Google IO Extended São Paulo 2014 – Palestra

Olá!

Eu fui convidado para apresentar uma palestra no Google IO Extended 2014 São Paulo, evento simultâneo com o Google IO de São Francisco, onde a Google anuncia suas novidades para a comunidade de desenvolvedores mundial. Na minha palestra, falei sobre “Processamento de Dados em Alta Escala com Google Compute Engine“, onde falo sobre Hadoop/MapReduce e como usar melhor essa abordagem dentro da plataforma de nuvem da Google.

Slides em: http://goo.gl/6PH8Vm

Abraços!

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PaaS ou IaaS: Prefira ambientes híbridos

Estou super empolgado. O Google acabou de anunciar, dia 25 de março, as “Managed VMs” (http://goo.gl/yv1w6F), confirmando o que eu acredito e já digo há algum tempo: a PaaS não morreu e deve ser uma peça importante da sua estratégia de arquitetura. A consideração crucial deve ser que a plataforma *não* vai atender a todas as suas necessidades, mas em vez de descartá-la por causa disso, você tem que planejar uma solução híbrida na nuvem, usando tanto PaaS quanto IaaS.

Veja bem: não há nada de errado com PaaS

As diretrizes gerais para essa abordagem são:

1) Use PaaS o máximo que puder. Idealmente, ela deve controlar todos os HTTP requests dos usuários finais, mantendo o uso do IaaS para tarefas de backend. Lembre-se: você definitivamente deve tirar vantagem da escalabilidade facilitada pela plataforma.

2) Se possível, tente criar um MVP (mínimo produto viável) que possa ser entregue usando apenas os recursos disponibilizados pela plataforma. Fazendo isso, você terá um melhor time-to-market, diminuindo os riscos e custos.

3) Tenha em mente que você precisará usar a flexibilidade da infraestrutura em algum momento. Tudo bem! Projete um mecanismo que permita com que todos os seus servidores se comuniquem com a plataforma. Recomendo o uso de filas para isso (exemplo: Task Queues). Falando nisso, obrigado, Google, por resolver este problema para nós!

4) Comunique-se de maneira assíncrona sempre que possível.

5) Só mais uma coisa: quando precisar de algo que a plataforma não oferece, antes de correr para IaaS para resolver o problema, certifique-se de que não há outras companhias oferecendo esse recurso como um serviço / APIs. Por exemplo: você não tem que desenvolver um recurso de decodificação de vídeo em cima da sua distribuição do Linux só porque a plataforma não fornece esse serviço. Há ótimos serviços de codificação de vídeo disponíveis para uso.

Estou ansioso para testar essas Managed VMs, bem empolgado. Vida longa aos ambientes PaaS, IaaS e ambientes híbridos!

Building API ecosystems on top of a stable cloud environment

Lately I’ve been exploring the future of smart computing (social, mobile, and predictive models) and how they relate to enterprise cloud.  In one recent article, I describe why “It’s Time for Enterprise Cloud to Enable the Amazing.” For the enterprise world, cloud computing can create differentiation and promote innovation inside the company. In a second article, I offer “Guidance for Combining Cloud and Social to Enable the Amazing,” providing  insight into why the most important benefit of cloud technology is the ability to move your business to where it has never been before. In this article, I will focus on a final critical component for success: why enterprise businesses must consider building APIs on top of a stable cloud environment to enable these transformative new use cases.

After years of poor software reuse, complex system integration processes, lame and heavyweight protocols and bad service-oriented architecture “patterns,” I think we have finally found an effective way to overcome these problems: APIs. As defined by Kleber Bacili (Sensedia CEO), an API (Application Programming Interface) is “data or business services exposed in the web to other applications. It’s the most popular approach used to allow data exchange between connected devices.” That’s true. This approach completely reinvented Service Oriented Architecture (SOA – and actually, I don’t even like to use this acronym anymore) and is responsible for much of the success of companies like Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook. Today, these companies handle billions of API requests every single month, and most of the apps we love exist only because of them.

That said, businesses looking to stay competitive in the rapidly changing digital age need to keep two things in mind:

[1] There is absolutely no way for enterprise business to enable these amazing new use cases combining all the critical components of smart computing that will transform their businesses without APIs.

[2] It’s pointless to have an API strategy without a reliable cloud infrastructure strategy supporting it.

Regarding the first statement, using APIs is the best, the easiest, and by far the most effective way to foster innovation. Actually, you can not only gain agility but also outsource innovation. Outsourcing innovation means that by exposing services as APIs, you allow other developers or companies to create innovative software that integrates with your platform. Consider, for example several products and apps that integrate with Facebook or Twitter today. They are only possible because both social networks have several APIs that allow developers to create this ecosystem. Creating a system or application is good, but creating an ecosystem that allows partners, channels, and the developer community to contribute and integrate with your business is amazing. Huge companies such as eBay, Amazon and all social networks have already realized that and they are doing prospering from the new ecosystem. Retail stores, insurance companies and even traditional businesses like banks are planning and executing their roadmap to take advantage of this connected world. By the way, have you ever heard about the “Internet of Things” and “Machine-to-Machine (M2M)?” Although they sound like buzzwords right now, they will undoubtedly play a significant role in our lives in the near future. And guess what: APIs are the foundation that are making these connections and communications happen.

