Cloud and Grid eXchange 2010 - Russ Miles on Enabling Choice in the Cloud

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In an ideal world, every application could be deployed to any cloud. You could compare the SLAs and associated costs at deployment time, make your choice of which cloud services you grab from which vendor, and boom! have your app up and running. However there's nothing ideal in the current cloud market.

As a developer, bringing your legacy and green-field applications to the cloud is a hard job. The pitfalls are numerous and every step of the way you can make a choice that limits your deployment choices. This challenge becomes even more fun when you consider that you may want to change your mind about where your applications are deployed late in development, just before deployment and even while your application is running!

In this in-depth talk Russ Miles from OpenCredo looked at this challenge pragmatically from two very different perspectives; the developer and the cloud provider. Russ shared his real-world experience of bringing enterprise applications to various cloud offerings, and how he keeps his options and manages his choices to get the most out of the cloud for his clients.

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Cloud and Grid eXchange 2010 - Russ Miles on Enabling Choice in the Cloud

  1. 1. “Enabling Choice” or Obscured by Clouds Russ Miles Friday, 23 April 2010
  2. 2. Friday, 23 April 2010
  3. 3. Friday, 23 April 2010
  4. 4. Warning! • This could get a bit ... economical... • But not in a “£5M bonus” kind of way • Focussing on our experiences • This is all about... CHOICE Friday, 23 April 2010
  5. 5. Warning 2 Friday, 23 April 2010
  6. 6. Obscurity? Friday, 23 April 2010
  7. 7. Modes of Obscurity • What cloud to pick? • What mixture of clouds? • What mixture of technologies? • How to measure the business value? • How to tactically manage the business concerns? • ... and all these things are related... Friday, 23 April 2010
  8. 8. Common Business Drivers SLA Cost Friday, 23 April 2010
  9. 9. What’s your first step? Friday, 23 April 2010
  10. 10. When does the Cloud ‘touch’ the application? Friday, 23 April 2010
  11. 11. In Early Planning? • Initial target deployment selection • Concerns • SLA (Availability, Security et al) • Commercial Agreements • Background Experience • Maturity • Geo-location constraints Friday, 23 April 2010
  12. 12. In (ongoing) Development? • 'Tactical' decisions can be important • Can anyone say Threads + Google • Supporting cost effective full testing • Supporting farmed cost-effective build services Friday, 23 April 2010
  13. 13. In Deployment and Production? • Seamless deployment? • Managing and monitoring your 'cloud assets' • This can be a major headache! Friday, 23 April 2010
  14. 14. The Bad News... • Cloud is an essentially intrusive concern • Recognising that is the first important step • Intrusiveness comes in a number of flavours • Mostly non-technical! Friday, 23 April 2010
  15. 15. The current ‘strategy’ • Drop choice (we didn’t want it anyway) • Leave cloud decisions to the last minute • ‘Deploy and Hope’ • ... and fix • ... and fix Not actually as silly as it sounds • Hope that a PaaS provider has thought of But this convenience comes at a price... all these things for you... Friday, 23 April 2010
  16. 16. There has to be a better way...? Friday, 23 April 2010
  17. 17. Where does choice come from? Understanding. Friday, 23 April 2010
  18. 18. Part 1 - Define the Market Friday, 23 April 2010
  19. 19. What does the market look like? Cloud Service Consumers Cloud Service Providers Friday, 23 April 2010
  20. 20. Can you say ‘stovepipe’? Cloud Cloud Cloud Service Service Service Consumer Consumer Consumer AWS Azure GAE Friday, 23 April 2010
  21. 21. Lock-in Through Abstraction SaaS *aaS!? PaaS IaaS Friday, 23 April 2010
  22. 22. Lock-in EVERYWHERE • IaaS • Divergent (?) APIs • Data In/Out • PaaS • You rely on specific services actually being there • SaaS • You rely on services being there, and typically your data is stored in a proprietary form (typically), and export/import is essential Friday, 23 April 2010
  23. 23. Does Lock-in Matter? • There’s always some • It’s a question of ‘choosing’ when and what • Depends on how fluid things are... Friday, 23 April 2010
  24. 24. Part 2 - Cloud without the Fluff Friday, 23 April 2010
  25. 25. What does winning look like? + SLA Cost Friday, 23 April 2010
  26. 26. Stage 1 - Planning Friday, 23 April 2010
  27. 27. Building a market model • Queryable by the Business • Kept current • Good news... • This isn’t actually YOUR job Friday, 23 April 2010
  28. 28. Model, meet Applications (Data, etc) Friday, 23 April 2010
  29. 29. Your application’s role • Your application needs to describe itself better • What is it? Why is it...? • What's the SLA • What's the cost bracket? Friday, 23 April 2010
  30. 30. Think ‘assets’ and granularity • Choice boundaries • Each 'asset' within the application that will be deployed to a cloud • Greater flexibility with greater granularity • But, of course, more work. Friday, 23 April 2010
  31. 31. Anatomy of a ‘Cloud Asset’ • The Thing • Policy Blueprint • Identity • Business Policies • SLA • Cost • Technical Constraints • Captured in an ‘actionable’ form Friday, 23 April 2010
  32. 32. Stage 2 - Development Friday, 23 April 2010
