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Dave Jilk

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Top Stories by Dave Jilk

A leading cloud analyst recently told me that there are exactly two ways to operate software: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and on-premises. He said, "Either they run in the cloud and someone else takes full responsibility for the underlying physical infrastructure and system management (SaaS); or they run on your own equipment and you operate it yourself (on-prem)." I said, "Not so fast." To be sure, there are models where some of the administration is outsourced, such as shared hosting or managed services. But these approaches still leave the financial and management burden with the customer, so they are merely variants of on-premises application deployment. The public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model blurs the distinction between SaaS and on-premises. With IaaS, a company can remove itself completely from the financial and management aspects of operating t... (more)

The Transition from Virtual Appliances to Model-Driven Deployment

Virtual appliances are binary files representing the complete and fully configured state of a server. They are a popular approach to the deployment of application software in virtualized data centers as well as in public or private clouds, because once the "golden master" is created, deployment of that server state is fast, easy, and repeatable. However, there are significant disadvantages to the use of virtual appliances. Model-driven deployment is a new approach that largely eliminates these issues, better matches today's fast-moving, agile environments, and takes full advantag... (more)

Keys to the PaaSing Game: Multi-Tenancy

Whether SaaS, IaaS or PaaS, one of the central concepts of all layers of cloud computing is multi-tenancy. If there is no shared resource in a deployment, it's difficult to justify calling that deployment "cloud." Even NIST makes it more or less official within its formal definition of cloud computing, which reads, in part: Essential Characteristics: Resource pooling. The provider's computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. ... (more)

Ahead in the Cloud: 2012 Cloud Computing Predictions

Despite my shaky prediction performance in 2011, I'm going to try again. Last year, my best predictions were based on some sort of specialized knowledge or insight, and the worst came from looking into the macro environment and making guesses. So, this year's predictions emphasize the former approach, yet hopefully avoid sounding like claims such as "the market will fluctuate." 1. 2012 will be the Year of the Storefront in the cloud. Admittedly, this is a somewhat self-serving prediction, since Standing Cloud is (among other things) a storefront. But based on the variety of offerin... (more)

Web Application Lifecycle Maintenance

Like an automobile, a web application needs occasional maintenance and management over its life cycle. Although it doesn't need oil changes, it will probably need version upgrades. There may not be manufacturer recalls, but sometimes servers fail or hang. An application doesn't need to be washed and detailed, but it does need to be backed up. And both cars and applications need occasional performance tuning. This article provides a complete list of the system management functions that need to be performed on a standard architecture web application, with a particular emphasis on ... (more)