APIs, and Clouds: Please Explain the Joke!

Some people have asked what the sentence on my laptop sticker means. I was gifting some of these stickers at the OTN Tour Latam 2016. Maybe it is a bit of a academic / nerdy joke. So let me explain.

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The Posh (and boring)

Once upon a time there were people rich in money but poor in humor driving around in their second cars (typically a small Mercedes, a small BMW or a small Audi) with a sticker on it saying that their first car is a huge Mercedes, Porsche or Bentley. Let’s not waste too much time talking about these people here.


The cooll stuff as often started in Down Under. Some people with a lifestyle instead of a job came up with a cool car sticker, that basically said it is much nicer to have a small boat and go to the sea for diving than wasting money on a second car. E.g. see here for a rather fun version.


Then (to the best of my knowledge) Google made fun out of it, riding the cloud computing wave with a sticker that said “My other Computer is a Data Center“. Meaning that if you use the cloud you can have a whole data center.

Cloud Computing and APIs

Let’s get a bit more specific: What I pointed out half decade ago (yes, that time when everybody was just laughing about that topic) in my Cloud Computing book is the following: The true beauty of cloud computing is not that you access a compute instance in somebody else’s data center – this is what you could simply get by outsourcing. Guys, it’s more that your whole data center is software. Your whole data center is an API!

With cloud computing the difference of placing a cloud instance in Sydney or Frankfurt is just one single parameter in an API call – that comes at no extra cost. Same for placing it in datacenter 1 in Frankfurt or datacenter 2. So you get geo-redundancy for free! Now go and try this at home.

Also there is no difference in using 100 instances for 1h or using 1 instance for 100h. So you have a massively parallel, distributed supercomputer at your fingertips for a few pennies. Try this in your DC.

I guess now you get an idea what sticker means and why it says API. At the end it is all about APIs. And we haven’t even started to talk about the possibilities of PaaS, SaaS, HaaS, or API Management 🙂 Btw, sometimes I think most marketing people do a really bad job causing FUD instead of promoting tech.

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Let me know if you spot more of these stickers out there and send me pics :-)!

DevOps tools: Easily tunnel your localhost (WebLogic or some other) server with ngrok to the world

Here is another addition to my DevOps tools series that is worth to know if you work with any kind of servers such as WebLogic, nginx or Apache httpd etc.

ngrok is a fun and very easy tool I use from time to time in demos or when running a training.
It opens a public tunnel (that of course can be protected) to connect to your local server. Really nice if you are in a different network than your audience, or hidden between a DSL router etc.

In the webcast below I show how to access WebLogic 12.2.1 running on localhost:7001

You read it here first 🙂

also check out the webcasts of the DevOps tools series about how to detect high CPU threads, or the usage of lsof.


Another View: Your Data Center’s Degree of Cloud

Here is another view that I just developed to describe a customer’s level of cloud. I used this view because quite often a public cloud is just regarded as an “outsourced datacenter”, however there are many steps in between the two extremes. Sometimes it’s easier to approach the cloud computing topic from the classical perspective of virtualization.

Anything you would like to add?

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I recommend to compare what Amazon, Google or Oracle public cloud offers based on the table above compared to your on premise DC.

12 Public Cloud Benefits and Features You Should Know

20150311_114235The last few years I spent a quite a bit of time talking about public clouds. When I published my cloud computing book, public clouds were mostly still believed to be a hype. Availability, security, persistence of data, and much much more was questioned.

Today only few IT professionals are stuck with this old school thinking. The major public clouds are a superset of what is provided by a classical data centers.

What features would you check for when looking at a potential cloud provider? Does your data center offer every feature and service listed below?

  1. All IT in the cloud is software. There is an API for everything. The whole data center is a set of APIs. This includes load balancers, servers, storage, databases, application servers, API gateways, firewalls, storage, etc.
  2. Short term capacity is very cheap.
  3. Since capacity is cheap, typically you don’t update or redeploy in the cloud, instead you spin up new immutable servers.
  4. Changing your hardware costs nothing. If you find out or assume that your application will run better on high-CPU instances instead of high-memory instances you can simply swap.
  5. Availability comes with no extra cost. You can place two instances in two fully redundant data centers for the same cost as placing two instances in the same data center.
  6. Also parallelism comes with no extra cost. Using 1000 instances for 1h costs as much as using 1 instance for 1000 hours. You’ve got a massively parallel supercomputer at your hands.
  7. You save the time for capacity planning since capacity is available on demand.
  8. Capacity planning still makes sense for predicting future costs.
  9. Procurement happens within seconds or minutes.
  10. You don’t pay for unused resources. Scaling down reduces your costs.
  11. You can put IT resources close to the customer location where they are needed since the public cloud will be globally available.
  12. Cost for resources in the cloud used to drop by around 30% every year. Long term projects with constant resource usage will cost less every year.

You care to disagree?

Oracle Cloud: ICS

Quite a while ago (a year before Larry announced the Oracle Public Cloud) I wrote about SaaS applications and a service bus PaaS to interconnect services: “… services are integrated and virtualized by a service bus in the cloud and orchestrated by a workflow system in the cloud [Oracle Middleware and Cloud Computing] “.

Back then it almost seemed like building castles in Spain. Indeed it took several years to build the PaaS service – yet today Thomas Kurian and Larry Ellison announce Oracle’s ICS. Now it’s out there with all the agility that comes with a cloud based solution.

It’s the cloud! So get a test account, play with it, scale it and try to break it!

Let me know what you think using @frankmunz and add: @soacommunity.

photo: F.M.