Category: Architecture

ArchitectureInfrastructure

Polynimbus is the future of the cloud

There’s so much competition in the cloud computing space. According to Forbes, the Cloud Providers at the top in the current “Cloud War” are Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM, followed by many other players in the industry. This battle is made up of these major corporations spending Billion or Trillions of dollars investing in cloud innovation and advancement. While each of these companies would like to be the victor and win the “Cloud War”; it’s probably best for everyone that there is no clear “winner” in the end.

Polynimbus Strategy

Polynimbus is the term used to refer to the strategy of an organization utilizing multiple Cloud Providers. Polynimbus is also referred to as “Multi-Cloud”. This enables organizations to utilize the best features and pricing of each cloud provider for different solutions where they fit the solutions, data, and workload best. This is an extremely common pattern in use by all major corporations as they migrate to the Cloud to replace their on-premises datacenters.

Polynimbus Cloud Strategy: A cloud computing strategy that involves multiple Cloud Providers / Vendors.

Polynimbus is not just a great strategy to gain the benefits and features of multiple Cloud Providers within a single organization, but it’s something that benefits the technology industry in many other ways too.

Benefits of Polynimbus for the Enterprise

There are a number of benefits that a Polynimbus cloud strategy brings. These benefits range from effecting a single organization, all the way to effecting the entire Internet.

Here’s a list of the most notable benefits that a Polynimbus strategy brings to an individual organizations overall cloud strategy:

  • Time to Market – Services and Feature comparison and trade-offs are able to be made to choose the best cloud provider for deploying, hosting, and managing solutions in regards to cloud capabilities, and Developer/IT Pro ramp up curve and time to market.
  • Cost Optimization – Cost comparisons and trade-offs are able to be made to choose the best cloud provider for deploying, hosting, and managing solutions in regards to hosting cost and budgets.
  • Integration Between Clouds – While most applications and systems will be most appropriately hosted utilizing a single Cloud Provider for that single system, there are times where it may be appropriate to utilize services and features across multiple clouds to best build, deploy, and manage that single system.

The above benefits of Polynimbus may sound a bit simple, but they are pretty broad reaching in their effect on an organization. The benefits factor into some major implications to the future of the solutions hosted, as well as the overall cloud strategy an organization is adopting.

Benefits of Polynimbus for the World

The overall Internet and technology industry benefits of Polynimbus Here’s a list of the most notable benefits that a Polynimbus strategy brings to the Internet, the overall technology industry, and beyond:

  • Decentralized / Distribution of Control –  While each Cloud Provider does implement multiple data centers that are geo-distributed around the world, they are still owned an operated by that single corporation that controls that particular Cloud Provider platform and ecosystem. The best design the Internet has come up with is to build the DNS system as a distributed system spread all across the world. This same strategy is probably best for Cloud Computing as well, so that no single entity is in control of the entire Cloud. This is one benefit that comes from the competitive nature of the current state of the cloud.
  • Competition – Just all other industries benefit from competition, the technology industry benefits too. Having multiple players in the Cloud Provider space increases the amount of competition between players. With this increased competition comes an increase the the variety and push for innovation across the different Cloud Computing platforms being offered. If you look at the history between Microsoft and Amazon (for example) you’ll see they’ve been leap frogging each other on Cloud features and capabilities over the years. This offers great variety and innovation for all companies to take advantage of regardless of the Cloud Provider they’re using.

A Polynimbus Future

Just about every organization adopting the Cloud, as well as migrating their on-premises or co-lo hosted data centers to the Cloud, are adopting a Polynimbus Strategy involving multiple Cloud Providers. They might only be adoption a single Cloud Provider, such as Microsoft Azure, at first. However, down the line the pattern in the industry is showing that corporations are adopting multiple Cloud Providers.

Just about every organization adopting the Cloud, as well as migrating their on-premises or co-lo hosted data centers to the Cloud, are adopting a Polynimbus Strategy involving multiple Cloud Providers.

One such example of a major corporation utilizing a Polynimbus Strategy is that of Apple. For a long time Apple was utilizing both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure to host the backend of its iCloud service. More recently, there’s been indication that Apple may not be using Microsoft Azure anymore, as they may have migrated to using a combination of Amazon AWS and Google Cloud instead.

It can be extremely beneficial to utilize a Polynimbus Strategy, as well as a Hybrid-Cloud Strategy that still make use of the on-premises data center investments where they make sense. Going all in on any specific technology or platform is generally not the best approach to building out any solution. It’s best to choose the right tool for the job at hand, and to utilize multiple tools to truly customize the solution to fit the need and requirements in the best possible way.

It can be extremely beneficial to utilize a Polynimbus Strategy, as well as a Hybrid-Cloud Strategy that still make use of the on-premises data center investments where they make sense.

If you have any suggestions on designing a Polynimbus Strategy, Hybrid-Cloud Strategy, or Both, please post them in the comments. I’m sure everyone joins me in their eagerness to hear the communities suggestions on what to keep in mind when designing your organizations Polynimbus and Hybrid Cloud strategies.

History Fact: The term “Polynimbus” used to refer to a “Multi-Cloud” strategy of adopting multiple cloud providers / vendors was first coined by John Adams in 2016 while he was working as a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect at Opsgility.

