Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

The Cloud Computing Ecosphere: Main Companies and Applications Classified

The heart of the cloud is what some people call Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Markus Klems' Blog

In an attempt to better understand the nature of cloud computing I tried to draw a classification of some companies and applications that spawn in the cloud.

Three different cloud computing levels

Three different cloud computing levels

Infrastructure

The heart of the cloud is what some people call Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This is as near to bare metal as we can get: pure storage and compute capacity. With virtualization techniques it is packaged into small units that are delivered like water or electricity (notion of utility computing).

Platform as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service

Platforms

The next layer is Platform as a Service (PaaS). Here we find more complex platforms, such as Google App Engine or Salesforce.com AppExchange. Marc Andreessen, who coined the phrase “Web as Platform”, once wrote: “[a] platform is a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers — users — and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platform’s original developers could not have possibly contemplated, much less had time to accommodate. [...] If you can program it, then it’s a platform. If you can’t, then it’s not.” (Source)


Cloud Applications and Services

Platform as a Service

Although I would not consider Amazon EC2 or S3 to be a platform but rather IaaS, the elastic infrastructure provided by Amazon has enabled third-party developers to build platforms on top of it. I asked myself where in my diagram to put the other Amazon Web services (FPS, DevPay, etc.) but haven’t come up with a plausible place, yet. It should probably be somewhere between IaaS and PaaS.

Apps & Services

The outer layer of my onion is formed by all the applications and services that are built on top of either IaaS or PaaS. I am not satisfied with the outer layer. I feel that it needs further categorization, such as grouping by types of applications, e.g. Social Network Apps, Backup Services, and so on.

Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud Applications and Services

API

Each layer has a different set of APIs. Near to the core, developers have standard Web technologies and protocols to access and use the cloud. Further away from the core, levels of abstraction are added, making APIs more vendor-specific. On the application & service layer, we find a mix of standardized and less standardized APIs.

Cloud APIs

Cloud APIs

Suggestions?

I want to improve and extend my diagrams and find a more proper categorization of cloud vendors and services that sit on top of the cloud. What are your ideas and comments on this one? And another thing is: Would you consider firms that use IaaS, like Mosso and cohesiveFT, as PaaS vendors? How are they different from, say Joyent or FlexiScale?


[This analysis appeared originally here and is republished in full by the kind permission of the author.]


More Stories By Markus Klems

Markus Klems is a research assistant at Germany-based FZI Research Center for Information Technology. His main areas of interests are cloud computing, grids, distributed programming and agile Web development - the technological point of view as well as business models. He blogs at http://markusklems.wordpress.com/.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
InfoPoint 07/15/08 01:35:21 PM EDT

According to Gartner, cloud computing is not just a buzzword; it does have a distinct meaning separate from SaaS. Here is the link: http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=640707.

Brandon Grant 07/15/08 01:15:29 PM EDT

Is Cloud Computing really just SaaS by another name; what's the distinction? Where, if anywhere, does Service Oriented Architecture fit in?

Microservices Articles
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
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, ...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.