Cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), containers, microservices, serverless... We hear a lot about these technologies, which begs certain questions: Is the market really looking at these technologies? Is the era of large-scale IT moving towards cloud-native architecture? How have technologies like AI, ML, and edge computing transformed for our society's benefit? How does open source play a role in these technologies? And finally, are these buzzwords, or are they important trends we need to pay close attention to?
One way to evaluate these questions is by reading about cloud computing on Enable Architect. In this article, I'll summarize five of the most-read cloud articles on Enable Architect, as well as share some related resources that you may find valuable. These articles serve as a guide to the cloud computing trends you need to pay attention to in 2022.
Top 5 cloud architecture articles of 2021
The following are Enterprise Architect's top articles about cloud architecture. If any of them inspire you, consider sharing your knowledge by writing about it! Consult our contributors page for more information about becoming part of our community.
Expanding 5G with the Open HyperCore Architecture
5G refers to the 5th generation mobile network. 5G wireless technology focuses on multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, more availability, and a more consistent user experience for more users.
High data speed communications are key for technologies like edge computing, AI/ML, and other real-life applications that require faster connectivity. This article's authors, Fatih Nar and Ishu Verma, write:
"Communications service providers are increasingly delivering 5G offerings through hyperscalers' public cloud infrastructures. Their goal is making 5G available, accessible, and affordable for consumers and providing a consistent, best-in-class user experience."
This article gives an overview of the 5G solution stack components and a blueprint on component elements that make up the 5G Open HyperCore architecture in an open source way.
Containers vs. virtual machines: Why you don't always have to choose
Finding a healthy balance between containers and virtual machines (VMs) is always on top of enterprise architects' minds. Author Deb Donston-Miller quotes Scott McCarty, technical product manager for Red Hat's container subsystem team and "fatherlinux" on the Red Hat Developer blog:
"Some applications are working fine just as they are, and some just make more sense in virtual environments. It's therefore important to identify tools that support effective use of both models."
Deb's bottom-line message is:
"VMs are not going away anytime soon, nor should they. Containers are also here to stay. There is no right or wrong way to manage your company's workloads, but one process can be more effective than the other depending upon your infrastructure. The two processes can even serve as perfect complements to each other or work just fine by themselves.
"Enterprise architects must work across the organization to determine the best use cases for each and the tools they use to leverage the strengths of one model against the other."
You may also want to read this Red Hat Hybrid Cloud article about running and managing virtual machine workloads alongside container workloads and my article 5 essential tools for managing hybrid cloud infrastructure.
5 processor architectures making machine learning a reality for edge computing
The edge is becoming more important as our ability to link and coordinate smart devices increases in crucial business settings and in the wild. Edge devices benefit from cloud computing and high-bandwidth networks, even if they require edge computing for some use cases, including machine learning.
In this article, Chris Nicholson talks about some of the key chipmakers in the edge computing space and the processor technologies that support edge computing features as part of a larger system.
In another top article, An architect's guide to edge computing essentials, Bob Reselman explains common use case scenarios like edge computing in traffic lights and the benefits of 5G network in edge computing.
Looking ahead: a year of container, microservices, and serverless
In early 2021, Eric Schabell wrote his predictions about containers, microservers, and serviceless architectures, which remain part of many architects' conversations a year later. Eric begins by saying:
"2021 is the year to embrace cloud-native development and grow the hybrid cloud architecture in your enterprise by integrating containers, microservices, and serverless and managed services."
Organizations are maturing on this journey and starting to onboard most of their applications into container platforms or develop their new applications as microservices in a cloud-native environment.
Need help on application onboarding to container platforms? This guide can come in handy: An OpenShift administrator's guide to onboarding applications.
An architect's guide to explaining cloud to your CEO
On December 1, 2021, Red Hat president and CEO Paul Cormier joined CNBC's The Exchange to share his perspective on the future of cloud computing. Paul said, "CIOs today are looking at their overall infrastructure and where applications need to sit." He added, "some on-premises, some in one cloud, some in different clouds. That's what we've been working toward for the past eight-plus years, that architecture."
It is neither prudent nor practical for organizations to move their entire workload into the cloud overnight. It needs to be incremental. Organizations are also looking for consistency in the platform and its operations regardless of where they are.
That resonates in Gavin Clarke's article "An architect's guide to explaining cloud to your CEO." He says:
"Cloud is not a euphemism for closing data centers. Rather, it requires the architect to rethink their organization's technology infrastructure, redesign it, and—ultimately—plan for cloud-native. That means, too, changing the processes to deliver and manage the many life cycles of applications and services."
Gavin articulates a three-phase operation for delivering your architecture project: Move incrementally, measure the right thing, and keep it growing. He says:
"It's important that you work with the C-suite and others to establish the metrics based on the desired objectives and outcomes. Significantly, the results should be expressed in language the C-level understands."
The future is clear
Years ago, many of these technologies may have seemed unfathomable. Now that they are here, open source innovation plays a vital role in their continuing growth. Specifically, the open hybrid cloud enables key capabilities for enterprises, including:
- Speed to develop and deliver application services faster for the business
- Stability required to deliver IT services with speed on any infrastructure foundation
- Scale to address unplanned opportunities and future requirements
These factors enable organizations to focus on speed, scale, and stability with security to be successful.