Amazon says cloud computing is an indispensable enabler of seven important computing transformations. We hype-test the promises with a few reality checks.
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It's a given that computer systems fail, so computer scientists have known for years that the way to mitigate risk is to rely on highly distributed, fault-tolerant architectures. But it's easier said than done running all those servers and networks and synchronizing redundant, geographically isolated data centers. With cloud computing, running on reliable, distributed systems "becomes relatively easy," asserted Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels.
It's obvious that tapping into a distributed cloud service is easier than building one from scratch. In Amazon's case, you can spread your deployment across eight global regions, each with multiple Availability Zones, and, within Availability Zones, multiple data centers, each located on separate seismic plates and running on separate power grids. Amazon runs distributed services--including Simple Storage Service (S3), DynamoDB NoSQL database service, and the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)--across multiple availability zones. It also offers distributed Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) processing power and administrative services including Simple Workflow Service (SWF), Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Simple Notification Service (SNS).
Plenty of other cloud vendors have globally distributed architectures, but AWS has a 59% share of the infrastructure-as-a-service market, according to The 451 Group, so its advantages in scale should, in theory, translate to higher levels of overall capacity, scalability, system distribution, and redundancy.
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application ManagementEnterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.