“Computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility”
– Professor John McCarthy, 1961
Cloud computing is here and growing rapidly. While still in its early stages, this trend will affect every IT professional and executive as every company shifts their IT resources from private computing resources to cloud-based resources. This will require many applications to be migrated to the cloud environment and it is that “Great Cloud Migration” that is the focus of this book. Before you are done reading, you will understand all the key aspects of Cloud computing, Big Data and Linked Data; why and how to migrate your applications to these new platforms and a smart roadmap for doing so! Let’s examine how this book is organized to accomplish those goals.
Organization of this Book
This book is designed to inform and instruct both business managers and technical managers in understanding cloud, big data and linked data so that you can either devise a cloud strategy or assist in developing such a strategy. Furthermore, technical implementers will also get value out of this book as there is enough technical depth to demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts and how they provide value to the organization. Let’s examine the purpose and objective of each chapter:
- Chapter One: Yet Another Computing Revolution? This chapter will demonstrate how cloud computing is the beginning of another revolution in computing and the impacts of that revolution on businesses and individuals. We will explore the “Post-PC” architecture and the Cloud tipping point to get an idea of when these massive changes will be the dominant computing platform.
- Chapter Two: Cloud 101. This chapter will go over all the basics of cloud computing and give you a good understanding of the foundations of this new technology. We will closely examine all the details of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing to include the meaning of Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a Service. Delving even deeper you will understand the elements of virtualization and how a hypervisor works. Finally, we will examine other cloud definitions and frameworks that offer alternative perspectives on what cloud computing is.
- Chapter Three: Big Data 101. This chapter will provide an in-depth understanding of what big data is, how its components work together and where it is going from here. You will learn how the data cloud is taking shape to improve business decisions. To round out your understanding we will also cover the history of big data and delve into the mechanics of components like key-value stores and columnar databases. We will close the chapter with a case study that demonstrates how big data can be leveraged to gain a competitive advantage.
- Chapter Four: Linked Data 101. This chapter will examine linked data and linked open data and how this technology relates to big data and cloud computing. It will also examine the trends pushing this technology, specifically, the popularity of social networking and open government data (aka government transparency). As in other 101 chapters we will examine the history of linked data, the definition of linked data, its implementation and end with an illustrative case study.
- Chapter Five: Application Migration To The Cloud. This chapter will examine the process, method and ramifications of migrating your legacy applications to various cloud environments. We will cover IaaS, PaaS and SaaS migrations and examine case studies of actual migrations. Additionally, we will reveal some of the challenges with migrating applications and other complex issues to include data migration and cloud security. Finally, the chapter will conclude by examining the emerging area of cloud brokers and how they ease application migration, solution provisioning and cloud interoperability.
- Chapter Six: Your Cloud Computing Roadmap. This chapter will provide you with a specific, detailed approach to implementing the cloud in your organization. The strategy is broken down into three major phases of Assessment, Architecture and Action (a “triple-A” strategy). This strategy is measured and conservative in order to ensure your company has a smooth transition to the cloud based on a solid foundation. As part of the architecture section, we examine the major components of architecture, including Cloud architectural patterns, that will provide your organization with a solid foundation to move to the cloud. Finally, we end the chapter by polishing our crystal ball to envision the future of the cloud.
- Conclusion – the final chapter will recap all the key topics and highlight the key takeaways from the book. This short chapter will serve as both a refresher and stress the lessons learned.
 McCarthy, John; MIT’s Centennial Celebration Speech; 1961.