The Cloud is a name given to an infrastructure of shared computing resources (e.g. storage, database, CPU, etc.) that are virtualized and accessed as a service.
Cloud architecture has recently become very popular as it provides significant business and technology advantages over traditional client-server or data-center models.
Cloud should not be confused with “web-based” or “Software as a Service”. The former simply implies that the software can be accessed over the web while the latter implies that the software is not purchased outright but instead utilizes a subscription model.
Incremental Scalability. Cloud environments allow users to access additional compute resources on-demand in response to increased application loads.
Agility. As a shared resource, the cloud provides flexible, automated management to distribute the computing resources among the cloud's users.
Reliability and Fault-Tolerance. Cloud environments take advantage of the built-in redundancy of the large numbers of servers that make them up by enabling high levels of availability and reliability for applications that can take advantage of this.
Service-oriented. The cloud is a natural home for service-oriented applications, which need a way to easily scale as services get incorporated into other applications.
Lower Costs. By enabling IT resources to be consolidated, multiple users share a common infrastructure, allowing costs to be more effectively managed.
Green. Sharing resources means less servers; reducing energy consumption and overall carbon footprint.
Organizations may choose to use their own internal computing resources or those of a third party.
Any server-based software can run in the Cloud though few of the benefits will be realized. AppSpace has been designed specifically for Cloud environments. Our mulit-tenated, service-oriented architecture leverages Cloud resources for a system that is truly agile, reliable, scalable and enterprise-ready.
At scale, an enterprise deployment will consist of multiple users in multiple locations running multiple apps on multiple devices. This requires a robust yet agile system to provide varying levels of access, control and reporting to the various stakeholders.
AppSpace leverages on the Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service and inherits the security features of Amazon Web Services. Security within Amazon EC2 is provided on multiple levels: The operating system (OS) of the host system, the virtual instance operating system or guest OS, a stateful firewall and signed API calls. Each of these items builds on the capabilities of the others. The goal is to ensure that data contained within Amazon EC2 cannot be intercepted by non-authorized systems or users and that Amazon EC2 instances themselves are as secure as possible without sacrificing the flexibility in configuration that customers demand. Read more security information about Amazon Web Services »
Cloud computing architecture typically involves multiple cloud components communicating with each other over application programming interfaces, usually in the form of web services. This architecture works by having multiple programs each doing one thing well and working together over universal interfaces. Complexity is controlled and the resulting systems are more manageable than their monolithic counterparts.
The two most significant components of cloud computing architecture are known as the front end and the back end. The front end is the part seen by the client, i.e. the computer user. This includes the client’s network (or computer) and the applications used to access the cloud via a user interface such as a web browser. The back end of the cloud computing architecture is the ‘cloud’ itself, comprising various computers, servers and data storage devices.
Scalability within a Cloud architecture is via dynamic ("on-demand") provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis near real-time, without users having to engineer for peak loads. Performance is monitored, and consistent and loosely coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface. This makes for an extremely organic structure and is capable of overcoming performance bottlenecks through distributed and parallel computing grids.