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How 'systems thinking' is making the cloud transparent

Given my current obsession with understanding everything I can about how cloud computing is beginning to look, feel and behave like a variety of other complex adaptive systems, I’ve started paying close attention to the widespread practice of systems thinking.

This, I think, is a critical observation for people building large scale cloud-computing applications and services that integrate with other applications and services in the cloud. Understanding where the boundaries of source code and data models lie is relatively straightforward, nevertheless understanding the boundaries of operations — monitoring, compliance, decision making, liability in short on in cloud-based applications — is not so straightforward.

All of this leads me to what I think is the key conclusion that has to be reached about the future architecture of our shared cloud computing “system”: transparency is essential. Without a steady stream of feedback data from whatever sources we determine — over time — have a significant impact on the operation of our applications, we are doomed to be unable to properly find the right “boundaries” for those applications.

The functioning state of infrastructure

Information about the functioning state of infrastructure, services or even other applications will be critical to evolving the automation that successfully enables resiliency. And, as I noted in my keynote finally month’s excellent Gluecon in Colorado, one key goal in these systems is resiliency.

More information: Gigaom