Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

It's What's on the Inside that Counts

PaaS is heading toward inherent application awareness

"It is what is on the inside that counts." How many times have we all been told that? Personally, I can't even remember. However, just because it is perhaps overused and undoubtedly cliché, does not make it any less true. In fact, I rank it right up there with the golden rule as mantras that one should try to live by. But this is ostensibly a cloud computing blog, so what am I rambling on about? Well, it turns out that it's what is on the inside that counts in cloud computing as well!

To explain this, let's take a look at the process for deploying applications on the cloud today by looking at an example. Consider that I have a basic Java web application that provides an enterprise resource scheduling service. In the normal course of operation, the web application connects to both message queues and databases to service requests. Additionally, a web server usually sits in front of this application and directs incoming requests from clients.

If I want to deploy an application like the above on a cloud, I need a good deal of knowledge about the application. First, I have to know that in order for the application to work I need far more than just an application container. I need a way to deploy or integrate with a web server, message queue, and database. I also need to know how each of the components should be integrated in order to support the needs of the application. Moreover, I need to know quite a bit about the non-functional requirements of the application (security, availability, scalability, etc.), so that I can configure each of the supporting components as appropriate.

While this may not sound like too much to expect, it can be challenging considering that the deployer of an application is unlikely to have insight into each of these needs. In fact, there is no one person in the organization that is likely to have all of these answers. Application deployments are typically the result of significant collaboration that can stretch project timelines beyond what anyone expected. But given the push towards autonomics and automation that cloud is a large part of driving, I have to ask if such intimate knowledge of an application is really required to deploy it?

My honest, yet cautious answer to this has to be no. I mean, why should I have to locate all of the required components for my application before being able to successfully deploying it? Ideally, if I am using an application-oriented cloud management system like I would expect to find in PaaS, it should be capable of application introspection to make many of these decisions for me. If you go back to my earlier example, the PaaS solution should be able to look into my web application and determine via application metadata, or even source code, that there is a dependency on both a database and a message queue. Additionally, if it notices that there is service addressable via HTTP, I would expect to at least be prompted to see if I wanted to include a web server in the application deployment. Ultimately, the introspection of the application should result in a proposed deployment architecture for my application that includes both the necessary components and the required integration between those components.

On top of all of this, I would expect that a number of non-functional configuration items could be determined via application introspection as well. If metadata in my web application indicates that I am using basic authentication to protect my enterprise scheduling service, the PaaS solution should be able to configure the application container environment appropriately. Even more interesting would be the ability to specify metadata in my web application that indicated scaling requirements and have the cloud management system automatically act on that!

Is this really too much to expect? I do not believe so. Many talk about the very nature of PaaS being one rooted in application orientation. Well, I think you can only get so far down that road without putting forth solutions that possess an inherent awareness of the applications that are being deployed. In other words, it is what is on the inside of the application that counts and PaaS solutions need to know that!

More Stories By Dustin Amrhein

Dustin Amrhein joined IBM as a member of the development team for WebSphere Application Server. While in that position, he worked on the development of Web services infrastructure and Web services programming models. In his current role, Dustin is a technical specialist for cloud, mobile, and data grid technology in IBM's WebSphere portfolio. He blogs at http://dustinamrhein.ulitzer.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/damrhein.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Moroccanoil®, the global leader in oil-infused beauty, is thrilled to announce the NEW Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, a collection of dual-benefit hair masks that deposit pure pigments while providing the treatment benefits of a deep conditioning mask. The collection consists of seven curated shades for commitment-free, beautifully-colored hair that looks and feels healthy.
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
We all love the many benefits of natural plant oils, used as a deap treatment before shampooing, at home or at the beach, but is there an all-in-one solution for everyday intensive nutrition and modern styling?I am passionate about the benefits of natural extracts with tried-and-tested results, which I have used to develop my own brand (lemon for its acid ph, wheat germ for its fortifying action…). I wanted a product which combined caring and styling effects, and which could be used after shampo...
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.