Cloud-Agnostic: Friend or Foe?

I have been working on a project for a while that includes the deployment of a large number of moving parts that are in a significant state of flux. Drops every two weeks, new features added all the time, and, of course, with a system this size there is a great amount of complexity involved. Complexity in the Continuous Integration stage, complexity with the end-to-end testing, and, definitely, complexity with the Continuous Deployment.

A good part of the intricacies comes from the fact the development team wants to assure that the deployment will be cloud-agnostic. But before I go into if this would be a good or a bad thing, let me first explain what this means, and offer a few examples.

Cloud Agnostic

It is no secret that almost no OpenStack cloud is identical to another. The network setup could be different (provider networks vs. private networks). Some clouds have Swift installed by default, while others do not. There are nuances and differences between an on-premises OpenStack deployment and using an OpenStack cloud provider, such as RackSpace. APIs are different, versions are different. This makes things very difficult for people writing software to interact with the cloud to address a fully cloud agnostic solution. APIs, authentication mechanisms, and the way you can access resources will change from one cloud to another.

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What is Hyperconverged Infrastructure? Three Cloud Experts Answer

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appears to have been confusing people ever since 2012, when the term was first coined by Steve Chambers and Forrester Research. While computing experts agree on the basics of HCI as a system of IT that’s intended to bring a more powerful virtualized infrastructure to big enterprise, there is still a lot of disagreement as to what defines and delineates HCI.

By the standard definition, in HCI the elements of computing, SAN, and networking are virtualized and all the networking and storage tasks are implemented virtually using software rather than physically in hardware. But since “hyperconverged infrastructure” originated in marketing lingo rather than in purely technical terminology, its meaning isn’t quite so defined. Divergence of opinion about what constitutes HCI shows that even experts are uncertain about the role and importance of the approach.

How are we to understand what HCI is and the role it’s likely to play in enterprise IT? We decided to go straight to the top to get a clear answer for you. We asked three experts with long-term experience in data center and enterprise IT how they define hyperconverged infrastructure, and this is what they told us.

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Screenshot at Jul 17 18-14-42