ArchitectureInfrastructure

Azure Availability Zones

One of the largest gaps that Azure has had when compared to the competition has been the lack of high-availability options.  The most glaring has been the lack of Availability Zones, which have been available in all the main providers such as AWS, Google and even Oracle.

Basically, Availability Zones allow cloud admins to deploy cloud resources to separate datacenters within a region.  This ensures that applications will remain online even if one of the provider’s datacenters go down.

Microsoft has announced a public preview of their Availability Zones to help protect you from datacenter-level failures. These Availability Zones are located inside an Azure region, and each one has its own independent power source, network, and cooling. These zones are separate datacenters which are located “10’s of miles”, from each other.  Microsoft has super-fast network connections between the zones, and have stated that they maintain very strict rules on the network latency between these datacenters. Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfographicInfrastructure

2018 Cloud Growth Profiled in RightScale State of the Cloud Report

The last few years, RightScale has been surveying organizations and putting together the annual “State of the Cloud Report”. The survey includes data collected from 997 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations, and focuses on gathering information about their adoption of the Cloud. Some of the metric included in the report show the percentage of organizations utilizing multiple cloud providers, which cloud services they’re using most, and many more very informative metrics. Read More

ArchitectureEventssecurity

Microsoft Virtual Security Summit 2018

The Microsoft Virtual Security Summit is a 3 hour long, virtual event packed with information on protecting your organization in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Cybersecurity has become a priority IT concern due to the nearly weekly announcements of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity is extremely important for every organization. At this event you will learn about modern cyberattacks, and the tools you can use to keep your devices, platforms, and people safe. Read More

ArchitectureBookCertification

Book: Exam Ref 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Studying for all certifications can be difficult, as all you have to go on is a short list of the exam objectives and the services/technologies covered. It’s nice to get some kind of targeted resources or training that is targeted towards the specific certification exam you’re studying for. The new Second Edition of the Exam Reference book from Microsoft Press for the 70-535 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions certification exam is now available. This book will guide you through all the different topic areas you need to know in order to take and pass the 70-535 exam, then become a Microsoft Azure certified Architect.

Book Availability: It’s worth noting that the scheduled publish date for this book is May 20, 2018. At the time of writing this, the book may not be available for a few months yet, so you’ll want to consider this before preordering the book. Read More

Architecturedatabase

Designing Globally Resilient Apps with Azure App Service and Cosmos DB

It’s so quick and easy to deploy an application out into Microsoft Azure and make it available for anyone in the world to use. It’s even quicker if you utilize all the Platform as a Service (PaaS) services like Azure App Service (Web Apps, API Apps, Logic Apps, etc) including Azure SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB. However, it can be a bit more tricky to make that application resilient to failure, specifically regional failure. How do you design an application to be truly globally resilient? What if a specific data center or region goes down? Will your application stay up and keep your users productive?

You can add high availability by increasing the number of instances, but that only applies to a single region. You could implement failover, but does that offer the best experience for your users? This article goes through many of the tips and techniques that can be used within Microsoft Azure to build truly globally resilient applications. Read More

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Microsoft Redefines Leadership in Top 100 Global Technology Leader list by Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has released their first Top 100 Global Technology Leaders list to define new criteria for determining leadership in the 21st century. They’ve already been tracking tons of metrics on companies all around the world for their clients, and have decided to combine it all to create this new list. Thomson Reuters feels they’ve created a first-of-its-kind ranking methodology for the technology sector.

Spoiler: Microsoft ranked #1! Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentInfrastructure

Personal Assistants in the Cloud and Clippy’s Comeback!

Personal Assistants. Are they relevant, or just a fad like the Nintendo Wii? There seem to be personal assistants being added to everything, from smartphones, to watches, to speakers. And now, a Personal Assistant is coming to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft is reviving Clippy to be the Cloud Assistant you need for helping work with and maintaining your Microsoft Azure cloud resources. Read More

ArchitectureBig DataBlockchaindatabase

Blockchain is not just for Cryptocurrency, but for Enterprises and the Future

The term “Blockchain” has been gaining a lot of buzz; especially in more recent time. It all started with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, but has taken off as a pretty remarkable advancement in secure communication and database technology. Blockchain is not just for cryptocurrencies, and many Enterprises are seeing how it can be applied to the business world. With it’s link to cryptocurrency, it seems pretty obvious that it could be used for the Financial industry, but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg (so to say). There are MANY other potential uses for Blockchain within various IT solutions that transcend what you might think at first glance. This article describes what Blockchain is, where it came from, and how it can be utilized in some really innovative ways. Read More

ArchitectureDevelopmentVideo

Webinar Recording: Introduction to Building IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure

Here’s a webinar I hosted for Opsgility recently titled “Introduction to Building IoT Solutions with Microsoft Azure”. In this webinar, I provide an overview of building Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with Microsoft Azure. I discuss the different services within Azure IoT Suite for building IoT solutions, as well as general architecture patterns used to build manageable and maintainable IoT solutions in the cloud. In addition to all the amazing Azure cloud capabilities, it also covers the basics around IoT prototyping hardware using Raspberry Pi and Arduino hardware platforms, as well as using Visual Studio to build Windows 10 UWP apps that can run on the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system. Read More