So now, how does cloud computing fit into this scenario? Well, here is a list of benefits and tools that explain why it’s crucial to consider a cloud platform for your API strategy:

  • Scalability: if you are going to create an ecosystem or expose your APIs to the external world, you must be prepared to scale on-demand. The few requests you have right now may become thousands or millions in the next few days. I really like the idea of using Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to host the services because it’s more reliable, easier to maintain and less expensive than Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

  • Globalization: make sure that you can handle API requests as close, geographically, to the client as possible to avoid latency issues. World-class cloud providers like Google can help address this challenge.

  • Accelerators: there are some really nice tools and libraries that help you to generate APIs and clients that can be used by many devices and programming languages. One of the most exciting and promising technologies in that sense is Google Cloud Endpoints, which simplifies backend services creation for web and mobile clients.

  • Services Composition:  cloud computing can help your API strategy not only in the sense of creating new services, but also by providing you with several different ones that you can use to enhance your application. That includes: geo-localization, language translation/detection, sentiment analysis, authentication, social listening and a variety of other APIs offered by the most popular cloud vendors that are available for your company to use.

For Enterprise businesses to survive the digital disruption, they need to be where their users are, they need to allow them to use the device they want to, and they need to profoundly understand their needs to provide them with the best service possible. In this journey to “enable the amazing” new use cases and services that can transform enterprise businesses, connecting the dots is key to reaching new levels of integration, automation and innovation. Readily available APIs built on top of a stable cloud computing environment are the most important components to make this happen. It has been said, there is no social or analytics without cloud, and there is no mobile without APIs. Well I say, most importantly, there is no transformation without both cloud and APIs.

There is nothing going wrong with PaaS!

I just read the InfoQ article “What is going on with PaaS?“. In a nutshell, it says that PaaS is being adopted in a very slow pace and enumerates the reasons why it  is “failing” or at least losing space to IaaS vendors. The main reasons, according to the author, are: Confusing marketing message, Lack of maturity and Limitations. Although I understand his main points, I have a different point of view and I disagree with some arguments there.

First, I want to state the obvious: PaaS is a platform. Someday, I will write a post entitled “The Platform Dilemma”. Every time I see developers and/or managers dealing with platforms (and I’m not just talking about cloud platforms, but software platforms as well), it’s always the same old story: “it’s limited“, “we bought it to be more productive, but it’s working otherwise“, “it’s not flexible“, “we don’t know how to work with that!“, “it should be helping me but it’s driving me crazy!” etc. That happens when .Net developers start working with Sharepoint, PHP developers with Drupal and also when traditional computer engineers move to PaaS environments, like Google App Engine or Force.com.

The point here is: adopting a platform is always a tradeoff. You give up on some flexibility to get other benefits, most of the time productivity, time-to-market or lower costs. PaaS falls into that dilemma. You should not use it in 100% of your applications. You may even create hybrid architectures taking advantages of both worlds, together with IaaS. That said, in my opinion, PaaS will always have limitations and IaaS will – at least in the next few years – grow in a faster pace than PaaS. And it’s completely normal! It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with PaaS. Is there anything wrong with Sharepoint or Drupal because we have many more projects using .Net or PHP than the related platforms?

Regard the “confusing marketing message”, I actually agree with that but I don’t blame PaaS for that, but the messy buzzword “cloud computing” in general. And again, I think it’s totally normal that the enterprise world gets a better understanding on what is IaaS (“a regular server in the cloud, if it works here in our datacenter, it’s going to work there”) than what is PaaS. And it also looks less risky jumping to the cloud by just moving from physical servers or traditional data centers to equivalent architectures inside AWS, for example. As I said before, there is nothing going wrong with PaaS, it takes time to shift an enterprise mindset and culture towards a more disruptive approach.

Finally, as a software architect, I see “cloud components” that can be assembled into a great architecture to build amazing things. That includes scalable runtime environments (aka PaaS), managed hadoop clusters, replicated database (SQL or No-SQL), highly scalable data warehouses and so on, everything in the cloud. The menu is open and I want to be free to choose the ingredients better suited to my challenge. It may sounds complex (and it is), but the final decision of which components I should use to tackle both functional and non-functional requirements must be made to deliver business value. Is it IaaS? Is it PaaS? Is it bla-bla-bla-aaS? Doesn’t matter! You know what? It’s probably going to be a best-of-breed of all the above.