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.

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…
  • Architecting Multi-Cloud Environments

    1. 1. Think Multi-Cloud!<br />Josep M. Blanquer<br />Sr. Systems Architect<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />What do I mean by a cloud?<br />What is multi-cloud and what’s different?<br />How does RightScale help?<br />Servers and ServerArrays<br />Multi-Cloud Server Templates<br />Multi-Cloud Images<br />Data locality and mobility<br />A multi-cloud example<br />Conclusions<br />
    3. 3. What do I mean by cloud?<br />Services vs. Cloud Types vs. Clouds<br />A cloud is a physical entity behind an API endpoint<br />Amazon Web Services is not a cloud<br />It is a set of services: S3, CloudFront, SQS, SNS, EC2, …<br />EC2 is not a cloud<br />It is a type of cloud, defined by a public API<br />Eucalyptus, are not a cloud<br />They are the tools that allows to create them, following a cloud type<br />EC2 East, EC2 AsiaPacific, my private cloud… are clouds<br />They are instantiations of a cloud, providing a service API of a given type<br />An availability zone is not a cloud, it’s part of one<br />
    4. 4. Where is my cloud in the wild?<br />
    5. 5. Where is my cloud in the wild?<br />There might be just a few big cloud players<br />…but there will be a myriad of clouds<br />
    6. 6. Where are my clouds in RightScale?<br />Dashboard example:<br />AWS, Rackspace and several private clouds in one account<br />A cloud is first registered with RightScale<br />Public clouds like AWS, Rackspace are automatically added<br />Private clouds are registered by admins.<br />Once a cloud is registered, a user can start using it<br />By providing its credentials to it.<br />AWS uses same creds for all its clouds, that’s why this is only done once<br />
    7. 7. What does multi-cloud mean?<br />It’s about deploying your application:<br />Across different clouds<br />Spanning cloud providers (most likely with different API’s)<br />Utilizing private and public ones<br />It’s about evolving your application to:<br />Incorporate new clouds as they appear<br />Or quickly moving servers to utilize leftover or new cloud capacity<br />all seamlessly:<br />Without having to learn a new interface every time<br />Working together in an integrated manner<br />It’s not about choosing one cloud provider, but multiple<br />Current focus: cloud portability<br />
    8. 8. Multi-cloud: benefits<br />Redundancy, disaster recovery and geo-presence<br />Leverage unique cloud-specific services when needed<br />Leverage public cloud cost benefits (cheaper and/or infinite)<br />Leverage existing investments: private cloud<br />Move services with bursty, unpredictable apps to public cloud<br />Private cloud for red-tape bound apps<br />Support varying levels of security concerns<br />
    9. 9. Multi-cloud: pain points<br />APIs differ<br />Different sets of resources<br />Different formats and encodings<br />Several simultaneous versions for a single cloud<br />Abstractions differ<br />Network architectures differ: VLANs, security groups, NAT, ACLs, …<br />Storage architectures differ: local/attachable disks, backup, snapshots, …<br />Hypervisors and machine images differ<br />Supported features differ<br />Not just by cloud type, but by cloud instantiation or version<br />…cost models, billing, reporting…etc<br />They are truly different applications, with different semantics<br />
    10. 10. How to think multi-cloud? <br />“Akin to designing your application using several programming languages”<br />Deploy using cloud-specifics, design using generic concepts<br />Utilize unique features when needed, but don’t lock yourself in<br />Have tools that translate your concepts to cloud-specific ones.<br />Not just the API calls, but higher level concepts like backups, etc.<br />Design for geographic dispersity<br />Communicating and moving data across clouds can be expensive, slow<br />Think of how to share data across<br />Global storage, periodic backups, live replication, etc<br />Know if you’re designing for HA or simply for portability<br />Tightly coupled HA setups look much different than isolated subsystems<br />
    11. 11. How does RightScale help?<br />Unified Multi-Cloud UI and new API (in progress)<br />Multi-Cloud Servers/Arrays<br />Multi-Cloud Server Templates<br />Multi-Cloud Images<br />Others in the pipeline<br />ServerTemplate<br />Image<br />Server<br />1:N<br />I<br />1:1<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />runnable abstraction<br />software config<br />runtime config<br />cloud resources<br />
    12. 12. (Multi-Cloud) Servers and Arrays<br />Servers and Arrays are runtime abstractions<br />All Servers look and smell similar, regardless of cloud: <br />Can be started, stopped or run operational actions in the same way<br />Show monitoring data, and can configure alerts in the same way<br />Backed by the same mirror service to provide frozen repositories <br />They coexist in mixed deployment listings, same filters, columns…<br />They can be tagged, and configured in the same way<br />Can be very different beasts, but they are seamlessly integrated<br />ServerTemplate<br />Server<br />1:N<br />I<br />1:1<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />MCI<br />runnable abstraction<br />software config<br />runtime config<br />cloud resources<br />
