The Doppler Quarterly Spring 2019 - Page 39

Additionally, deploying elastic applications can eliminate the need for certain jobs. If an organization does not have to physically scale apps up and down, it can either shift workers to another function, or trim the jobs from their rolls. Finally, there is the ever-present issue of finding developers to build elastic apps. The concept is new in the marketplace, so there is a limited amount of talent available to fill these specialized positions. The money you save on managing capacity could get eaten up paying people to build the apps. How to Create Elastic Applications Elastic apps differ in form and function. Serverless elastic apps can be stitched together using PaaS layer services, for example. You can connect AWS Lambda functions in ways you never considered using a server architecture. On the Microsoft Azure side, you could use SQL services for databases, and let Azure scale up and down as SQL services are needed for high volumes of queries. Or you could write all the code yourself. To run elastic apps, you must rethink how you architect and build your applications. You have to build them to be self-aware, responding to triggers that are constantly deter- mining the loads on the platform. This requires a monitoring system that feeds signals to the app related to important aspects of the platform, such as CPU utilization, traffic volume, disk speed and many more. You need to be watching data coming in and have an early warning system that signals when inbound loads are scaling rapidly enough to need additional accommodation. It is like having a control tower. The goal is to have eyes on the platform to get early warning signals of the loads, before it is too late to respond. Where Elastic Apps Make Sense Certain verticals are natural targets for elastic apps. Web-based retailers are subject to wide swings in demand and are perfect for elastic apps. In the medical arena, globally connected dialysis machines will need to scale operations constantly, as usage waxes and wanes across geographies. Then there are apps that leverage the internet of things (IoT). They are going to have different streams of data coming in, and how the data gets consumed and processed could evolve radically over time. Today, elastic apps are a small portion of all apps. Forward-thinking developers see them as must-haves, and are pressing to invest for the long haul. In the future, elastic apps will be closer to the norm. Unless the investment in building one is not justified by the value it would deliver, you will generally prefer applications that tailor automatically to your needs. SPRING 2019 | THE DOPPLER | 37