Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Adrian Bridgwater

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, HP

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Computing Reference Architecture – Review of the Big Three

Blueprint for a cloud development and deployment model

Cloud Reference Architecture
Reference Architecture (RA) provides a blueprint of a to-be-model with a well-defined scope, the requirements it satisfies, and architectural decisions it realizes. By delivering best practices in a standardized, methodical way, an RA ensures consistency and quality across development and delivery projects.

Major players in the cloud computing field are:

  • Hewlett Packard
  • IBM
  • Microsoft (Unlike HP, IBM Microsoft's Cloud Reference Architecture is specific to HYPER-V )

They have created their reference architecture for cloud computing. This should be a very happy news for enterprise adoption as we have blueprints from the industry leaders.  We strive to analyze their reference architecture on how they view the blueprint of a cloud model.

The intention at this time, not to give any opinion on which is better, it is more of a understanding of their point of view.

For the rest of the article, Cloud Computing Reference Architecture is mentioned as (CCRA).

All the materials discussed in this article are taken from the publically available content (Google Search) of the respective vendors.

Service Consumer in CCRA
IBM:
Cloud Service Consumer or Client is viewed as ‘In House IT' who can use an array of Cloud integration tools to get the desired business capability. This could be individuals within the enterprise too, however the ‘In house IT' could be a general collection of all of them.

HP: Cloud Service Consumer is represented in ‘Demand' layer of CCRA. However the demand layer covers more than the consumer, but also service catalog, portal access for provision of services. The service provider plays a important role in the Demand layer too, as provider is the one who makes services available as Configure to Order through an automated service system.

Microsoft: The tenant/user self-service layer provides an interface for Hyper-V cloud tenants or authorized users to request, manage, and access services, such as VMs, that are provided by the Hyper-V cloud architecture.

Service Provider in CCRA
IBM:
Providers are the ones, who deliver the  Cloud Services to the  clients.  They consist of basic models:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service
  • Platform-as-a-Service
  • Software-as-a-Service
  • Business-Process-as-a-Service

The providers are also inclusive of existing third-party services and partner eco systems.

HP: Service Providers play their role in both ‘Demand', ‘Deliver' layers of CCRA. In the delivery layer, Service Providers intelligently orchestrates the configuration and activation of services and schedules for the provisioning of the necessary resources by aggregating data from the service configuration model.

Microsoft: Taking a service provider's perspective toward delivering infrastructure transforms the IT approach. If infrastructure is provided as a service, IT can use a shared resource model that makes it possible to achieve economies of scale. This, combined with the other principles, helps the organization to realize greater agility at lower cost. As evident this Reference Architecture concentrates more on IaaS delivery.

Service Creator in CCRA
IBM:
Service creator are the ones who use service development tools to develop new cloud services. This includes both the development of runtime artifacts and management-related aspects (e.g., monitoring, metering, provisioning, etc.). "Runtime artifacts" refers to any capability needed for running what is delivered as-a-service by a cloud deployment. Examples are JEE enterprise applications, database schemas, analytics, golden master virtual machine images, etc.

HP: Service creator plays a role in ‘ Supply Layer' which functions as the dynamic resource governor that integrates a dynamic and mixed work load utility function across a heterogeneous environment with a model based orchestration system to optimize the supply of resources to fulfill the delivery of service requests. Again there are templates and tools that support the Service Creator in ‘Supply Layer'.

Microsoft: The orchestration layer must provide the ability to design, test, implement, and monitor these IT workflows. The orchestration layer is the critical interface between the IT organization and its infrastructure and transforms intent into workflow and automation.

Infrastructure in CCRA
IBM:
"Infrastructure" represents all infrastructure elements needed on the cloud service provider side, which are needed to provide cloud services. This includes facilities, server, storage, and network resources, how these resources are wired up, placed within a data center, etc. The infrastructure element is purely scoped to the hardware infrastructure.

HP: "Infrastructure" layer is abstracted behind the ‘Supply Layer' and consists of power & cooling, servers , storage, network, Software, information and other external cloud.

Microsoft: "Infrastructure" layer covers, Servers, Storage, Networking, Virtualization.

