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Achieving Application Portability for #DevOps By @Scality | @DevOpsSummit

Highly productive DevOps environments will require access to self-service infrastructure and application provisioning

Enterprise applications are increasing in complexity, with multi-tier and distributed applications being the new standards for dealing with high-volume, high-scale requirements. In many development environments, the ideal scenario is to enable DevOps teams to manage dev/test environments in public clouds, with on-demand, usage based billing model - and to ultimately deploy these complex applications in on-premises clouds. Achieving application portability between heterogeneous cloud environments is critical to achieve the productivity goals of DevOps - yet often requires time-consuming workarounds. This article will present examples of approaches employed today, including newer options for model-driven cloud management platforms with their emphasis on automating application portability and approach to eliminating cloud lock-in.

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Introduction: The Evolution of Cloud Development
The cloud model has evolved quickly over the course of the last few years from simple on-demand infrastructure (IaaS) services to richer environments that provide agile development capabilities for new applications. DevOps is a methodology that describes the integration and collaboration of software developers and IT professionals. The goal is more rapid software delivery, and it therefore ties in strongly to the agile development methodology that has been embraced by companies delivering software applications for virtual computing and the cloud.

The need for instant and on-demand server provisioning has been a main driving force behind the massive growth of cloud services. Public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services EC2, The Rackspace Cloud and others have become primary targets for application developers who need the rapid build up and tear down provided by these environments to enable rapid development, test and QA of new applications.

A key new requirement to make DevOps succeed for enterprise applications is portability between clouds. This provides DevOps with the freedom to select the optimal cloud environment to maximize developer productivity - yet preserve the option to deploy these apps in alternate public or private clouds when it's time for production operations that meet all IT mandated security, availability and compliance requirements.

Workload Portability for DevOps
The iterative process of making code changes and testing can be best performed in agile environments that provide fast provisioning, and low-cost. In many cases, public cloud environments are often the most productive application dev/test environments, but a private cloud may offer a better production deployment environment.

Therefore, for DevOps to succeed, an ideal world would enable total portability of application Workloads, to achieve two parallel goals:

  1. Allow developers to work in the most agile and cost-effective dev/test environment they choose
  2. Allow applications to run in the most secure, high-performance and reliable cloud available

These goals are often at odds, since a public cloud service may offer the key cost and agility advantages for DevOps, but a private cloud may achieve higher levels of security, performance and uptime.

Enterprise Apps Moving to the Cloud
Early cloud development was focused on simple apps - the obvious first candidates for deployment in this environment were web servers, content management systems (CMS), and simple databases. Many of these apps are simple software stacks hosted on single virtual servers, or perhaps a pair of active/passive servers for higher availability. While many of these apps can be considered important, and enablers for their businesses - in most cases they were not the mission-critical enterprise applications we so often refer to when discussing corporate operations such as ERP, accounting and manufacturing.

Some major online portals and social media providers have leapfrogged mainstream business IT by embracing cloud deployments for much more complex applications. With the need to serve many millions of users, for many of these companies, the cloud was the only answer to their level of expected scale. In truth - many built their own on-demand infrastructures to service their unique needs. But many others have indeed selected and deployed their entire scalable infrastructures in the world of household public cloud services such as Google and Amazon. The online world has demonstrated that indeed the cloud can deliver on its promise of scale and availability, and that the enterprise can leverage the cloud model - as long as cloud flexibility is preserved

Complexity Increases: Multi-Tier and Distributed Enterprise Applications
Modern enterprise data-center applications are inherently more complex than the simple server stacks deployed in the early stages of the cloud. They typically consist of multiple virtual servers and different application packages arranged into multiple server tiers or as a scale-out, distributed architecture. On top of their multi-server architectures, these applications require access to shared resources such as load balancers and firewalls for security.

These multi-tier applications also have complex relationships that must be carefully configured and managed each time the application is deployed. Such metadata describes the inter-dependencies and connections between the various application components, for example, the relationship between application servers and databases, or master and slave nodes, is pivotal to define and track - to maintain consistency of the application as a whole.

It's easy to see that deploying these multi-tier enterprise "Workloads" is a very different task than deploying simple web servers. Developers will frequently iterate on this process of standing up and then tearing down these complex Workloads - obviously a time-consuming and error-prone endeavor, that can impact the benefits and goal of the whole agile development process.

