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Mobile First – Cloud First Simplified (2 of 3)

Continuing the simplification of mobile first, cloud first from the previous post

Let’s highlight the two big objectives that are achieved by separating core business services and platforms specific client in the last post:

  • Platform and device outreach – HTTP being understood by all modern devices, makes your service consumable by any device that can host a client application and understand the language of the web.
  • Heavy lifting done on the server – With the separation between a client app and business as a service running on a server somewhere, all the heavy lifting is done on the server where as the user’s device is doing mostly the user interaction. The heavy lifting work is generally referred to complex computations that consume a lot of hardware resources like CPU, RAM which is generally a limitation on small mobile devices.

Now let’s talk a little about the server.

Is your application business ready or feature ready?
So now we have built our application in a restful manner to reach a broad spectrum of devices and we moved the heavy lifting on the server. At this point our business idea can either take off or send us back to the drawing board. In either case the load on the server that is doing the complex operation is going to fluctuate.

The question here is – is the application infrastructure elastic enough to support that… or is such increase and decrease in the infrastructure going to come with a heavy cost?

It is a difficult question to answer for any developer – how many users (or traffic) would the current server infrastructure be able to hold? The best answer that you will get would be a very careful calculation based on perhaps stress testing, overly padded with seasoned wisdom. In fact, in case of a new application or a rewritten application with the newer frameworks, it is very difficult to evaluate the ideal infrastructure requirement until the rubber hits the road. To be on the safer side, every team tends to overestimate.

Cloudy with heavy awesomeness
Moving the infrastructure to cloud will help you achieve such elasticity. You do not need to worry about contacting data centers really, you can spin off new servers and shut them down when not needed, using a few lines of scripts. Depending on the service you are using, you could do many infrastructure operations using a self-service portal and be charged for only the infrastructure you use, for the duration you used it.

Suppose after we launched our application, we found that out target customers are in a specific geographic location like the east coast or some other part of the world that our analysts never imagined. Can you quickly respond to the new found opportunity? Most cloud service providers will allow you to select the geographic location of your infrastructure, allowing to place more servers closer to the customer for optimized user experience.

Global cloud providers are large organizations that have heavily invested in the infrastructure over the years thus providing you high security and availability. Therefore, there are many benefits that your business gets by moving to the cloud that might be difficult to estimate beforehand.