Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition
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About the Author
George Reese is the founder of two Minneapolis-based companies, enStratus Networks LLC (maker of high-end cloud infrastructure management tools) and Valtira LLC (maker of the Valtira Online Marketing Platform). Over the past 15 years, George has authored a number of technology books, including MySQL Pocket Reference, Database Programming with JDBC and Java, Java Database Best Practices, and the upcoming Web Architecture and Programming in the Cloud.
Throughout the Internet era, George has spent his career building enterprise tools for developers and delivering solutions to the marketing domain. He was an influential force in the evolution of online gaming through the creation of a number of Open Source MUD libraries and he created the first JDBC driver in 1996-the Open Source mSQL-JDBC. Most recently, George has been involved in the development of systems to support the deployment of transactional web applications in the cloud.
George holds a BA in Philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife Monique and his daughters Kyra and Lindsey.
- ASIN : 0596156367
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (April 13, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780596156367
- ISBN-13 : 978-0596156367
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.5 x 9.19 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,441,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is geared toward the Amazon web services stack, but that actually works well for me since that's what I am interested in. I should note that the concepts are still sound and can be applied to other cloud services.
I already have a background of server administration, but this book showed me that the rules change when deploying in the cloud. Security is very different and George points out several security related issues and several highly recommended security precautions such as encrypting data and file systems.
There is also discussion of performance and which services are best for what types of use. For example, S3 is slow while elastic storage blocks are fast.
The book has an appendix that covers the EC2 commands. I found this to be helpful when messing with EC2 from a command line.
Overall, this book is a great read and it's a pretty quick read. There's lots of good information. I highly recommend this book!
Starting in the first chapter, Mr Reese begins with his definition of cloud:
1) it must be accessible from a web browser or web service api (non proprietary)
2) 0 capital expenditure to start
3) you pay for only what you use
These simple statements provide the baseline for the rest of the book.
From here he dives right into the meat of the matter. The majority of the book details the things you, and your organization, will need to keep in mind as you move, or contemplate the cloud. Some of this is very obvious; cost of ownership, security, disaster recovery, hardware costs, backup, scaling, etc but Mr Reese pulls out the threads that make the cloud different: both in good ways and bad.
For example, a new wrinkle for cloud is what happens when your cloud provider goes out of business or has a poorly worded injunction exposing all their data (including yours) to the federal government? This is not something you worry about when you own the servers. Mr Reese elegantly explains how you can make this something you don't need to worry about even in the cloud; as long as you use some type of encryption.
Another example of where the cloud provides a potentially huge win would be in disaster recovery. Here a cloud provider provides redundancy of location and with virtual machines you should be easily able to get your system up and running again fairly quickly as long as you've taken the proper precautions (snapshots and a sane backup strategy).
Throughout the entire book, he really drills in security in the cloud. In several of the chapters, not including the security chapter, he keeps coming back to how the little things you do in your design can have a huge impact on your overall security. This is a major worry point and a barrier of entry point for many and Mr Reese spends just the right amount of time explaining how you can truly mitigate the security risks.
Another thread that runs throughout the book is scaling your application. This, to me, is one of the bread and butter wins of cloud computing. Mr Reese talks to some designs that work, and some that don't, when it comes to scaling. While all scaling talk is high level, I believe he succeeds in getting you the reader, to know what questions to ask in your next architecture meeting.
The book is a great overview and it focuses you to ask the right questions when you are dealing with cloud computing. Especially on the Amazon system. Mr Reese takes great pains to point out that yes, he is biased in talking about Amazon since that what he knows. Two appendices do talk about GoGrid and RackSpace but those read more like slick marketing glossies. And that's one of the two failings of the book. The other minor quibble is that a few times Mr Reese tries to go into detail about how something is done on the Amazon cloud (especially EC2 and S3). This is a mistake given how high level this book is. The appendix on the EC2 instructions also seem a little out of place. However these are minor quibbles.
If you are looking for a great introduction to the cloud, what it is and how to think about it, then this is the book for you. If you are looking for something to help you program, interact and learn the API for say Amazon, this is not the book for you.
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