Cloud and the Complexity of Distributed Applications

We are in the business of helping software providers with tools that make them more secure and efficient. In those conversations, we get exposed to the infinite number of ways that companies architect, develop, and support their application’s infrastructure. We’ve also discovered that the complexity of distributed applications is a significant challenge.

While the architecture and delivery of applications have never been trivial work, there has been exponential growth in the complexity of application infrastructure with the introduction of the cloud.

The public cloud has accelerated the software industry’s rate of innovation by orders of magnitude. These environments have given software developers the gift of scalability, ease of support, and greater security with an overall lower total cost of ownership.

Dale Carnegie has a famous quote, “An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing”. When applied to the architecting of many applications, this couldn’t be more true.

This is because many cloud-based applications rely on services living outside of the pristine environment of the central application. In these architectures, reliance on customer data centres, microservice APIs, and even integration with on-premise hardware devices (point-of-sale terminals, medical equipment, IoT, etc) requires an application to solve a number of security, networking, and maintenance issues that were only exposed after the cloud entered the picture.

We refer to these apps as “distributed applications” because while core components of the application reside in the cloud, they are dependent on services or data extending outside of the cloud.

These applications require not only bi-directional networking capabilities but often need additional computing and remote user access features to maintain and support them.

Many times, what is overlooked in these architectures is how complex this becomes at scale. What can seem like a simple networking obstacle quickly unfolds into a DevOps and support nightmare at scale.

To get a more thorough understanding of the complexities of distributed applications, their technical challenges and the ways that Trustgrid can help, visit our online eBook on distributed application architectures.

There we explain the elements of a distributed application, ways to optimize your architectures, unforeseen challenges, and ways to ensure that the decisions you make today don’t create problems for you in the future.

With great power comes great responsibility and in a world of cloud-hosted applications, the planning and decisions you make early on will impact the roadmap, customer experience, and ultimately the profitability of the application for many years down the road. The complexity of distributed applications adds another layer of responsibility to the development process, as managing all the components seamlessly is crucial for the application’s success.

Read more about connecting distributed applications