  33. 33. Not... last... minute! • TDD • DDD • Aargh! Where did all the acronyms go!? • Best done as part of CI Friday, 23 April 2010
  34. 34. Actionable Assets; CI for Cloud Friday, 23 April 2010
  35. 35. Technical Constraints Challenged • Early technical constraints can arise, and be challenged • Going back to the market model to understand justification Friday, 23 April 2010
  36. 36. Back to the model • Information captured in the policy blueprint for each of the application's assets • And justified regularly with the up-to-date market model Friday, 23 April 2010
  37. 37. Don’t forget infrastructure assets! • CI hosted on the cloud <- Cloud Asset! • Repositories in the cloud <- Cloud Asset! • Infrastructure assets have just a policy Friday, 23 April 2010
  38. 38. Cloud in Development makes some things ‘possible’ • “Don’t tell anyone but...” • CI faster • Deploy faster • Possible to ‘try’ • and fail... • or succeed! • When to cloud burst? Friday, 23 April 2010
  39. 39. Stage 3 - Deployment and Production Friday, 23 April 2010
  40. 40. Policy Blueprint is ‘king’ • Informs what needs to be managed and monitored • Suggests the 'wiggle room' • In that wiggle room, profit (savings?) can be made • If policy document is 'actionable', the deployment can be as simple as possible Friday, 23 April 2010
  41. 41. M & Ms? • The moment you have assets 'in play', you need to watch things closer • Management and monitoring driven by policy documents • Management of Business constraints • Management of technical constraints • Decisions advised using the market model Friday, 23 April 2010
  42. 42. Ops (WE) have it hard • As the market becomes more fluid, and variable • Ops have to become tactical • NOT someone else’s problem • Part of your team • Did you catch Chris Read’s track yesterday? Friday, 23 April 2010
  43. 43. Enter the Cloud ‘Broker’ • So far we've been adding work • This doesn't have to be your work • Defining the blueprint is very collaborative • Defining the market can be provided aaS • Market data on its own is not enough! Friday, 23 April 2010
  44. 44. With just market data... Uh, yeah. The market is changing... Oh, now it’s not... Yep, changing again... It’s gone up and down a bit... Friday, 23 April 2010
  45. 45. ‘initia l’ The Broker’s role > • Broker provides advice on the raw data • Broker can be a person, or a system • Taxonomy important • Cloud Asset • SLA • Cost • Constraints Friday, 23 April 2010
  46. 46. Policy Blueprint as Instructions Friday, 23 April 2010
  47. 47. CompareThe Cloud.com?! Reason for being: To get you the best deal on your cloud assets Advice on best deployment strategy, against market data Possibly even action that deployment Friday, 23 April 2010
  48. 48. The Broker’s place Cloud Cloud Cloud Service Service Service Consumer Consumer Consumer AWS Azure GAE Friday, 23 April 2010
  49. 49. The Broker’s place Cloud Cloud Cloud Service Service Service Consumer Consumer Consumer Cloud Assets Cloud Asset Broker* Market Data AWS Azure GAE Friday, 23 April 2010
  50. 50. Deployment is only the beginning • The cloud market is fluid • Applications split into assets, split across clouds... • Complex ecosystem • Not just about technical choices... Friday, 23 April 2010
  51. 51. Broker works alongside Ops • Trusted face on the cloud market • What does this mean to the makeup of teams? • The relationship looks simple • Broker useful for architectural reviews and strategy • That's it, right? Friday, 23 April 2010
  52. 52. Broker is part of your team • Initially attempted to keep the broker very separate • This worked for the 'market data' • But not for the 'active' day-to-day advice • Adopted the 'Feature Team' approach • A Broker was assigned to be part of one or more teams Friday, 23 April 2010
  53. 53. Side Effects (1) • Software needs to justify its place in the world • Identity, SLA and Cost crucial characteristics • It's kinda amazing these things haven't been more important before • Decisions can be made with confidence Friday, 23 April 2010
  54. 54. Side Effects (2) • The additional workload of handling the cloud market is not yours • The advisor, and the market data they hold, is key to success in the cloud • Not just a simple consultancy gig • Another key skills to your teams • Teams as business units Friday, 23 April 2010
  55. 55. Are we there yet? Friday, 23 April 2010
  56. 56. Friday, 23 April 2010
  57. 57. Are we there yet? • Not completely • It is all too easy to remove choices • Technical/cost constraints related to migration • Similar to the costs of moving funds, except higher • The cost of a trade in the market is currently very high Friday, 23 April 2010
  58. 58. But... • There are economic pressures at work... • ... and they tend to make things happen • Commodities lead to Futures • Exotics fill out the edge cases • There is significant money to be made and savings to be had Friday, 23 April 2010
  59. 59. Summary • Cloud is intrusive, period. • Defining a cloud asset • Development and Test Environments mirror Production • Creating a cloud market model enables choice • Establishing the ‘broker’ role inside teams guide those choices Friday, 23 April 2010
  60. 60. Any Questions? Friday, 23 April 2010
  61. 61. Thanks for your time! See you in 2015 :) Russ Miles (russell.miles@opencredo.com) Toby Hobson (toby.hobson@opencredo.com) Friday, 23 April 2010

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