Commerce Solutions and Cloud Environment: Challenges and Solution Possibilities

October 20, 2012

My recent discussions with some key business connections forced me to think on the cloud based infrastructures, especially on major shifts with respect to the  current paradigm, and complexities which will require focus.

My recent discussions with some key business connections forced me to think on the cloud based infrastructures, especially on major shifts with respect to the  current paradigm, and complexities which will require focus. If I am not wrong and thinking on correct lines I see some logic evolving there in support of the same; need your comments to prepare required actions ensuring readiness there; Cloud-based solutioning where effective utilization of shared infrastructure is being envisaged by key players means not only the shared resources but also inherent ways to optimize environment for hosting applications from global vendors and market players and off course ways to work in the common environments especially the design and security aspects. The applications which are designed for cloud need to be revisited so that the design supports these environments and leverages full capabilities.

1)        The cloud service providers or big players will surely think about scalability and performance aspects too. This possibly will require redoing few things on the platform side as far as servers / JVM process bindings with certain number of CPU(s) or core(s) are concerned. So possibly redefining the high level application processes and the way they bind with CPU(s) and Core(s) today?

2)       Surely a set of shared infrastructure and business services should evolve and this requires us to think proactively on the same lines in order to be market ready and leverage the max from our advance preparations. The resource reservations on the fly, remote monitoring services, shared repositories, services to secure your licenses, authentication schemes and password, on demand analytic services are few of  the possibilities there.

3)       Security issues will go paramount in these environments and traditional approaches on data encryptions and code obfuscations need to be revisited to ensure application readiness there.

4)       The hosting providers will see better solutioning on datawarehousing and business intelligence side; and should be able to consolidate understanding on market trends. If that happens, the question which arises here is whether applications are designed to leverage from the tips or such feeds?

5)       The hosting providers will come up with their own performance testing and monitoring services. Sparkred and similar vendors will surely leverage their prior experience in the area.

With this background now if we recall Oracle’s latest offerings on EXALOGIC/EXADATA/EXALOGIC CLOUD platform and Cohesion side; what they are doing is they have started coming up with their product portfolios prepackaged with underlying infrastructure on RHEL and which is optimized for the same.  These offerings from Oracle are only towards preparing customers for cloud, and surely a smart approach which understands customer needs and challenges to shape their refined offerings this side. Need to check what IBM – On Demand Solution offerings are planned …

The solution security issues (i.e. app servers) still require raw passwords in data source definitions need to be revisited and corrected. The shared password service, encryption services, licensing services etc. etc.

My only point here is if we can give these detail thoughts; can surely plan for a better tomorrow.  Esp., If we know that the shared infrastructure services will be accompanied by what all shared business services e.g.  Multi-tenancy Architectures, concept of shared catalogues might be helpful in ensuring our readiness there.

Possible Next Actions:-

1)       Think proactively on behalf of our customers on application security and especially data security challenges. What kind of safeguards on existing solutioning design and packaging we can equip with? What sort of design changes might be required and what all business actions we need to take today. What all services might go obsolete?

2)       Think proactively on behalf of hosting providers on the lines of ensuring smoother monitoring of these systems and taking required actions subsequently in case a crisis has happened.

3)       Think proactively on behalf of shared services provider on possible opportunities and ways to capture them.