Seems like every other week we hear about a new service coming out of the public cloud: Lambda! Compute Engine! BigQuery! Glue! Athena! Fargate! Purview!
Each of these new services comes with a new innovative marketing campaign, unique name, and the feeling that this is going to be better than ever. This reminds me of when Apple introduced 5G on their phones, this already existed on Android for a while, as a new innovative feature!
An important item to note is that most of these public cloud services exist in some capacity as stand-alone services. If you pair the stand-alone service to a clustered highly available environment, you have a service match. So what exactly do you need?
Many articles online compare these “new innovative” services offered by big tech giants against each other, implying that there are no alternatives. But that’s not true, at least not anymore.
OpenStack has thousands of developers working on various cloud-oriented projects to provide the same services these public cloud providers offer. We’re only going to cover a couple of them here, but it should give you an idea of what to look for when looking at alternatives.
Enjoy the on-demand scalability of a public cloud with an enterprise-grade, open-source full provisioning solution of a private cloud with TDWS Box Cloud – our very own On-Demand Private Cloud.
Database as a Service aims to provide a highly available, large volume, performant database for your applications to plug into. This isn’t a new concept and comes in a relational or non relational format. Azure calls their product SQL Database, Google calls their product Cloud SQL, AWS calls it Aurora or Couchbase.
TDWS Cloud Services can provide you with Automation and thus giving you a DBaaS. The main focus of which is to provide scalable and reliable DBaaS for various database engines and formats. With our automation solutions fully integrated with ACS you can add to your TDWS Box Cloud at no additional cost.
Now your private cloud has the same service the big cloud providers have in their marketing playbook to lure database operators and make extra dollars from the same infrastructure.
You may not be familiar with Functions as a Service yet, but it’s catching on quite fast. The idea of Functions as a Service is to send a compute workload elsewhere and get a returned result.
Many image processing applications will shoot off the user-uploaded image for resizing, formatting, or AI manipulation to a function service running elsewhere. This gets the image back to the desired format, size, or compression leveraged result. It’s becoming common as we approach the split of micro-services to delegate specific tasks to a specific component not local to the environment running the application.
This simple service is relabeled and sold as an add-on product by the house. Azure Functions, AWS Lambda, and Google’s Cloud Functions all tackle the principle of offloading a specific task yielding a desired compute-driven result.
At TDWS we have got TDWS Functions which is a fork of the Apache OpenWhisk project. The goal of the project is to provide these “serverless” functions using various technologies like Docker and Kubernetes backed by the support of different storage mechanisms. Once again, you are able to run this on your TDWS Box Cloud as an added value service, without it being an extra item added to your public cloud bill.
What about something as simple as cloud object storage? This technology came out awhile ago. It allows you to combine the pieces of a file with some metadata, a custom identifier, and store it on a highly reliable, available, and performant storage locale. File system sharing and mounting across a bunch of servers to increase file availability doesn’t exist anymore. Just ask the service to give you your file by the identifier and you’re good to go! Start organizing your data and files into buckets – basically sectors – and you can have a highly leveraged storage behind your data delivery necessities.
You could run an application like MinIO in a docker container and get the same object storage functionality as marketed by AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, or Azure Storage. However, that would just be a stand-alone service with many, many limitations.
The selling point of the public cloud offering is the high availability and data redundancy, right? You can set this up on your own TDWS Box cloud! It integrates this functionality using Red Hat Ceph Storage, so you can store and retrieve lots of data using a simple API. Having your own TDWS Box Cloud you can be on your way to utilizing the latest and greatest storage mechanics.
Projects are used to organize people and resources. TDWS Box Cloud enables you to manage users within a single domain, can group themselves into project teams so they can collaborate and share virtual resources such as VMs, snapshots, templates, data disks, and IP addresses. TDWS Box Cloud tracks resource usage per project as well as per user, so the user can be billed to either a user account or a project. For example, a private cloud within a software company might have all members of the QA department assigned to one project, so the company can track the resources used in testing while the project members can more easily isolate their efforts from other users of the same cloud
You can configure TDWS Box Cloud to allow any user to create a new project, or you can restrict that ability to just TDWS Box Cloud administrators. Once you have created a project, you become that project’s administrator, and you can add others within your domain to the project. TDWS Box Cloud can be set up either so that you can add people directly to a project, or so that you have to send an invitation which the recipient must accept. Project members can view and manage all virtual resources created by anyone in the project (for example, share VMs). A user can be a member of any number of projects and can switch views in the TDWS Box Cloud UI to show only project-related information, such as project VMs, fellow project members, project-related alerts, and so on.
The project administrator can pass on the role to another project member. The project administrator can also add more members, remove members from the project, set new resource limits (as long as they are below the global defaults set by the TDWS Box Cloud administrator), and delete the project. When the administrator removes a member from the project, resources created by that user, such as VM instances, remain with the project. This brings us to the subject of resource ownership and which resources can be used by a project.
The next time you hear someone preach about some “marketing new name service” offered by these market majority holders, I strongly urge you to research what those services truly mean. If they are important, are they available in some other way than the marketing jargon you are being fed?
I wouldn’t be doing this write-up justice if I didn’t mention that the entire point of TDWS Box Cloud is to make private clouds accessible to anyone with a much lower barrier to entry than ever known before.
Once you have your private cloud – you can set up anything you need on it that these big guys offer. You can get the benefit of these latest cloud technologies without having to depend on the extra nickels and dimes they’re going to charge you for these ‘Extras’.