The need for simplified, automated application deployment and portability to help DevOps seems very clear, but most of today's environments make it difficult to achieve. Many cloud application environments create lock-in, specifically Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services often offer fixed development stacks that are functional only on the cloud provided by the service provider, completing eliminating portability.

Model-Driven Application Management Solutions for DevOps
This calls for solutions that can address the application lifecycle management problem of dynamically tracking application components as they evolve from dev/test to production. One such approach involves the use of standardized containers of software called server templates (or machine images in the parlance of some clouds). These describe a software stack consisting of an operating system, application packages and associated scripts. Server templates can be used to "instantiate" or provision a server in the cloud by laying down the desired software image. Since server templates are static - they can lock down a well-known version of a server, down to all its configuration details. In many cases, templates are specifically tied to the cloud they target - since they must contain a compatible OS image. Unless the template is specifically designed to be "multi-cloud" friendly, this can impact the portability of the overall application Workload to other clouds.

Another approach for accelerating DevOps is represented by Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, which provide distinct advantages for DevOps including well-integrated developer tools, utilities and application libraries. As a service from a single vendor, however, the limitations often include limited support for external software stacks, and runtime support only for the integrated cloud provided by the PaaS vendor itself.

A newer class of solutions is emerging that leverage a data model-driven approach to automate the process of provisioning and managing Workloads, but also enabling portability across multiple clouds. With a goal of completely automating the process, a model-driven approach uses a process to capture and assemble a virtual representation of the entire application Workload. This virtual application data-model captures deep knowledge of all aspects of the Workload: the virtual servers, application packages (and dependent packages such as Java or PHP), configuration files, as well as the metadata describing the inter-dependencies between these elements.

These platforms use the data-model to maintain a consistent image of the entire Workload that can then be used to automatically deploy the Workload on to any cloud target. They perform software installations in "real-time" using the data model as a map - that instructs the system on what packages to download and install dynamically during the provisioning process. This provides not only simple deployment of complex Workloads, but intrinsically provides portability of Workloads across public to private clouds, or any combination of the two. This enables DevOps to preserve their freedom of choice by enabling development and test in a low-cost, agile public cloud environment such as AWS, but potentially deploy the production Workload into a secure, high-performance private cloud based on technologies such as Citrix CloudPlatform (Apache CloudStack), VMware vCloud Director or OpenStack.

Appcara's AppStack is an example of such an application model-driven platform. It provides a patent-pending Configuration Repository that is used to capture and assemble complex application Workloads in real-time, as the user defines them through an easy to use portal. It is also capable of dynamically tracking and reflecting changes in the relationships and dependencies of the application, and to do so automatically as users make changes through the Portal. AppStack provides complete application portability across more than a dozen public and private infrastructure clouds. This allows applications to be deployed as a "one-click" operation into a choice of public or private cloud targets, as required to deliver on the DevOps promise of agility and accelerated time-to-market.

Highly productive DevOps environments will require access to self-service infrastructure and application provisioning. The bad news is that this is highly challenging to accomplish with complex applications, where portability that preserves the essential metadata and complex interrelationships takes time to hand-code. The good news is that technology options are now available to remove previous manual effort, and vastly streamline application portability.

DevOps: Disruptive but Essential in a Cloud Computing Universe

The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.

The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo--to be held November 4-6 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley--will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike. Recent research has shown that DevOps dramatically reduces development time, the amount of enterprise IT professionals put out fires, and support time generally. Time spent on infrastructure development is significantly increased, and DevOps practitioners report more software releases and higher quality.

DevOps Summit content doubled from a single track in New York to two simultaneous tracks: "Dev" Developer Focus and "Ops" Operations Focus.

Join DevOps Summit Chair Andi Mann and Host Alan Shimel, November 4-6 for three days of intense DevOps discussion and focus.

We'll see you in Santa Clara! See you in November!

