One of the lessons we’ve learned over the last year of integrating with large set of cloud solutions is that the classic IT roles and responsibilities do not apply anymore. For example, setting up a new production machine which is usually the responsibility of IT operations is blended with the responsibilities of the application development team. The fact that the development team can spark up machines by API does not provide enough time for the IT ops to certify the platform. In addition, the dynamic nature introduced by cloud solutions makes it almost impossible to follow existing monitoring, compliance and other IT procedures.
The main point of realization is that the software delivery life-cycle got shorten and is becoming faster. This is the same realization agile teams reached while back and started to structure themselves differently by constructing cross-functional teams. Now that application delivery is becoming part of the software development team as well. This realization must impact the software infrastructure products, this means changes in the features and functions of middleware as well.
From GigaSpaces XAP perspective, we have realized this in R7.0 by introducing new Deployment and Runtime Domain model which is accessible through what we call Admin API. Deployment and Runtime components are modeled in a way that enables programmatically to understand what is happening within the runtime environment and take actions automatically based on those events. In this model, we have the notions of physical machines, virtual machines, operating systems, java virtual machine and various application level components such as web applications, including deeper knowledge such as web response times and other application aware knowledge. One can not over exaggerate with the enthusiasm this capability was accepted by the market.
In R7.0.1 which was released yesterday, we’ve complemented the deployment model by introducing a unified security model on top. In this security model all life-cycle activities can be protected by permissions. Example for such activities can be: start/stop server components, application provisioning (deployment in GigaSpaces jargon), data access, remote operations and so forth. As you can see from these example, some of these permissions are pure infrastructure while others are more related to data and to application levels. This wasn’t done by mistake; as stated above, in a fully automatic deployment styles, introduced and adopted by cloud-style deployments, it is difficult to distinguish between the various permissions and provide a different security system for each.
Any of you who has hands-on experience with migrating already written application, deployed in old-data center style to cloud environments will probably share the same experience as we. We embed all this knowledge into GigaSpaces XAP to enable cloud adoption faster, as it is clear that cloud data-centers, either powered by VMWare like technologies, or home-grown implementation such as Amazon EC2, is where enterprise IT is going.
You can expect more capabilities and integrations like these soon to be announced.
Shana Tova from GigaSpaces RND team.