Amazon.com just announced a new product called CloudFormation that allows those who use the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud to configure and manage resources as a single system by creating a template that describes the applications and resources that make up their system or architecture.
CloudFormation then takes care of provisioning, while taking into account any dependencies between resources, including server instances, database instances, and load balancers. The service also allows AWS users to configure and set triggers that automatically provision additional resources.
[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]
Once again, Amazon has built its stack in the right direction. Consider the features of CloudFormation and the fact that AWS has recently been on a tear with new features and products like Elastic Beanstalk and the recent Oracle offering in its cloud.
I would not put CloudFormation into the major feature category, but the ability to cobble together aspects of a cloud, such as storage, compute, and database, means you'll be able to deal with your cloud services in a much more holistic way. Today, by contrast, you have to keep in mind all of the resources at play and make sure enough are being allocated and de-allocated in support of your system.
What we really need is a way to do this across clouds, or intercloud, so those organizations using many clouds in their system can deal with them as a virtual single bundle of resources. Such intercloud management technology should remove the underlying granular provisioning mechanisms, so developers and admins can deal with hundreds, perhaps thousands of resources as a single, well-integrated whole, even though the services are scattered all over the place on many different clouds.