DevOps Summit Conference Schedule Announced! ▸ Here

Register For DevOps Summit "FREE" (limited time) ▸ Here

Website: DevOps Summit

Twitter: @DevOpsSummit

Bookmark "DevOps Journal" ▸ here

@DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley (November 4-6, 2014, Santa Clara, CA)
@DevOPsSummit New York (June 9-11, 2015, New York, NY)

DevOps Summit New York 2015 Call for Papers Now Open

Call for Papers will remain open through December 31, 2014. DevOps Summit New York 2015 will take place June 9-11, at the Javits Center, in New York City. Tracks and topics for DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo are listed below. Submit your speaking proposals here DevOps Summit Call for Papers

  • Application delivery
  • ROI and business value
  • Site reliability
  • Continuous delivery
  • Kanban, Scrum, and Agile
  • Continuous integration
  • Release scalability
  • Continuous release
  • Service virtualization
  • Operational monitoring
  • Capacity management
  • Load testing
  • Quality assurance
  • Manager and exec support
  • Release automation
  • Cultural change
  • Breaking down IT silos
  • Cloud development
  • Cloud platforms
  • Test automation
  • Teaming
  • Application security
  • API management
  • Identity and access
  • Audit and control
  • DevOps and ITIL, ISO, Six Sigma, COBIT
  • Mobile DevOps
  • DevOps for legacy systems
  • Software-defined servers
  • Network automation
  • Server automation
  • Configuration automation
  • Continuous support
  • DevOps anti-patterns
  • Enterprise DevOps
  • DevOps system architecture
  • IT orchestration
  • Containerization
  • DevOps skills and training
  • WebOps, CloudOps, ChatOps, NoOps
  • Change management

Video Highlights From DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo New York

While there are many ways to define DevOps, the goal of the concept is to be able to deliver IT solutions faster, leveraging several technology tools to add value for business. Cloud companies have demonstrated how they can manage massive pools of IT infrastructure, giving the developer a very flexible resource pool that they can leverage and IT is eager to do the same.


Is DevOps Really Changing How IT Is Working?

In this Power Panel at 2nd DevOps Summit moderated by Cloud Expo Tech Chair Larry Carvalho, Bernard Golden, VP, Strategy at ActiveState; Andi Mann, VP of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies; John Willis, VP of Customer Enablement at Stateless Networks; Randy Bias, Co-Founder and CTO of Cloudscaling; and Vasu Sankhavaram, Chief Strategist of DevOps and Cross Portfolio Architecture Alignment within HP Software, discuss this movement that is delivering frictionless IT to the enterprise.


DevOps and Security

From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results. In this DevOps Summit Power Panel (http://DevOpsSummit.SYS-CON.com/) on June 9 at our New York City studio, moderated by Andi Mann, DevOps Summit conference chair and VP of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, John Willis, VP of Customer Enablement for Stateless Networks; JP Morgenthal, Director, Cloud Computing Practice at Perficient, Inc.; Vanessa Alvarez, Cloud Expo Conference Chair and Marketing Team at Amazon; and Gordon Haff, Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat; discussed how security needs to be embraced and brought into the DevOps movement.


Is DevOps Changing Enterprise IT?

Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. In this DevOps Summit Power Panel on June 9 at our New York City studio, moderated by Andi Mann, DevOps Summit conference chair and VP of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, JP Morgenthal, Director of Cloud Computing Practice at Perficient, Inc., Gordon Haff, Cloud Evangelist at Red Hat; Larry Carvalho, Cloud Expo Tech Chair and Research Manager & Lead Analyst, Platform as a Service at IDC; and John Willis, VP of Customer Enablement for Stateless Networks; discussed how DevOps is changing the way IT works, how businesses interact with customers, and how organizations are buying, building, and delivering software.

Schedule for 15th @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo and @ThingsExpo

Are you ready to put your data in the cloud?

What is the future of security in the cloud?

Does Docker quickly advance the development of an IoT application?

What are the implications of Moore's Law on Hadoop deployments?

Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 15th Cloud Expo, November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. The Cloud ExpoBig Data Expo@ThingsExpoDevOps Summitprograms are now available for you to inspect and investigate in advance.

Our upcoming November 4-6 event in Santa Clara, California will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks by an all-star faculty, over three days, plus a two-day "Cloud Computing Bootcamp" presented by Janakiram MSV, an Analyst with the Gigaom Research analyst network, where he covers the Cloud Services landscape.

Cloud and Big Data topics and tracks include: Enterprise Cloud AdoptionAPM & Cloud Computing | Hot TopicsCloud APIs & BusinessCloud Security | MobilityBig Data | Analytics.

