On becoming Serverless, and what the heck is the Cloud anyways? – Part 1

For the past year, I have been wrestling with Cloud Technologies, trying to understand and put it in practice, but the right way, and what is the right way? You may ask. Cloud is designed to change the vision of how traditional infrastructures are created. Cloud shares a vision of multi-tenancy, elasticity, and scalability. And why not? Major Cloud providers design these solutions to make technology more streamlined and easy to consume.

What is a Traditional Application in a Traditional Data Center?

So when talking about infrastructure, traditional applications, and how everything is laid out at the Data Center, many things come to mind. But one thing that will persist and will be consistent is the applications that run the businesses.

For example, a Business application could have the following components:

Front End –> What the Customers/users see ** Web Tier
Back End –> The application, or the code that runs to show the application and basically what sticks everything together ** Application Tier
DataBase –> If your web application is dynamic and not only Static, it will have a DataBase ** DB Tier
Storage –> Media Files like images and all the elements of the code, also where all the applications that are used to build the application or website are installed

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The previous list is not a finite list of how all applications are created or structured, but it helps provide an idea.

But before I forget, let me tell you, all those components don’t run out in thin air or a vacuum. It is worth mentioning the actual physical infrastructure is also important and  will be made out of the following components:

  • Physical Servers –> Where you use to install all the tools that make the application run
  • Storage Appliances –> Performance is key and having a dedicated Storage appliance is very important.
  • Internet Connectivity –> This is where your Firewall is located, which is what helps your application be presented to the wild internet
  • Network Connectivity –> This is what helps connect your servers with your Storage, Virtualization Manager, the firewall, and so on

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Why may Traditional Infrastructure not be a fit for today’s organizations?

There are many reasons why you may not like to implement an entire infrastructure from scratch, which you are not 100% you will use at capacity. Or maybe you will think that the capacity may be a limitation, so you plan for more growth than what you need.

You will have to involve a large roster of Consultants from Networking, Security, Web Development, Database Administration, and the list goes on and on. Now imagine if you are a new company, with limited resources, with multiple ideas, and not enough time or working capital to hire experts (I know I have been there)?. The reasons are endless, and it all comes to the efficient use of resources.

Why Cloud Makes Sense?

Because with just the ability to implement an application, without the upfront capital investment is a big enough reason to jump on the cloud wagon. Again, Cloud may not be for everybody, and that is ok because many businesses work completely differently. For example, a company that prefers to operate on Capital investments rather than Operational expenditures.

What does the Cloud do for my Applications?

From the idea that the Cloud is there to help us, the help comes in many shapes and forms, depending on business requirements, or as you may hear of them as business drivers or business outcomes.

  • Reducing Cost
  • Grow at Scale with the Business
  • Be resilient
  • Provide excellent service
  • Be more available

And these business drivers come at a cost, but again, didn’t I mention earlier that the cloud it’s cheaper? NO, I didn’t – Fancy terms as the previous ones I mentioned have a cost. This is why a lift and shift of your applications is not the recommended approach.

How to become Serverless?

While readying multiple posts and researching more on this particular need, I noticed that there are tons of content – Cloud-Native Tools are services offered by your Cloud Providers, or basically they are the same infrastructure we mentioned above but not managed by you – how does that sound?

What to look forward to?

Cloud conversations are happening everywhere, at any level, and it’s fun – There will be a part 2 of this post where I will be listing Native Services by Cloud Provider. I hope this helps you on your Cloud Journey

In the next post we discuss:
Cloud-Native Tools by:
Amazon Web Services
Google Cloud Platform
Microsoft’s Azure

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
Started working professionally in 2003, Andres is specialized in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies | Enterprise Networks and Network Security. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations, including Cisco technologies, such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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