Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cloud Ready Computing

Cloud computing offers significant economies in deploying and managing applications. While enterprises are not yet ready to move mission-critical applications to cloud computing, CIOs and CTOs are increasingly wanting to create applications that are "cloud-ready."

A cloud-ready application is based on an architecture which provides the flexibility to deploy the application to either a traditional data center or into a private or public cloud infrastructure. This flexibility ensures that enterprises can take advantage of cloud computing benefits whenever they choose.

Being cloud-ready requires much more than simple virtualization. As the $420M acquisition of SpringSource by VMWare demonstrates, making applications cloud ready requires adopting new development platforms that are purpose-built for supporting on-site and on-demand computing.

Some cloud-ready development platforms (also called Platform as a Service or PaaS) are highly proprietary. These frameworks require a complete rewrite of the application for cloud computing and lock the developer into a single hosting provider such as SalesForce or Google's AppEngine.

Other cloud-ready development frameworks are open, enabling developers to leverage existing application logic and data. Open Platform as a Service, or OPaas, allows CIOs and CTOs to have the best of both worlds, creating applications which can run in the data center or in the public cloud with no changes to the underlying application. Examples include WaveMaker and Corent.

Cloud Ready Case Study - IBM's Cloud Quickstart Architecture

IBM has created a Cloud Quickstart Architecture that embodies what they see as best practices for developing cloud-ready applications. This architecture includes WaveMaker, WebSphere, DB2, Amazon and RightScale. To see a podcast on this architecture, click here (registration required).

WaveMaker is an Open Platform as a Service for developing cloud-ready web applications. WaveMaker includes client and server frameworks that greatly reduce the time to cloud-enable an existing application or create a new, cloud-ready application.

The WaveMaker self-service client framework provides configurable, drag and drop client components that simplify the delivery of self-service web applications. The WaveMaker multi-tenant server framework provides secure, multi-tenant server modules that automate the creation of scalable cloud applications.

The WaveMaker frameworks are backed by a 10,000-strong developer community and complement existing application servers (e.g., Tomcat, WebSphere) and development tools (e.g., Eclipse, Netbeans). WaveMaker customers like KANA, National City Bank and Macy's have cut the cost and time to build cloud-ready applications by over 75% using WaveMaker.

In the IBM Cloud Quickstart Architecture, ISVs can leverage existing Java code written in WebSphere as well as data stored in DB2. WaveMaker provides the cloud-ready frameworks for the client and server. RightScale provides elastic scaling as well as fault tolerance and fault recovery. Together, these companies provide an example of end-to-end cloud computing that leverages existing application resources.

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