@ThingsExpo content tripled from a single track in New York to three simultaneous tracks: Consumer IoTEnterprise IoTIoT Developer | WebRTC Convergence.

Schedule for Cloud Expo / Big Data Expo / @ThingsExpo ▸ Here

Now that we have published the full conference schedule, please check back for daily updates as we finalize new session abstracts by working with our distinguished faculty members. For your questions please contact us at events (at) sys-con.com. Last but not least we will announce our keynotes on the hottest subjects to be delivered by world-class speakers!

The largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world has announced "sponsorship opportunities" and "call for papers."

The 1st International Internet of @ThingsExpo was launched this June at the Javits Center in New York City with over 6,000 delegates in attendance. The 2nd International Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, with an estimated 7,000 plus delegates attending over three days.

@ThingsExpo is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world. In 2014, more than 200 companies will be present on the @ThingsExpo show floor, including global players and the hottest new technology pioneers.

Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities for @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley and New York Are Now Available
Sponsors and exhibitors of Internet of @DevOpsSummit will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology publications
  • Capitalize on our comprehensive marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial coverage on IoT.sys-con.com, Tweets to our 75,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 combined analysts and press members who attended Internet of @ThingsExpo - making it the best-covered "Internet of Things" conference in the world

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021. Book both events for additional savings!

@DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley (November 4-6, 2014, Santa Clara, CA)
@DevOPsSummit New York (June 9-11, 2015, New York, NY)

Secure Your VIP Pass to Attend @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. The onsite registration price of $600 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer period.

To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code and secure their registration to attend all keynotes and general sessions, as well as a limited number of technical sessions each day of the show, in addition to full access to the expo floor.

The registration page is located here.


@ThingsExpo New York 2015 'Call for Papers' Now Open
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York announces that its 'Call for Papers' is now open. The event will feature a world class, all-star faculty with the hottest IoT topics covered in three distinct tracks.

 

Track 1 - Consumer IoT and Wearables: Smart Appliances, Wearables, Smart Cars, Smartphones 2.0, Smart Travel, Personal Fitness, Health Care, Personalized Marketing, Customized Shopping, Personal Finance, The Digital Divide, Mobile Cash & Markets, Games & the IoT, The Future of Education, Virtual Reality

Track 2 - Enterprise IoT: The Business Case for IoT, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Transportation, The Smart Home, M2M, Authentication/Security, Wiring the IoT, The Internet of Everything, Digital Transformation of Enterprise IT, Agriculture, Transportation, Manufacturing, Local & State Government, Federal Government

Track 3 -  Developer IoT: WebRTC, Eclipse Foundation, Cloud Foundry, Docker & Linux Containers, Node-Red, Open Source Hardware, Leveraging SOA, Multi-Cloud IoT, Evolving Standards, WebSockets, Security & Privacy Protocols, GPS & Proximity Services, Bluetooth/RFID/etc., XMPP, Nest Labs


@ThingsExpo billboard is viewed by more than 1.3 million motorists per week on Highway 101, in the heart of Silicon Valley

Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is the Internet of Things: Submit your speaking proposal today here!

Download @ThingsExpo Newsletter Today ▸ Here

Chris Matthieu Named @ThingsExpo Tech Chair

Internet of @ThingsExpo named Chris Matthieu tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley.

Chris Matthieu has two decades of telecom and web experience. He launched his Teleku cloud communications-as-a-service platform at eComm in 2010, which was acquired by Voxeo. Next he built an open source Node.JS PaaS called Nodester, which was acquired by AppFog. His latest startups include Twelephone. Leveraging HTML5 and WebRTC, Twelephone's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to become the next generation telecom company running in the Web browser. Chris is currently co-founder and CTO of Octoblu.

Website: http://www.ThingsExpo.com

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/ThingsExpo

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among othersCloud Expo® (CloudComputingExpo.com@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo (BigDataExpo.net@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (DevOpsSummit.sys-con.com@DevOpsSummit),  Internet of @ThingsExpo (ThingsExpo.com@ThingsExpo) and Cloud Computing Bootcamp (CloudComputingBootcamp.com).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Paul Speciale

Paul Speciale is chief marketing officer for Appcara, provider of a model-based cloud application platform. He has over 20 years of experience in assisting cloud, storage and data management technology companies as well as cloud service providers to address rapidly expanding Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Big Data sectors.

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