Putting The Service Back In “as-a-Service”

Putting the Service Back in “as-a-Service”

The future of cloud computing has often been framed as being a debate between private vs. public clouds, with each model having its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of cost-effectiveness, control and security. The debate should instead focus on what each model can borrow from the other to deliver the most efficient, scalable and flexible service possible.

When deploying a private cloud, system administrators should take a page from public clouds by focusing on the overall services their private cloud is providing. When designing and implementing a private cloud, enterprises need to focus on meeting the needs of the line of business. By utilizing a service-oriented approach that ensures the business can easily access and rapidly deploy the services it needs, enterprises can maximize the benefits of their private cloud deployment.

Making a service-oriented philosophy work

A service-oriented approach to a private cloud deployment can be defined as falling somewhere between pure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). In IaaS, a developer or operations manager has to create and manage every image. For PaaS, you don’t control any of these machines; the cloud takes care of it all. In a service-oriented model, you predefine and have running in the cloud a service like a database or load balancer, so developers don’t have to recreate those every time they want to roll out a new application.

The advantage of this approach is that it simplifies the solution deployment task for IT and for the lines of business that are interacting more closely than ever through the deployment of private clouds. A service oriented approach increases reliability because you’re using standardized services and not maintaining multiple different virtual machines. It potentially lowers cost in the long run because developers spend less time setting up virtual machines and more time defining applications to take advantage of the services you’ve already deployed.

There are no real downsides to adopting a service-oriented approach. What you’re trying to do is provide some of the pre-canned capabilities you get with Platform as a Service while still giving your developers full flexibility to define the applications they want to define. For example, IT and the line of business could agree to maintain a standard PostgreSQL database image, but the line of business may have an exception where an application it really needs requires an Oracle machine. The line of business could deploy its own Oracle database server for this specific application. They have all the flexibility in the world, but they’d be responsible for maintaining that image.

Deploying a service-oriented approach doesn’t lock you into anything. It just allows you to predefine certain capabilities which will make it easier in the long run to deploy and maintain new solutions. There might be additional work for the IT staff to define the interfaces, but if you choose, you can turn to a vendor the delivers preconfigured services in the cloud.

Potential downsides

If you don’t adopt a service-oriented approach, you’re not taking advantage of measures that could improve the agility and responsiveness of the line of business. You’d be running cloud, but you would not be taking full advantage of the private cloud model.

To turn the model into a reality, you need to start by working with the line of business to analyze what services make sense to standardize across the set of services that will run in the cloud. The analysis should focus on the services that are common across all the various solutions you’re bringing to your user base. You identify the services used the most and are most similar to each other, and those that offer no advantage to being customized. IT then takes responsibility for maintaining the frequently used services and publishing APIs to let people know how to get access to them. It’s similar to what Amazon does around its relational database service. IT defines a set of services that ultimately get instantiated as cloud images, but you also define what APIs developers can take advantage of to get access to those solutions.

When does an organization know it has successfully deployed a service-oriented deployment? The short answer is, you know you’re successful when your development groups use pre-defined services instead of creating their own. This is the Amazon model: customers start off using Amazon EC2 to stand up their own application server and database server but migrate over time to using other Amazon services. If you’re taking full advantage of the cloud, it will be easier to use the newly created model, and your customers will switch as well.

The future

In the future, it’ll be easier to gear services to specific business lines because we’ll see more private cloud providers offering these services prepackaged as part of their cloud solutions. You’ll be able to deploy a set of services in your cloud – with a set of APIs and documentation that allows you to take advantage of that. The aim is to take advantage of all the value that private cloud computing has to offer, and adopting a service-oriented approach is the most direct way to accomplish this goal.

By Peter Chadwick

Pete Chadwick is senior cloud solutions manager with SUSE, a provider of interoperable Linux and cloud infrastructure.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

One Response to Putting The Service Back In “as-a-Service”

  1. Is getting multiple groups accustomed to getting custom infrastructre – to agree on standard services – the defining problem of the cloud era?

Comic
When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

Evolution of Technologies To paraphrase science fiction author Arthur C. Clark, those who make predictions about the future are either “considered conservative now and mocked later, or mocked now and proved right when they are no longer around to enjoy the acclaim.” The one thing we can be sure about, Clark ventured, is that “[the…

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had completed a successful test flight of a solar-powered drone that it hopes will help it extend internet connectivity to every corner of the planet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in…

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

Tech Diversity It is well known that the technology industry has been dominated by men, but it is also clear that the industry is working to change that. Diversity in the tech industry, especially where it applies to women in tech, has been a topic of discussion for years. Recently the Washington Technology Industry Association…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Customizing Edutech Customized edtech learning solutions are becoming more commonplace as the education industry recognises their potential and begins transforming the traditional structures so as to incorporate innovative developments. From textbooks to tablets, chalkboards to virtual reality, edtech promises not only dynamic and exciting learning environments but better learning strategies and solutions. Virtual Reality and…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and…

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

The World of Data Science The nature of work and business in today’s super-connected world means that every second of every day, the world produces an astonishing amount of data. Consider some of these statistics; every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTube users upload over 72 hours of content, Apple…

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions. So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking,…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…