In this topic you will learn about cloud computing services taxonomy. For each category of services, links and quick summaries are provided. This should give you a road map that might help to untangle a web (pun intended) of words and acronyms. So, brace yourself for this wide dive in a fascinating topic.
|Compute Services||Provide dynamically scalable compute capacity|
|Storage Services||Allow storage and retrieval of any data, at any time from anywhere|
|Database Services||Allow to configure and operate relational or non-relational databases.|
|Application Services||Provide services such as application runtimes and frameworks, queuing, email, notification and media services.|
|Content Delivery Services||Serve content to end users with high availability and performance.|
|Analytics Services||Allow analyzing massive data sets stored either in cloud storages or cloud databases.|
|Deployment and Management Services||Allow to deploy and manage applications in the cloud.|
|Idendity and Access Management Services||Allow managing authentication and authorization of users in order to provide secure access to cloud resources.|
The compute services provide dynamically scalable compute capacity which allow the following:
- Creation of virtual machines from standard images, provided by the compute service provider, such as Ubuntu image, Windows image and so on. Custom images can also be created. A machine image is a template for an operating system, application server and applications.
- Service access via a Web interface for provisioning, managing and monitoring tasks.
- Interaction with the service via various programming language APIs.
The following are some of the most common compute services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)||This is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud allows to perform the following:
An EC2 instance has one public Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) address and one private DNS and IP. The public DNS can be used to connect securely to an instance via Secure Shell (SSH).
|Google Compute Engine||This is a web service that enables users to create and manage compute instances. It allows the following:
Every instance has a disk resource and depending on the instance the disk can be:
Network options allow to control instance traffic. By default, traffic between instances in the same network is enabled. You can enable other connections, using additional firewall rules.
|Windows Azure Virtual Machines||This is a web service that enables users to create and manage compute instances. It allows the following:
Any changes made to a virtual machine are persistently stored. New virtual machines can be created from previously stored machine images.
The storage services allow storage and retrieval of any data, at any time from anywhere. The majority of the services organize the data in buckets (containers) which store objects (individual pieces of data).
The following are some of the most common storage services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)||This web service provides a cloud based infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data. The following are its main characteristics:
|Google Cloud Storage||This is a web service for storing and retrieving any amount of data. The following are its characteristics:
|Windows Azure Storage||This web service provides various storage capabilities such as blob storage, table and queue services. The blobs have the following properties:
The database services allow to operate relational and non-relational databases in the cloud. An important advantage is that they relieve an application developer from time consuming administration tasks. The following are some of the database services provided:
- Relational databases. They include MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server and so on.
- Non-relational databases. They include mostly proprietary solutions. They are fully managed to deliver seamless throughput and scalability.
The following are some of the most common database services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Relational Data Store (RDS)||Relational database web service. It enables the user to easily configure, operate and scale a relational database in the cloud. The related console allows the following:
The database instance has an end point that the user can use to securely connect to the instance.
|Amazon DynamoDB||Non-relational database service. It includes tables, items and attributes. The following are its main characteristics:
|Google Cloud SQL||Relational database service which allows the user to host MySQL database in the cloud. The following are its main characteristics:
|Google Cloud Datastore||Fully managed non-relational database service. The following are its main characteristics:
|Windows Azure SQL Database|| Relational database service which is based on the SQL server. The following are its main characteristics:
|Windows Azure Table Service|| Non-relational database service which consists of tables having multiple entities. The following are its characteristics:
The application services provide services such as application runtimes and frameworks, queuing, email, notification and media services.
The following are some of the most common application services and their main characteristics.
|Application Runtimes and Frameworks services allow developers to build and host apps in the cloud. The runtimes provide the following:
|Google App Engine||This platform as a service (PaaS) includes an application runtime and a web framework. Its main characteristics include:
|Windows Azure Web Sites||This platform as a service (PaaS) allows hosting of web applications in the cloud. Its main characteristics include:
|Queuing Services allow the decoupling of application components by enabling them to communicate through messages queues. The following are the main queues advantages:
Messages can be queued and read from queues simultaneously. The message latency can go from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.
|Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)||Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fast, reliable, scalable, fully managed message queuing service. SQS makes it simple and cost-effective to decouple the components of a cloud application. You can use SQS to transmit any volume of data, at any level of throughput, without losing messages or requiring other services to be always available. With SQS, you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available messaging cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.To assure high availability for message delivery, SQS performs a trade-off on FIFO capability and does not guarantee that messages are delivered on first in first out (FIFO) order.|
|Google Task Queue Service||Tasks queues are an efficient and powerful tool for background processing; they allow your application to define tasks, add them to a queue, and then use the queue to process them in aggregate. You name queues and configure their properties in a configuration file named
|Windows Azure Queue Service||Windows Azure Queue allows decoupling of different parts of a cloud application, enabling cloud applications to be easily built with different technologies and easily scale with traffic needs.
