Distributed Applications in the Cloud Era

Arthur Cole
Slide Show

Five Ways to Migrate Applications to the Cloud

Migration strategies organizations should consider when moving to the cloud.

Enterprises have known the benefit of distributed architectures for some time, but it wasn't until the advent of cloud computing that its true value could be fully appreciated.

These days, organizations can quickly and easily provision physical and virtual resources around the globe at a fraction of the cost of building infrastructure from the ground up. Of course, what's good for the computing resource layer can be equally beneficial to the application layer, even if that means overturning some cherished data practices and the business models on which they are built.

The tech industry is known for generations of aggressive startups willing and eager to step on some pretty big toes in pursuit of their own fortunes, and it seems that the realm of distributed applications is ripe for a shakeup. Witness the latest iteration from a California company called TransLattice Inc. Its TransLattice Application Platform 2.0 pushes application distribution to the cloud level, allowing enterprises to move apps across continents. By pushing applications closer to end users wherever they may be, the platform aims to reduce umpteen layers of infrastructure and all the related integration and system complexity, while at the same time improving resiliency, availability and recovery.

Naturally, this is a shot across the bow to HP, IBM, Oracle and other centralized architecture proponents in that it replaces these largely static infrastructures with a more fluid, dynamic approach that better suits the changes taking place on the cloud and within individual data centers. By eliminating the central database infrastructure and the equally complex backup system in favor of a distributed node architecture, TransLattice says it can shave 60 percent off the cost of large, international data environments.

As any cloud user will tell you, though, reliance on distributed architectures for high-speed applications is dicey at best because of the inherent unreliability of wide area infrastructure. And while WAN optimization solutions abound, a company called Tervela says it has devised a new fabric solution specifically for distributed applications. The Tervela 5.0 suite replaces coding needed to ensure data integrity and security with a more streamlined transport layer suitable for globally distributed architectures. The system is deployable on virtual appliances and features tools like advanced value and messaging caches and integrated monitoring capable of supporting even mission-critical apps.

These and other tools will become crucial components as the era of "borderless applications" unfolds, according to CTO Edge's Mike Vizard. Composite applications have been around for some time, but they've always proved to be difficult to build and manage in complex data environments. That's why CA Technologies is interested in a company like ITKO, a software firm that specializes in the development, testing and deployment of distributed application components. This will be a particularly valuable skill as the convergence of distributed and mainframe environments progresses.

In general, admins prefer to centralize control of data environments rather than casting elements to the four corners of the globe. The challenge will be to extend management and monitoring throughout distributed environments in such a way that the physical location of data and resources is as irrelevant to IT as it is to users.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 26, 2011 3:16 AM Brian Gladstein Brian Gladstein  says:

I'm from Tervela - and wanted to thank you for mentioning our new product release. We are definitely seeing exactly what you identified - that long-standing practices around data are changing. We're hosting a webcast on 8/2 that your readers may be interested in - covering some of the trends you mention here. People can visit http://www.tervela.com/webcast for more details.


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