Cloud Application Architectures

Reviewed by Major Keary

The author observes, "To many people, the term cloud computing has the feel of a buzzword", and argues that, even though the term "is used in many discordant contexts", there are three criteria that determine whether a particular service is a cloud service:

  • The service is accessible via a web browser (non proprietary) or web service API.
  • Zero capital expenditure is necessary to get started.
  • You pay only for what you use as you use it.


Cloud Application Architectures is not an introduction, or primer, for novices. The intended audience includes developers who need to write code for the cloud, architects who need to design a system for the cloud, or IT managers responsible for the move into the cloud. The author says, "If you design, build, or maintain web applications that might be deployed into the cloud, this book is for you". Discussion centres on issues rather than how-to explanations.

It is not surprising that such a slim volume (189 pages) focuses on a single model, Amazon. However, the book does include appendices on GoGrid and Rackspace.

The content is practical and remarkably lucid. Content is presented in a manner especially suited to the needs of executives who have to take decisions in respect of using cloud technologies, but who don't have a technical background in the deployment of web applications. Uppermost in their minds is likely to be security, cost, and the like. The web architect who has to provide a presentation on the issues should find Cloud Application Architectures an invaluable crib. Those CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, et al. who want to inform themselves on the subject should find a clear explanation of the issues in this book.

George Reese: Cloud Application Architectures
ISBN 978-0-596-15636-7
Published by O'Reilly, 189 pp., RRP AU$ 65.00

The Australian distributor is Woodslane <>


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