Management Platform in CCRA
IBM:
Cloud management platform consists of Operational Support Services (OSS) and Business Support Services (BSS).

Business Support Services represents the set of business-related services exposed by the Cloud platform, which are needed by Cloud Service Creators to implement a cloud service. Some of them being:

  • Customer Account Management
  • Service Catalog Offering
  • Pricing/Billing/Metering
  • Accounts Receivable and Payable

Operational Support Services represents the set of operational management / technical-related services exposed by the cloud platform, which are needed by Cloud Service Creators to implement a cloud service. Some of them being

  • Provisioning
  • Incident and Problem Management
  • Image Life Cycle Management
  • Platform and Virtualization Management

HP: Aspects of Cloud Management,  cuts across all the layers of CCRA below are some of the management aspects taken care in each layer (this is not the exhaustive list):

Demand Layer

  • User Access Management
  • Service Offer Management

Delivery Layer

  • Billing and Rating
  • Request Processing & Activation

Supply Layer

  • Usage Metering
  • Dynamic Work Load Management

Microsoft: The management layer consists of the tools and systems that are utilized to deploy and operate the infrastructure. In most cases, this consists of a variety of toolsets for managing hardware, software, and applications. Ideally, all components of the management system would use the automation layer and not introduce their own protocols, scripting languages, or other technologies, because this increases complexity and may require additional staff expertise.

Qos (Quality of Service) in CCRA
IBM:
Security, Resiliency, Performance & Consumability are cross-cutting aspects on QoS spanning the hardware infrastructure and Cloud Services. These non-functional aspects must be viewed from an end-to-end perspective including the structure of CCRA by itself, the way the hardware infrastructure is set up (e.g., in terms of isolation, network zoning setup, data center setup for disaster recovery, etc.) and how the cloud services are implemented. The major aspects of QoS being

  • Threat and Vulnerability Management
  • Data Protection
  • Availability & Continuity Management
  • Ease of doing business
  • Simplified Operations

HP: Much like Cloud Management QoS in CCRA cuts across all the layers of CCRA.

Demand Layer

  • Quality Of Experience
  • SLA Compliance

Delivery Layer

  • Quality Of Service

Supply Layer

  • Resource Monitoring and Dynamic allocation

Microsoft: The service management layer provides the means for automating and adapting IT service management best practices.

Summary

Availability of a Reference Architecture by the three leading industry pioneers is a good sign for the enterprises to adopt Cloud Computing based delivery model. As we have seen there is a fair amount of similarities in between which should pave the way for inter-operability and avoid vendor lock in with the cloud applications. The following diagram summarizes the common building blocks in the reference architecture published by the big 3. We also find the Microsoft Reference Architecture covers more physical aspects of a cloud platform.

References

IBM Presentation : Building Your Cloud Using IBM Cloud Computing Reference Architecture

HP Cloud Reference Architecture - HP Software Universe 2010 - Presentation on Slide Share

Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Reference Architecture White Paper

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

I am passionate about ownership and driving things on my own, with my breadth and depth on Enterprise Technology I could run any aspect of IT Industry and make it a success. I am a Seasoned Enterprise IT Expert, mainly in the areas of Solution,Integration and Architecture, across Structured, Unstructured data sources, especially in manufacturing domain. My recent work is on Natural Language Processing, Semantic Enrichment of Unstructured Data, Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. However I have a strong footing across all tiers of Enterprise IT spectrum. I am geared to handle the massive flow of data by Internet Of Things with appropriate platform, tools and processes.

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Expo, Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder at Aria Systems and the inventor of cloud billing panelists, will lead a panel discussion on what it takes to launch and manage a successful recurring revenue business. The panelists will offer their insights about what each department will need to consider, from financial management to line of business and IT. The panelists will also offer examples from their success in recurring revenue with companies such as Audi, Constant Contact, Experian, Pitney-Bowes, Teleko...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your development arsenal and pick up a few strategies to apply to your own projects.
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the right cloud model can help your business economically overcome the data struggle.
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every application transaction.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic institutions across the United States and Canada. TechXtend is the Exclusive Reseller in the United States for r-evolution