The figure above illustrates a simple but common scenario for cloud applications. There are a set of web servers hosting the frontend logic of handling web requests. There are a set of backend processing servers implementing the business logic of the application. The web server frontend nodes communicate with the backend processing nodes via a set of queues. Persistent state of the application can be stored in Windows Azure Blob storage and Windows Azure Table storage.
|Email Services allow applications hosted in the cloud to send emails.|
|Amazon Simple Email Service||Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cost-effective outbound-only email-sending service built on the reliable and scalable infrastructure that Amazon.com has developed to serve its own customer base. With Amazon SES, you can send transactional email, marketing messages, or any other type of high-quality content and you only pay for what you use.Along with high deliverability, Amazon SES provides easy, real-time access to your sending statistics and built-in notifications for bounces and complaints to help you fine-tune your email-sending strategy.SES service can be accessed and used from the console, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) interface, or the SES API.|
|Google Email Service||This service is part of the App Engine platform, which allows applications to send email messages on behalf of the app’s administrators, and on behalf of users with Google Accounts. Apps can receive email at various addresses. Apps send messages using the Mail service and receive messages in the form of HTTP requests initiated by App Engine and posted to the app. Apps can send messages using the Mail service and receive messages in the form of HTTP requests initiated by the App Engine and posted to the app.|
|Notification Services allow applications to push messages to Internet connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and so on.|
|Media Services provide various media service types used by applications to transform or transcode images, videos and so on.|
Content Delivery Services
The content delivery services include Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). A CDN is a distributed system of servers located across multiple geographic locations to serve content to users with high availability and performance. CDNs are useful to serve static content and have a number of edge locations deployed in multiple locations. CDNs cache popular content on the edge servers which helps in reducing bandwidth costs and improving response time.
The following are some of the most common content delivery services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon CloudFront||Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery web service. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments.|
|Windows Azure Content Delivery Network||The Microsoft Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) offers developers a global solution for delivering high-bandwidth content that’s hosted in Azure. The CDN caches publicly available objects at strategically placed locations to provide maximum bandwidth for delivering content to users.|
The analytics services allow to analyze massive amount of data stored either in cloud storages or in cloud databases using programming models such as MapReduce. Applications can perform data intensive tasks such as data mining, log file analysis, machine learning, web indexing and so on.
The following are some of the most common analytics services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Elastic MapReduce||
Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) is a web service that makes it easy to quickly and cost-effectively process vast amounts of data.
Amazon EMR uses Hadoop, an open source framework, to distribute your data and processing across a resizable cluster of Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EMR is used in a variety of applications, including log analysis, web indexing, data warehousing, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, and bioinformatics. Customers launch millions of Amazon EMR clusters every year.
|Google MapReduce Service||
Google MapReduce service is an open-source library that is built on top of App Engine services, including Datastore and Task Queues. You must download the MapReduce library and include it with your application. The library provides:
There are no usage charges associated with the MapReduce library. As with any App Engine application, you will be charged for any App Engine resources that the library or your MapReduce code consumes (beyond the free quotas) while running your job. These can include instance hours, Datastore and Google Cloud Storage usage, network, and other storage.
Querying massive datasets can be time consuming and expensive without the right hardware and infrastructure. Google BigQuery solves this problem by enabling super-fast, SQL-like queries against append-only tables, using the processing power of Google’s infrastructure. Simply move your data into BigQuery and let us handle the hard work. You can control access to both the project and your data based on your business needs, such as giving others the ability to view or query your data.
You can access BigQuery by using a browser tool or a command-line tool, or by making calls to the BigQuery REST API using a variety of client libraries such asJava, PHP or Python. There are also a variety of third-party tools that you can use to interact with BigQuery, such as visualizing the data or loading the data.
|Windows Azure HDInsight||
HDInsight is a Hadoop-based service from Microsoft that brings a 100 percent Apache Hadoop solution to the cloud. A modern, cloud-based data platform that manages data of any type, whether structured or unstructured, and of any size, HDInsight makes it possible for you to gain the full value of big data.
With HDInsight you can seamlessly process data of all types through Microsoft’s modern data platform, which provides simplicity, ease of management, and an open Enterprise-ready Hadoop service all running in the cloud. You can analyze your Hadoop data with PowerPivot, Power View and other Microsoft BI tools, thanks to integration with Microsoft data platform.
Deployment and Management Services
The deployment and management services allow to manage and deploy application in the cloud. They allow to perform tasks such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and application health monitoring.
The following are the most common analytics services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Elastic Beanstalk||Amazon Elastic Beanstalk is an easy way for you to quickly deploy and manage applications in the cloud. You simply upload your application, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. At the same time, with Elastic Beanstalk, you retain full control over the resources powering your application and can access the underlying resources at any time. Elastic Beanstalk leverages services such as Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), Elastic Load Balancing, and Auto Scaling to deliver the same highly reliable, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure that hundreds of thousands of businesses depend on today.|
Amazon CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators an easy way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in an orderly and predictable fashion.
You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order for provisioning AWS services or the subtleties of making those dependencies work. CloudFormation takes care of this for you. After the AWS resources are deployed, you can modify and update them in a controlled and predictable way, in effect applying version control to your AWS infrastructure the same way you do with your software.
You can deploy and update a template and its associated collection of resources (called a stack) by using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, or APIs. CloudFormation is available at no additional charge, and you pay only for the AWS resources needed to run your applications.
Identity and Access Management Services
The identity and access management services provide the following:
The following are some of the most common identity and access management services and their main characteristics.
|Amazon Identity and Access Management||
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to securely control access to AWS services and resources for your users. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.
IAM is free so start using it today!
|Windows Azure Active Directory||Azure Active Directory is a comprehensive identity and access management cloud solution that provides a robust set of capabilities to manage users and groups and help secure access to applications including Microsoft online services like Office 365 and a world of non-Microsoft SaaS applications. Azure Active Directory is offered in two tiers: Free and Premium.|