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MVC for the Cloud
We're seeing the birth of a "3rd generation" (or is that a third wave?) of MVC

While planning for a talk at Cloud Expo Europe a few weeks ago I was thinking about appropriate metaphors for the way APIs are changing the web. Although the title was APIs as glue for the Cloud, I think the core metaphor behind it deserves some explanation: MVC for the Cloud. I thought I'd add some notes here as to what this might mean.

MVC or Model View Controller is an architectural pattern for software that seperates out three import things - Models (or Data), Views (visualisation of that data) and Controllers (operations on the data). Since it's invention at Xerox Parc in the late 70's, MVC has a had a huge impact on software engineering and nowhere more so that on Web Applications - there are MVC frameworks for almost every Web programming language and framework out there.

MVC

What I'd call "1st generation" MVC was applied to desktop applications and gave great new flexibility at design and build time but separating these three elements out and allowing independent work on all three pieces. When the software shipped everything got baked together and the end user had no knowledge how the underlying system was stitched together.

Moving to Web Applications there is a "2nd generation" of MVC which takes this even further - M, V and C can even stay separate at deploy time for a web app - this means developers of SAAS apps can independently work on and update their data models, views and controllers without affecting the other components - again all without the user needing to know. We can even allow users to switch interfaces "views" according to their needs - and keep exactly the same underlying logic and data models. Advanced testing frameworks and continuous deployment make it increasingly feasible to decouple almost everything.

Cloudscale MVC
However, arguably we're seeing the birth of a "3rd generation" (or is that a third wave?) of MVC which has the potential to have an every broader and deeper impact - Cloud (or Web) scale MVC - all enabled by APIs. To explain this: MVC models have to date been though of as applying to single software applications (desktop or web), but the metaphor extends much further. Namely:

  • Models (Data): can mean any data anywhere, held by any company.
  • Views (Interfaces): can mean any view onto some data or function - i.e. an iPhone app, a mashup with other data, produced by the owners of that data / function or by somebody else.
  • Controllers (Logic): can mean any piece of business logic applied to data, again by the owners of the data or by somebody else.

The implications of this are enormous - instead of a world in which individual applications/services are silos which have M+V+C locked inside of them the MVC connections a can perfectly well exist between applications and between companies. Better stated a company with great data assets can enable access to this data to aggressively grow an ecosystem of partners who provide exiting views (often coupled to audiences) and transformations of this data.

Looking at some examples:

  • Companies such as the New York Times, Bloomberg or Weatherbug have great data - it's often real time, often broader, deeper and unique value over their competitors.
  • Companies such as Animoto, Shazam and Twitter provide amazing functionality which transforms data - Animoto turns images into video, Shazzam turns audio into metadata, Twitter organises a huge global conversation.
  • Companies such as Yahoo! and Tweetdeck provide views on data and structure it in clever ways. Further in the case of Yahoo they bring it to a huge Audience.

I'd also include Apple in the later category - creating devices which end up in the hands of millions and aggregate/transform applications and content into convenient forms for apple users. Some companies (potentially the New York Times falls into this category) have assets in more than one place - in the NYT's case great data, but also a loyal audience which trusts its brand.

APIs are the key strategic asset which is needed to make this happen. Using APIs companies are now no longer forced to provide all parts of the value chain of their service themselves - in fact, it has huge value to partner with others and focus on one's core strength. Today companies can likely still be victorious in their market segment without partnering up - but as the Internet evolves it seems likely that:

  • The companies with the best data should partner with those who can reach the widest (relevant) audience and who can best transform / manipulate and integrate that data.
  • The companies with the best algorithms and processes should seek the best data partners.
  • The companies which provide smart interfaces - be they in software, hardware or in terms of audience should bring in the best data and functionality from wherever they can find it.

Such changes might require changes in business models and strategy, but increasingly they look like a natural evolution of the Web economy. As Data and Services move to the cloud the opportunities for focus and re-use of core valuable assets is a potentially huge untapped benefit for many companies.

APIs and the Internet OS
APIs are the natural glue which can make Cloud scale MVC happen since they allow a complete decoupling of the different elements needed for meaningful applications. What's also interesting is that MVC generally doesn't exist without a fourth element - an MVC framework which provides the structure within which everything comes together.

At the software level, this 4th element is represented by frameworks such as Rails, Jango, Cake, Spring's Java MVC framework or any of the other many frameworks. At the cloud scale the equivalent seems to be something akin to the Internet Operating System postulated by TIm O'Reilly and others which argues that many core internet functions such as Search, Media Access, Location, Communication and others are morphing from standalone services into a commonly available infrastructure which others can rely on - again often through the use of APIs.

