The application-centric cloud paradigm

The changing nature of clouds as the focus moves to composable applications hosted in the new cloud model

cloudy buildings

The application cloud brings cloud to the enterprise. It's what is driving business demands today. Companies demand efficiency, agility and innovation from their technology partners, and the application cloud is exactly what's driving those technology trends today. It's the business of describing this cloud, mobile, and big data with the convergence of infrastructure and platform as a service.

Purchasers of platform-as-a-service are really seeing the lines between applications and infrastructure blurring together. As such, the need for both applications and the cloud enabling them is causing many companies to begin rethinking of the cloud.

We are moving the old applications, which were monolithic, to dynamic applications that scale on demand with a secure environment mainstream. We have moved to a model where infrastructure across compute, networking, and storage is now software-defined, and innovation cycles are very compressed.

In the application cloud, we need to redefine data storage, compute, and network. The applications written for the cloud and the applications that run on that cloud are different from those being re-hosted.  The infrastructures should be transparent. The key is the security implications in this new model.

Applications in the future will become composable and will build on services that are based in containers or other clouds and communicated through direct communications since all containers will have an IP address and be IPv6 compatible. This places a major strain on monolithic applications because they have to be decomposed into services within a cloud. That's why Kubernetes directory services are critical to the use of open containers.

The operating environment is based upon Linux, and the instantiation of services will be based upon networking that is Omni-directional and based upon a fabric that enables registration and discovery of services across multiple platforms. It's very clear that this will enable an application to run on multiple servers and be connected and the application can run in a private as well as a public cloud known as hybrid cloud. We're looking in the future at federating all parties moving in this direction in the Open Container project.

Private, hybrid, and public cloud applications need to provide consistent predictable behaviors, the concept of an application having a state goes away. The infrastructure, which has to be transparent and consistent to deploy, manage, and secure apps, is what we will discuss in my blogs, ranging from Kubernetes to containers the Open Container project of the Linux Foundation. We will discuss the development model, which is changing at a rate that we have never seen before. The new frameworks to empower developers to build more powerful applications are moving more rapidly then ever before. We will talk about management and orchestration since it changes the paradigm most companies use today because an Application Cloud spans multiple platforms. The Open Container project from the Linux Foundation is a focus for most people looking at an application cloud.

The main issue that people will be faced with is the concept that Gartner refers to as "bifurcation of IT" and IDC refers to as "the third platform." As people develop applications in a platform-as-a-service technology for interconnectivity, the skill set and the need for agile development becomes paramount. It will create a schism of classic development and Web development. The bifurcation is coming extremely quickly, and the application cloud is the key to enabling our new vision of what people called cloud in the past. If it fills the dream that was created when this platform was created.

The industry has already begun to understand that a cloud that is not application-centric will be nothing more a virtualized environment. There are so many new concepts coming in the application cloud that will transform our industry now and into the future.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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