In an October 25th article published by InfoWorld, author David Linthicum suggested that it is time to “layer” the Cloud. Citing an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Block Storage malfunction earlier this week which resulted in downtime for Reddit, Imgur and others, the Blue Mountain Labs Founder & CTO suggests that containment would be much more easily achieved is Cloud services were “architecturally layered.”
“The recent Amazon Web Services outage reminded us once again that cloud computing is not yet a perfect science. That said, perhaps it’s also time we define formal methods, models, and approaches to make cloud computing easier to understand — and more reliable”, said Linthicum (pictured).
“Although it’s not at all a new concept, in many instances it’s helpful to define cloud services using a layered approach that works up from the most primitive to the highest-level services, with the higher-level services depending on those at the lower levels. Many IaaS clouds already work this way internally. However, all exposed services, primitive or not, are pretty much treated the same: as one layer,” he added.
Although the idea has sparked a wide amount of interest, some individuals and companies doubt whether “layering” the Cloud could have prevented recent Amazon Web Services issues. An InfoWorld reader who goes by the name of “Haam” replied that the concept would “not help with the last 3 major AWS outages, since the failures start at the lowest level faults (hardware) and the control planes did not adequately factor in low-level fault cases.”
Another visitor who goes by “Rick Wayne” seemed more open to the idea, and commented that he’d like further information. “I’m intrigued by the concept, but have to admit that I don’t get why layering per se would improve robustness. Layering is primarily an abstraction strategy, is it not? The reason network protocols are layered is not to make them more robust (although that may be a welcome side effect), it’s to make each piece comprehensible to the programmer. I think you may be on to something here, but I’d love to see a more explicit analysis”, Wayne replied.
More On Cloud Computing Layers
If Linthicum had his way, each Layer would be commonly defined among Cloud providers, with each of the levels offering “predefined” support. He places an 8-layer example within the article, which ranges from Hardware and Virtualization services to Process and Management.
Amalgamating this concept may prove difficult, but the point is well taken when considering better ways to make Cloud Computing more stable.
An in-depth article on Cloud Computing layers published by CloudConsulting.com sheds more light on the system, and how it works.
“One of the beauties of the cloud computing model is the simplicity with which they are presented to the end users. At the same time, the cloud computing model actually consists of a complex series of interconnected layers. Understanding these layers is essential to any organization that wishes to utilize cloud computing services in the most efficient manner,” the article states.
Layers included in the article are Hardware, Virtualization, Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (Paas), Software as a Service (Saas), and Client.
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