Application Certifications and the Public Cloud

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Those following the Public Cloud scene and attending Public Cloud events such as the AWS Summit series may have noticed that the Public Cloud providers are slowly gearing up for what I deem to be phase 2 of the Public Cloud evolution.

During phase 1 Public Cloud providers primarily focused on web applications by means of providing services that are important to web based applications. While IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) is certainly geared toward general computing tasks, many of the other services offered by Public Cloud providers are very convenient for web application development and “native” cloud applications, i.e. applications developed with the Public Cloud in mind. These applications take advantage of the Public Cloud services such as DB services and object storage. This focus continues as Amazon introduces new services such as Code Deploy, Code Pipeline, and expands the Lambda service. However, Public Cloud vendors are also starting to cast their eye on migrating more “traditional” data center work loads such as HPC applications. Last week Microsoft announced the availability of HPC instances with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 enabling workloads that use MPI to run in Azure. The Elastic File System (EFS) service currently in preview in AWS is also an enabler to bring more “traditional” applications without modification to the Public Cloud. This is what I deem to be phase 2 of the Public Cloud evolution: The migration of applications, traditionally run in a company owned data center, without modification to the Public Cloud. This transition enables companies to reduce or eliminate the, as AWS terms it, “undifferentiated heavy lifting”, i.e. the rack ’em and stack ’em part of data center work. This work is out-sourced to a Public Cloud provider along with other functions that come along with setting up racks of servers or dedicated storage.

Public Cloud providers also focus more on the connection of company data centers to their environment. All three of the primary Public Cloud providers, AWS, Google, and Microsoft offer some kind of service, with a different name of course, that supports a connection of a company data center either via dedicated line or through VPN to their Public Cloud infrastructure. While this was more “exotic” just a little while ago, these connections are becoming more prevalent.

With the developments outlined above many will eventually start to think about the migration of work loads from their own data centers into the Public Cloud, even if the underlying applications are not cloud “native”. For this migration to be successful having access to virtual machines as offered through IaaS by all prominent Public Cloud providers is essential and is already in place. However, it is also essential that the ISVs that provide the applications support the application; Basically you still want some one to answer the phone and help when you say “I have a problem and am running in cloud framework X”. This is where SUSE can help. With over 7000 certified applications in our catalog and having ready made images, on demand and Bring Your Own Subscription (BYOS), available in the major Public Cloud frameworks you are one step closer to a successful migration. While the application certification program for ISVs (Independent Software Vendor) is a self certification program and some ISVs may not be comfortable with a broad “Certified on SLES everywhere” interpretation, the SUSE ISV Team is here to work with ISVs and our customers to make transitions as easy and smooth as possible.

And now a really bad marketing pitch, you have been warned

If you are thinking about migrating more traditional workloads from your data center to the Public Cloud, SLES should be your platform of choice. With a very large certified application catalog and Enterprise Linux stability in the Public Cloud.

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Robert Schweikert
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