While cloud hosting has long been a way for companies to launch scalable IT infrastructure, the technology can also pave the way for innovation in application development and website design. VentureBeat contributor Dylan Tweney recently , which moved into the cloud to build interactive Web software.
One disadvantage of traditional development environments is that resource provisioning can take a considerable amount of time as well as take attention away from IT projects. However, cloud hosting frees up this time and allows developers to focus on their core competencies.
“Canvas’s current team includes full-stack engineers, coding mostly in Rails, but the arrangement makes it so they don’t have to, say, spin up a new SQL database server – and that lets all the engineers focus on coding instead of provisioning servers,” Tweney wrote.
Canvas also collects a large amount of data from its clients, which is then used to develop high impact, interactive Web content. The company leverages cloud storage to handle the large volume of information, suggesting confidence in the platform’s ability to safeguard digital assets.
A new way to develop apps
Particularly for Web software, the cloud can be a cost effective way to deploy new apps or respond to rapid fluctuations in demand. For instance, Canvas was able to meet the needs of one client that did not receive a lot of Web traffic outside of football season. During peak periods, cloud resources can be scaled up to meet demand. Once activity subsides, businesses can then scale down resources to avoid paying more than necessary.
Furthermore, cloud computing may lead to a new way of developing software, according to TechCrunch contributor Pete Sonsini. Noting the proliferation of application programming interfaces, he predicted that cloud-based application development will become increasingly focused on combining services into a single architecture. This would raise the level of automation in today’s software, since services could be decoupled from their respective apps and used in other software.
Sonsini compared this trend to software-defined networking, suggesting that lessons learned from SDN could pave the way for more effective use of the cloud.
“Cloud application architecture does bear some resemblance to SDN, where a centralized intelligent element (a cloud service) often plays the role of analyzing data from across numerous end nodes (in this case application instances) and modifying the behavior of those end nodes,” Sonsini wrote.
IT security professionals have already utilized many of the features that would enable this approach to application development. For example, machine learning and other big data strategies have been utilized to detect threats. When an anomaly is detected, this data can be automatically shared throughout the network to alert key stakeholders. Sonsini predicted that a similar degree of automation and integration in cloud applications will lead to significant performance improvements, since apps will essentially be able to optimize their workloads based on the data they collect.