Design considerations for hybrid applications – Manageaility


This article was authored by AzureCAT Marc van Eijk. It was edited by Bruce Hamilton and reviewed by Damir Bersinic, Gavin Kemp, Daniel Neumann, and Emmanuel Sache.

Table of Contents:

  1. Overview
  2. Placement
  3. Scalability
  4. Availability
  5. Resiliency
  6. Manageability - This article
  7. Security
  8. Summary & Learn more

Manageability

The considerations for how you manage your hybrid applications are critical in designing your architecture. A well-managed hybrid application provides an infrastructure as code that enables the integration of consistent application code in a common development pipeline. By implementing consistent system-wide and individual testing of changes to the infrastructure, you can assure an integrated deployment if the changes pass the tests, allowing them to be merged into the source code.

For the core discussion of this pillar, see Management and dev ops in Pillars of software quality.

Manageability checklist

Implement monitoring. Use a centralized monitoring system of application components spread across clouds to provide an aggregated view of their health and performance. This system includes monitoring both the application components and related platform capabilities. Determine the parts of the application that require monitoring.

Coordinate policies. Each location that a hybrid application spans can have its own policy that covers allowed resource types, naming conventions, tags, and other criteria.

Define and use roles. As a database administrator, you need to determine the permissions required for different personas (like an application owner, a database administrator, and an end user) that need to access application resources. These permissions need to be configured on the resources and inside the application. A role-based access control (RBAC) system allows you to set these permissions on the application resources. These access rights are challenging when all resources are deployed in a single cloud but require even more attention when the resources are spread across clouds. Permissions on resources set in one cloud do not apply to resources set in another cloud.

Use CI/CD pipelines. A Continuous Integration and Continuous Development (CI/CD) pipeline can provide a consistent process for authoring and deploying applications that span across clouds, and to provide quality assurance for their infrastructure and application. This pipeline enables the infrastructure and application to be tested on one cloud and deployed on another cloud. The pipeline even allows you to deploy certain components of your hybrid application to one cloud and other components to another cloud, essentially forming the foundation for hybrid application deployment. A CI/CD system is critical for handling the dependencies application components have for each other during installation, such as the web application needing a connection string to the database.

Manage the life cycle. Because resources of a hybrid application can span locations, each single location’s life-cycle management capability needs to be aggregated into a single life-cycle management unit. Consider how they are created, updated, and deleted.

Examine troubleshooting strategies. Troubleshooting a hybrid application involves more application components than the same application that is running in a single cloud. Besides the connectivity between the clouds, the application is running on two platforms instead of one. An important task in troubleshooting hybrid applications is to examine the aggregated health and performance monitoring of the application components.

 

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