36 (Ubuntu 8.10) 64bit
      Frontend Apache 1.3 (Ubuntu 8.10)
      Frontend Apache 2.0 (Ubuntu 9.10) - patched
      CMS v1.0 (CentOS 5.4)
      CMS v1.1 (CentOS 5.4)
      My ASP appserver (windows 2008)
      My (windows 2008) – security update 1
      Base Image
      Very few and basic
      My (windows 2008) – security update 8
      SharePoint v4 (windows 2003) – 32bit
      SharePoint v4 (windows 2003) –64bit
      Win 2003
      CentOS 5.2
      Ubuntu 8.10
      SharePoint v4.5 (windows 2003) –64bit
      CentOS 5.4
      Win 2007
      Ubuntu 9.10

    • 14. Parenthesis: What are ServerTemplates?
      Anatomy of a
      Server Template
      Example Server Template:
      MySQL 5.0
      RightScript/Recipe 6
      Initialize slave

      RightScript/Recipe 6
      Perform backup
      RightScript/Recipe N
      Start all services

      RightScript/Recipe 5
      Setup DNS and IPs
      RightScript/Recipe 4
      Restore last backup
      boot sequence
      boot sequence
      RightScript/Recipe 3
      Configure/tune MySQL
      RightScript/Recipe 2
      Install MySQL Server
      RightScript/Recipe 1
      Install monitoring
      Base Image
      Right Image
    • 15. (Multi-Cloud) Server Templates
      They are software configuration abstractions
      Bridging the gap between the starting point (a base Image) and a fully configured machine
      Abstract Cloud and Operating System differences
      Chef helps in that regard
      Gather a set of user defined, high-level Input values
      Can partially help in the sharing of data
      Allow configuring servers always in the same or equivalent way
      runnable abstraction
      software config
      runtime config
      cloud resources
    • 16. Multi-Cloud Images (MCI)
      MCI’s abstract a set of requirements in a cloud image
      Example: A CentOS 5.4 Image
      Provide an equivalency map of base images across clouds
      CentOS 5.4 Image is ‘ami-feff’ in EC2 East, and ‘1234’ in Rackspace
      Equivalent images don’t have to be identical
      They are versionable and publishable
      Are associated to ServerTemplate
      A Server launch will pick the right image based on its cloud mapping
      MCIs also define other cloud variances like Instance types, kernel, etc…
      runnable abstraction
      software config
      runtime config
      cloud resources
    • 17. Multi-Cloud Images: RightImages
      RightScale maintains such maps (MCI’s) for all public clouds
      Wait, what about images in my private cloud?
    • 18. Demo: Servers, Templates and MCI’s
      Quick demo using the Rightscale Dashboard
    • 19. Data locality and mobility
      A topic a bit further down the road
      A big hurdle to overcome
      Because clouds don’t share data: they are isolated
      How can our app share data across its clouds then?
      External globally accessible services:
      S3, CloudFiles, Akamai, Dropbox…
      Transferring data snapshots across.
      Big data = Long time. Can be unpractical, not good for fast failover scenarios.
      Maintaining online data replication across clouds.
      Good for local reads, difficult for multi-writes. Good for fast failover scenarios.
      Using an inherently replicated service, that is distributed
      It is possible to achieve multimaster and replication, but at the cost of more complex tech
      Keeping track of your moving data
      Where’s the latest? What’s my lineage? how do I manage my datasets?...
      We’re thinking about useful multi-cloud abstractions to help with all that
    • 20. Multi-Cloud Use Case: portability
      Test & dev
      US customers(production)
      EU customers(production)

      US customers(beta)
    • 21. Multi-Cloud Use Case: portability
      Scalable, powerful
      and redundant
      Test & dev
      US customers(production)
      EU customers(production)

      Load balancer
      and recipes
      US customers(beta)
      App Server
      Ubuntu 8.04
      Less power
      and redundancy
    • 22. Thinking multi-cloud: summary
      Work with generic abstractions (deploy using cloud-specifics)
      Take advantage of each specific cloud’s strengths
      Avoid lock in.
      Use or build generic templates:
      support multiple OSes, and cloud types (not just clouds)
      Keep a good and clean mapping of Images
      Maintain just a few and use them across your server templates
      Know your data:
      Where is it, and what access patterns you’re using
      Keep track of where it is, and how it moves.
      Think different, again!
      Designing/deploying/managing in multi-cloud is different than single-cloud
      Multi-cloud is a step further towards fulfilling the cloud paradigm
    • 23.
    • 24. Using these abstractions: Server
      • A Server has a ServerTemplate
    • Using the abstractions: ServerTemplate
      • A ServerTemplate has a list of suportedMCIs
    • Using these abstractions: MCI’s
      • Each MCI will have mappings to several clouds