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Understanding Cloud Architecture

Fundamentally, cloud architectures are based on creation of large data centers with a management fabric defining clear abstraction between server hardware and operations systems. The management fabric automates the deployment of virtualized operating systems images on server hardware. In its simplest form, a typical cloud data center consists of a bank of server hardware and massive storage for storing fully functional operating system images. The management fabric manages the life cycle of the deployment by allocating and decommissioning hardware and operating system images as needed. As a user, when you deploy your service to the cloud, the management fabric provisions the hardware servers, deploys operating system image on those servers, and deploys your service to those servers. Once the service is deployed on the servers, it is ready to be consumed. The number of service instances is configured by the service owner and would typically depend on the demand and high availability requirements of the service.

Service Providers

The service providers are the companies that provide cloud services to the businesses and to the consumers. These companies run the giant data centers hosting massively virtualized and redundant software and hardware systems. Service providers like Amazon with its EC2 service and Microsoft with its Windows Azure fall into the service providers category. These companies not only have expertise in data center management but also in scalable software management. The service providers may offer services directly to the businesses, consumers, or ISVs.

Software Vendors

Software designed to run on-premise is very different to software designed for cloud services. Even though they both may provide the same business functionality to the end users, architecturally they are not the same. The cloud services must account for multitenancy, scalability, reliability and performance at a much broader scale than on-premise architecture. Cloud services run in data centers offered by cloud service providers. In some cases, there is a significant overlap between the service providers and the software vendors. For example, Microsoft Windows Azure and Google Apps are cloud software running in their own data centers. The software vendors have found it economically feasible to package hardware and software together in the data centers to optimize the service delivery in the cloud.

Independent Software Vendors

Independent software vendors (ISVs) are going to play a key role in the success of cloud services because of their expertise in vertical business applications. ISVs typically build vertical applications on an already existing platform. ISVs identify the business demand for a particular solution in vertical markets and thrive by offering the solution on existing platforms. The cloud offers a great platform for the ISVs to build vertical solutions. For example, an ISV could build a medical billing solution in the cloud and offer the service to multiple doctors and hospitals. The infrastructure required for building multitenant scalable software is already provided by the service providers, so the ISVs have to focus only on building the business solution.

Enablers

Enablers (which are also called implementers) are vendors offering services to build end-to-end solutions by integrating software from multiple vendors. Many enterprises purchase software licenses from vendors but never deploy the software because of lack of strategic initiative or availability of product expertise. Enablers fill in the gap by offering consulting services for the purchased software. Companies like Microsoft Consulting Services and IBM Global Services offer customer-specific services regardless of the underlying platform. Enablers play a key role by integrating on-premise and cloud services or building end-to-end cloud services customized for a business. Cloud platform offers enablers an opportunity to expand their service offerings beyond on-premise solutions.

Businesses

Finally, businesses drive the demand for software products and services. If businesses see value or cost savings in a particular solution, they do not hesitate to implement it. To stay competitive in today’s market, businesses have to keep their IT and applications portfolios up-to-date and take advantage of economies of scale wherever possible. Cloud service offerings are architected to achieve economies of scale by supporting multiple businesses on a scalable and automated platform. For cloud service offerings to be successful, service providers, software vendors, ISVs and enablers must work together in creating cloud applications and services not only providing cost savings but also a competitive edge to businesses. This search for a competitive edge will drive demand for cloud services.

See u!

Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010 5:40 PM Azure | Back to top


Comments on this post: Cloud Ecosystem

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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Excelent, the cloud is the future
Left by luis fernando on Nov 22, 2010 9:02 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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What about small business ?
Left by Fernando Oviedo on Dec 13, 2010 11:21 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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What about small business?
Left by Fernando Oviedo on Dec 13, 2010 11:24 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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Cloud works fine for small business too, there is a concept of Xsmall instances where you can have minimum resources to start working, and if you need more, just scale to something better. Cloud Rules.
Left by Adrian on Mar 07, 2011 12:40 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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Hi Folks,

Thanks for your comments

@FernandoOviedo About small business, cloud computing enable a new paradigm for it. more resources, high availability a lot of things that on common scenario demands a lot of planning and a major investment
Left by Juan Mestas on Jul 20, 2011 10:22 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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@Adrian U r right, currently the main vendors offers "small" instances of its services "thinking" on small business, but the first thing to consider is if "really" need a cloud platform for the solution
Left by Juan Mestas on Jul 20, 2011 10:26 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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Can you write this article in spanish?
Left by Dorian on Aug 16, 2011 12:02 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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yep i'll do it
Left by Juan Mestas on Aug 16, 2011 5:21 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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even when i can understand english, this link isn´t in spanish. isn´t there disponibility in one link in spanish?
Left by Luis Castro on Aug 31, 2011 5:25 PM

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This tecnologic aplied in different contex have a good future
Left by William Salazar on Sep 12, 2011 6:29 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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I don´t know if Microsoft has some programa like google for reselling solution in the cloud like google apps reseller. Maybe something with Microsoft Windows Azure
Left by Irving Villegas on Sep 13, 2011 10:13 PM

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Hi @IrvinVillegas, Microsoft have the Windows Azure Marketplace http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/features/marketplace/ that enables to customer and partner to share, buy and sell SaaS apps, and the Windows Datamarket Marketplace http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/Whitepapers/DataMarket/ a new cloud-based service that provides a global marketplace for information including data, web services, and analytics.
Left by Juan Mestas on Sep 14, 2011 9:09 AM

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I think the cloud has great applicability in the health sector
Left by Humberto on Sep 16, 2011 1:16 AM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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Exelente no hay mejor descripcion XD
Left by Ariel Garcia on Sep 22, 2011 11:24 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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En español por favor
Left by Lolita on Sep 27, 2011 9:08 PM

# re: Cloud Ecosystem
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SIN LUGAR A DUDA, EL CRECIMIENTO DE CLOUD COMPUTING ES ROTUNDO Y DE GRAN ESCALA...
Left by ALBERT E. on Oct 01, 2011 4:51 PM

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