Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: VictorOps Blog, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Semantic Cloud Abstraction

What is the Semantic Web and why does it matter for a unified cloud interface?

The CCIF and it's members have recently focused on creating a common cloud taxonomy and ontology. I find it's starting to sound a lot like semantics, Cloud Semantics. We are in a sense defining what cloud computing is by describing it's "components" and their relationships to one another. One that is capable of expressing cloud computing and its subsequent parts in terms of a consensus data model.

So in this effort we may actually be defining a dynamic computing model that can, under certain conditions, be 'trained' to appropriately 'learn' the meaning of related cloud & infrastructure resources based on an common ontology / taxonomy. In a sense, we are talking about the Semantic Web applied to API's or more broadly, a unified cloud interface.

What is the Semantic Web and why does it matter for a unified cloud interface?

The Wikipedia describes the semantic web as "a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web."

Why not apply those same philosophies to the underlying control structures of the web (i.e. the cloud) itself? A Semantic Cloud Infrastructure capable of adapting to a variety of methodologies / architectures and completely agnostic to any specific API or platform being described. A general abstraction that doesn't care if you're focusing on a platform (Google App Engine, Salesforce, Mosso etc), application (SaaS, Web2.0, email, id/auth) or infrastructure model (EC2, Vmware, CIM, etc).

I'm the first to point out there are other groups attempting a similar approach for web services (i.e. Liberty Alliance), systems management (i.e. DMTF / CIM, OASIS) and others (i.e. OpenID/OAuth). However, I feel all of these groups lack a true consensus of how to describe "all" the aspects of the cloud using a unified semantic ontology.

I've been very impressed by the work the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) has achieved with their Common Information Model (CIM). It could be a key aspect of our unified cloud interface efforts. However, one of the problems a lot of these system management standards are missing is any kind of usage outside of the traditional "enterprise" system management platforms or in the case of VMWare or Microsoft, they are simply limited to their own platforms - interoperable, but only if you're using our software.

The key drivers of a unified cloud interface (UCI) is "One abstraction to Rule them All" - an API for other API's. A singular abstraction that can encompass the entire infrastructure stack as well as emerging cloud centric technologies through a unified interface. What a semantic model enables for UCI is a capability to bridge both cloud based API's such as Amazon Web Services with existing protocols and standards, regardless of the level of adoption of the underlying API's or technology. The goal is simple, develop your application once, deploy anywhere at anytime for any reason.

The other benefit of a semantic model is that of future proofing. Creating a model that assumes we as an industry are moving forward and not making any assumptions on the advancements in technology by implementing a static specification based on current technological limitations but instead creating one that can adapt as technology evolves.

The use of a resource description framework (RDF) based language may be an ideal method to describe our semantic cloud data model. The benefit to these types of RDF based ontology languages is they act as a general method for the conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented by actual web resources. These web resources could just as easily be "cloud resources" or API's. This approach will allow us to easily take an RDF-based cloud data model and adapt it within other ontology languages or web service formats making it both platform and vendor agnostic. In applying this approach we're not so much defining how, but instead describing what. What is cloud computing?

The next steps in enabling a unified future for cloud computing will be to create a working group focused on an open semantic taxonomy and framework. This group will investigate the development of a functional unified cloud interface implementation across several cloud and infrastructure providers. To this end, we have created a Google Code project at http://code.google.com/p/unifiedcloud/ The current time frame for the public unveiling of an initial functional draft UCI implementation, taxonomy and ontology will be April 2nd at the upcoming Wall Street Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum.

If you'd like to be a contributor to the UCI working group please get in touch with me directly. If you would like to be involved without joining the UCI Working Group, you are encouraged to review and comment on the working drafts as they become available. Updates will be posted to the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum mailing list. Feedback from people & companies actually implementing the specifications will be especially valuable and appreciated.

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Microservice architecture is fast becoming a go-to solution for enterprise applications, but it's not always easy to make the transition from an established, monolithic infrastructure. Lightweight and loosely coupled, building a set of microservices is arguably more difficult than building a monolithic application. However, once established, microservices offer a series of advantages over traditional architectures as deployment times become shorter and iterating becomes easier.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
What does “big enough” mean? It’s sometimes useful to argue by reductio ad absurdum. Hello, world doesn’t need to be broken down into smaller services. At the other extreme, building a monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just asking for trouble: it’s too big, and it needs to be decomposed.