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Cloud application development and Traditional Application Architecture
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Published on July 30, 2012
 
The cloud has proved to be of much value to the IT industry. However, most analysts are of the opinion that it can be a double-edged sword too.

Cloud application development and Traditional Application Architecture

The cloud ranges from the on-demand availability of enterprise-class infrastructure through IaaS, SaaS and PaaS. Writing applications for the cloud is not as easy as it seems and requires sophisticated control and knowledge about traditional application architectures. Some aspects of programming which made sense before the cloud era now do not make sense. There are a few programming problems in the cloud which, if not understood well, might lead to disastrous results.

The cloud application development is public in nature and enterprises are adopting semantics privately for more storage and applications to be consumed by internal users of an organization. One must have a robust framework in place for an internal and external cloud. One can avoid cloud blunders for providing a strong foundation for all those involved in managing cloud applications.

Use of traditional application architectures: Traditional application architectures are incompatible with the cloud. The cloud can be used to host them and even inherit the qualities of deployment and management value. There is fantastic elastic capacity in the cloud. To create apps for the cloud, it is essential that pre-cloud application architectures are arranged with fixed servers and a tough configuration. It is important to leverage a dynamic infrastructure environment and high availability. Most cloud platforms are shared in nature and virtual. They might lack reliability sometimes. Traditional development practices come with more rigidity in their approach and expectations and hence it is not feasible for working around them.

Excessive costing involved due incorrect architecture decisions: In the development of non-cloud applications, if the written code is inefficient and the architectural patterns denote a costly infrastructure, customers would have to spend much more. While developing for the cloud,one needs to be responsible for operating the cloud application for customers. Inefficiency is a strict no-no since it will have a direct impact on the overall costing. A number of companies have cloud business which is worth hundreds of millions due to the right architectural decisions which included cloud as a single instance, multi-tenancy architecture. The cloud is not inherently cheaper than any of the traditional datacenters but the overall flexibility as well as the pricing structure uses innovation to be cost-effective.

Relies on human sense rather than automated workflows: Cloud apps allows one to tap into incredible flexibility. But the flexibility is extended to human sense as in the real world but that does not make any sense in a virtual world. All fundamental operating workflows including provisioning new business units, change of price-points and modifications of entitlements along with application upgrades need to be automated. Critical workflows of high importance need true interoperability. Manually driven operating work flows are sure to set up inefficient standards leaving the cloud's value on the table and increasing disadvantages.

Ignorance of operational lock-in risk: Cloud offerings usually consist of a holistic stack. The APIs and infrastructure patterns follow a certain route and adequate attention needs to be paid to lock-in risk. Making an R&D decision about the cloud stack to use is quite different to operating and hosting environment.