This metaphor seems spot on - common substrates such as twitter messaging and google search are clearly becoming the basis of many thousands of new applications. The idea extends further to services such as Facebook connect and Twitter connect which are quickly becoming a standard way to set up user authentication for new Web applications (just as Paypal has largely become for payments). (Of course in some cases there are concerns about how much power some of the players behind such services may ultimately have, but leaving this aside, they arguable provide the means for a whole new economy of applications.

The Internet Operating System seems to be clearly emerging and taking the analogy further - is beginning to make it possible to build compound applications which string together data and services from many places to create user experiences.

Back to MVC
Although there are ton of possible metaphors for the way the Web is evolving, the MVC metaphor seems to be a good fit for what is happening not only at the architectural level (and what might be happening "on top of" the Internet Operating System) but also at the business level.

It seems a fair bet that web companies over the next few years will need to establish what their core value and differentiator is (M, V or C?) and aggressively establish partnering channels to links themselves into strong partner ecosystems. This also creates opportunities for a wealth of new applications which combine data, functionality and views/audiences in new ways.

Read the original blog entry...

About Steven Willmott
Steven Willmott is Co-Founder & CEO of 3scale - a leading provider of mission critical Web Services / API infrastructure services. The company helps web businesses of all types launch and manage Web Service access to digital content and services - accelerating their move to the Cloud. Prior to 3scale, Wilmott was previously the R&D director of one of the leading European research groups on distributed systems and Artificial Intelligence at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. He has 10 years of technical experience in Web Services, Semantic Web, network technology and the management of large-scale international R&D teams. He is also an expert advisor to the European Commission's Future Internet Research Infrastructure program.

Articles & Feature Stories
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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


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Best Recent Articles on Cloud Computing & Big Data Topics
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Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
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With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
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We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
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Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, communications and networking specialists, directors of infrastructure Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, presidents, VPs, directors, business development; product and purchasing managers.

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The World's 30 Most influential Cloud Bloggers
Cloud Expo on Ulitzer
1
Dustin Amrhein 11 Kevin Hoffman 21 Greg O'Connor
2
Ezhil Babaraj 12 Alin Irimie 22 Maureen O'Gara
3
Tony Bishop 13 Kevin Jackson 23 Mark O'Neill
4
Reuven Cohen 14 Fuat Kircaali 24 Bill Roth
5
Ernest de Leon 15 David Linthicum 25 Ellen Rubin
6
David Dean 16 Lori MacVittie 26 John Savageau
7
Ray DePena 17 Bill McColl 27 Michael Sheehan
8
Dana Gardner 18 Paul Miller 28 Roman Stanek
9
John Gauntt 19 Louis Naugès 29 John Treadway
10
Jeremy Geelan 20 Greg Ness 30 Alan Williamson

@CloudExpo Blogs
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering management. To date, IBM has launched more than 50 cloud data centers that span the globe. He has be...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's application ecosystem, tweaking existing software to stitch various components together leads to sub-optimal ...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual business failure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers to house increasing amounts of storage infrastructure.
Digital transformation leaders have poured tons of money and effort into coding in recent years. And with good reason. To succeed at digital, you must be able to write great code. You also have to build a strong Agile culture so your coding efforts tightly align with market signals and business outcomes. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. Here’s why: Reason #1: Functional testing is one of your worst DevOps bottlenecks.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. This leads to a waste of cloud resources and increased operational overhead.
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost and increase in speed. Sometimes in order to reduce complexity teams compromise features ...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a leader in the space, it’s necessary to accommodate, incorporate, and exploit the new breed of enterprise...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous architectural and coordination work to minimize the volatility of the cloud environment and leverage t...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and business benefits that cloud bursting provides, including increased compute capacity, lower IT investment,...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experie...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. That means serverless is also changing the way we leverage public clouds. Truth-be-told, many enterpris...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant that knows everything and can respond to your emotions and verbal commands!
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
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Past SYS-CON Events
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope2010.
sys-con.com

 
    Cloud Expo East
cloudcomputingexpo
2010east.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo East
virtualizationconference
2010east.sys-con.com
    Cloud Expo West
cloudcomputingexpo
2009west.sys-con.com

 
    Virtualization Expo West
virtualizationconference
2009west.sys-con.com
    GovIT Expo
govitexpo.com
 
    Cloud Expo Europe
cloudexpoeurope
2009.sys-con.com
 

Cloud Expo 2010 Allstar Conference Faculty

SARWAL
Oracle

COFFEE
Salesforce

KHAN
Sybase

MALCOLM
Abiquo

KHALIDI
Microsoft

RILEY
AWS

BARRETO
Intel

CHAKRAVARTY
Novell

CRANDELL
RightScale

GROSS
Unisys

SCHALK
Google

YEN
Juniper Networks

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group