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Most failed cloud computing projects can be traced back to bad or missing architecture and design practices.  This was the trend in 2012, and it is continuing into 2013.  The reason: Lack of architecture and design methods and approaches, as well as the lack of a general understanding of the processes required to deploy solid cloud computing technology and solutions.

The complexities around multitenancy, resource sharing and management, security, and even version control lead cloud computing startups — and enterprises that build private and public clouds — down some rough roads before they start to learn from their mistakes. Or, perhaps they just have to kill the project altogether as they discover all that investment is unsalvageable.

I’ve worked on cloud-based systems for years now, and the common thread to cloud architecture is that there are no common threads to cloud architecture.  Although you would think that common architectural patterns would emerge, the fact is, clouds do different things and must use very different architectural approaches and technologies.  In the world of cloud computing, that means those who are smart, creative, and resourceful seem to win out over those who are just smart.

Architecture and design comes in two core patterns:

  • The first pattern covers those systems that integrate the use of cloud computing services (either PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS) with existing enterprise IT systems to extend those systems to cloud platforms.
  • The second covers those patterns that actually build private, community, or public clouds services for use within a single enterprise, a community of users, or, perhaps become public cloud computing providers themselves.

So, how do you implement best practices around architecture and design in the emerging world of cloud computing?  Where do you start?  What do you need to know?  What are the best tools and technologies out there?

To address these questions, I created the Application Design & Architecture Track at Cloud Connect this year.  In this track, we’ll cover a range of topics relating to the right and wrong ways to leverage, design, and build cloud-based systems and infrastructure.  This includes how to build clouds to meet the needs of those who will consume those services, and those who will extend existing enterprise IT resources to the clouds.

The presentations are created by known experts in the world of architecture and design, and delivered by those who are working in the real world and dealing with these very real problems every day.  I’ll be delivering my presentation on Full Contact Cloud Architecture and Design to get to the heart of what application design and architecture means in the emerging world of cloud computing, and the steps you need to take to be successful.

Other key presentations include Designing the Cloud With Operations In Mind, by JP Morganthal, Cloud Ranger with EMC Consulting.  Also, Delivering Enterprise Applications and User Access in the Cloud, by Lori MacVittie, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, F5 Networks.  Finally, The Agile Architecture Revolution: Achieving Business Agility with the Cloud, by Jason Bloomberg, President, ZapThink.

For those of you who need to make cloud computing work for your business, either as a consumer or a builder, this track should be your first stop in your journey to the cloud.  If you’re already on your journey, then take the time to learn how to do it right from those who know how.

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