Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, John Basso, Liz McMillan, Daniel Khan, Christopher Harrold

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Log Management

@CloudExpo: 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

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

@CloudExpo Stories
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Security, data privacy, reliability and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house client hosted environments to a cloud platform. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Vandana Viswanathan, Associate Director at Cognizant, In this session, will provide an orientation to the five stages required to implement a cloud hosted solution validation strategy.
UpGuard has become a member of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), and will continue to help businesses expand visibility into their cyber risk by providing hardening benchmarks to all customers. By incorporating these benchmarks, UpGuard's CSTAR solution builds on its lead in providing the most complete assessment of both internal and external cyber risk. CIS benchmarks are a widely accepted set of hardening guidelines that have been publicly available for years. Numerous solutions exist t...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.
Choosing the right cloud for your workloads is a balancing act that can cost your organization time, money and aggravation - unless you get it right the first time. Economics, speed, performance, accessibility, administrative needs and security all play a vital role in dictating your approach to the cloud. Without knowing the right questions to ask, you could wind up paying for capacity you'll never need or underestimating the resources required to run your applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...