With infrastructure services like Amazon EC2, Rackspace, and VMware making it easy to take advantage of the flexibility, portability, and reduced costs of cloud computing, it seems obvious to jump on the cloud bandwagon for new IT projects.
But, developers are generally left on their own to deal with the pain of deploying their apps to the cloud: configuring application servers, libraries, disk partitions, networking, clustering, service connections, and virtual private networks. After they get their app installed they also need to install management agents that run on top of the application layer.
If you really want to take advantage of the cloud and optimize return on investment, you'll want the on-boarding process to be easy and fast and you won't install that agent. Agent-based solutions are inherently inflexible. Deploying agent-based solutions in a cloud-based environment, which is, by definition, highly flexible, is often like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. In agent-based solutions, hard-coded agents are installed on every machine to monitor the application. If a change to the application configuration occurs--such as the IT department adds a node or upgrades a component--the agents must be updated as well.
Each agent and management server must be configured separately with management and monitoring solutions generally not portable. When every change to an environment requires installation of multiple agents on each server and configuration of multiple management servers, it becomes a tall order to move an application from a traditional infrastructure to the cloud, or from one cloud infrastructure to another: private to public, public to hybrid, or hybrid to private.
How do you get around this so you can actually capitalize on the benefits of cloud computing? Go virtual. Move application management, including easy on-boarding, from above the application stack into the underlying virtual layer, along with the rest of the cloud infrastructure.
I was recently briefed by webappVM CEO Isaac Roth on how the company is pioneering this new approach. He said the virtual path allows you to actually realize all of the flexibility, portability, and reduced costs that come with the promise of cloud computing. … Read more