    13. 13. Parenthesis: What are ServerTemplates?<br />Configuring servers<br />through bundling Images:<br />Configuring servers<br />with ServerTemplates:<br />Custom MySQL 5.0.24 (CentOS 5.2)<br />Custom MySQL 5.0.24 (CentOS 5.4)<br />A set of configuration directives that will install and configure software on top of the base image<br />MySQL 5.0.36 (CentOS 5.4)<br />MySQL 5.0.36 (Ubuntu 8.10)<br />MySQL 5.0.36 (Ubuntu 8.10) 64bit<br />Frontend Apache 1.3 (Ubuntu 8.10)<br />Frontend Apache 2.0 (Ubuntu 9.10) - patched<br />CMS v1.0 (CentOS 5.4)<br />CMS v1.1 (CentOS 5.4)<br />My ASP appserver (windows 2008)<br />My (windows 2008) – security update 1<br />Base Image<br />Very few and basic<br />My (windows 2008) – security update 8<br />SharePoint v4 (windows 2003) – 32bit<br />SharePoint v4 (windows 2003) –64bit<br />Win 2003<br />CentOS 5.2<br />Ubuntu 8.10<br />SharePoint v4.5 (windows 2003) –64bit<br />CentOS 5.4<br />Win 2007<br />Ubuntu 9.10<br />…<br />
    14. 14. Parenthesis: What are ServerTemplates?<br />Anatomy of a<br />Server Template<br />Example Server Template:<br />MySQL 5.0<br />RightScript/Recipe 6<br />Initialize slave<br />…<br />…<br />operations<br />operations<br />RightScript/Recipe 6<br />Perform backup<br />RightScript/Recipe N<br />Start all services<br />…<br />…<br />RightScript/Recipe 5<br />Setup DNS and IPs<br />RightScript/Recipe 4<br />Restore last backup<br />boot sequence<br />boot sequence<br />RightScript/Recipe 3<br />Configure/tune MySQL<br />RightScript/Recipe 2<br />Install MySQL Server<br />RightScript/Recipe 1<br />Install monitoring<br />Base Image<br />Right Image<br />
    15. 15. (Multi-Cloud) Server Templates<br />They are software configuration abstractions<br />Bridging the gap between the starting point (a base Image) and a fully configured machine<br />Abstract Cloud and Operating System differences<br />Chef helps in that regard<br />Gather a set of user defined, high-level Input values<br />Can partially help in the sharing of data<br />Allow configuring servers always in the same or equivalent way<br />ServerTemplate<br />Server<br />1:N<br />I<br />1:1<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />MCI<br />runnable abstraction<br />software config<br />runtime config<br />cloud resources<br />
    16. 16. Multi-Cloud Images (MCI)<br />MCI’s abstract a set of requirements in a cloud image<br />Example: A CentOS 5.4 Image<br />Provide an equivalency map of base images across clouds<br />CentOS 5.4 Image is ‘ami-feff’ in EC2 East, and ‘1234’ in Rackspace<br />Equivalent images don’t have to be identical<br />They are versionable and publishable<br />Are associated to ServerTemplate<br />A Server launch will pick the right image based on its cloud mapping<br />MCIs also define other cloud variances like Instance types, kernel, etc…<br />ServerTemplate<br />Server<br />1:N<br />I<br />1:1<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />I<br />MCI<br />runnable abstraction<br />software config<br />runtime config<br />cloud resources<br />
    17. 17. Multi-Cloud Images: RightImages<br />RightScale maintains such maps (MCI’s) for all public clouds<br />Wait, what about images in my private cloud?<br />
    18. 18. Demo: Servers, Templates and MCI’s<br />Quick demo using the Rightscale Dashboard<br />
    19. 19. Data locality and mobility<br />A topic a bit further down the road<br />A big hurdle to overcome<br />Because clouds don’t share data: they are isolated<br />How can our app share data across its clouds then?<br />External globally accessible services: <br />S3, CloudFiles, Akamai, Dropbox…<br />Transferring data snapshots across. <br />Big data = Long time. Can be unpractical, not good for fast failover scenarios.<br />Maintaining online data replication across clouds. <br />Good for local reads, difficult for multi-writes. Good for fast failover scenarios.<br />Using an inherently replicated service, that is distributed<br />It is possible to achieve multimaster and replication, but at the cost of more complex tech<br />Keeping track of your moving data<br />Where’s the latest? What’s my lineage? how do I manage my datasets?...<br />We’re thinking about useful multi-cloud abstractions to help with all that<br />
    20. 20. Multi-Cloud Use Case: portability <br />Test & dev<br />US customers(production)<br />EU customers(production)<br />…<br />US customers(beta)<br />
    21. 21. Multi-Cloud Use Case: portability <br />Scalable, powerful<br />and redundant<br />All-in-Ones<br />Test & dev<br />US customers(production)<br />EU customers(production)<br />…<br />Rails<br />MySQL<br />Load balancer<br />Scripts<br />and recipes<br />US customers(beta)<br />Rails <br />Front-End<br />Rails <br />All-in-One<br />Rails <br />App Server<br />MySQL<br />Templates<br />Ubuntu 8.04<br />Multi-Cloud<br />Image<br />Less power<br />and redundancy<br />Servers<br />
    22. 22. Thinking multi-cloud: summary<br />Work with generic abstractions (deploy using cloud-specifics)<br />Take advantage of each specific cloud’s strengths<br />Avoid lock in.<br />Use or build generic templates:<br />support multiple OSes, and cloud types (not just clouds)<br />Keep a good and clean mapping of Images <br />Maintain just a few and use them across your server templates<br />Know your data:<br />Where is it, and what access patterns you’re using<br />Keep track of where it is, and how it moves.<br />Think different, again!<br />Designing/deploying/managing in multi-cloud is different than single-cloud<br />Multi-cloud is a step further towards fulfilling the cloud paradigm<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Using these abstractions: Server<br /><ul><li>A Server has a ServerTemplate</li></li></ul><li>Using the abstractions: ServerTemplate<br /><ul><li>A ServerTemplate has a list of suportedMCIs</li></li></ul><li>Using these abstractions: MCI’s<br /><ul><li>Each MCI will have mappings to several clouds</li>