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Pattern-Based Development and Management of Cloud Applications

DOI: 10.3390/fi4010110

Keywords: cloud computing, distributed application, systems management

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Abstract:

Cloud-based applications require a high degree of automation regarding their IT resource management, for example, to handle scalability or resource failures. This automation is enabled by cloud providers offering management interfaces accessed by applications without human interaction. The properties of clouds, especially pay-per-use billing and low availability of individual resources, demand such a timely system management. We call the automated steps to perform one of these management tasks a “management flow”. Because the emerging behavior of the overall system is comprised of many such management flows and is often hard to predict, we propose defining abstract management flows, describing common steps handling the management tasks. These abstract management flows may then be refined for each individual use case. We cover abstract management flows describing how to make an application elastic, resilient regarding IT resource failure, and how to move application components between different runtime environments. The requirements of these management flows for handled applications are expressed using architectural patterns that have to be implemented by the applications. These dependencies result in abstract management flows being interrelated with architectural patterns in a uniform pattern catalog. We propose a method by use of a catalog to guide application managers during the refinement of abstract management flows at the design stage of an application. Following this method, runtime-specific management functionality and management interfaces are used to obtain automated management flows for a developed application.

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