Cloud Application Architectures: Building Applications and Infrastructure in the Cloud

George Reese (2009)
Review date: January, 2011
Summary

The first chapter gives a mandatory introduction to cloud computing; explains some terms and concerns and pushes the reader towards Amazon. According to the table of contents the second chapter is pretty much about S3 and EC2, though it contains pretty much everything you need to know to get started for real. Chapter three is pretty mush about financial and legal issues.

Chapter four, "Ready for the cloud" is a technical chapter and explains some technology issues related to deploying and running applications and databases in the cloud.

Chapter five is about security, host and network, and issues specific to the cloud, and touches briefly on regulatory compliance. The title of the next chapter "Disaster recovery" is quite self-explanatory. The last chapter is about capacity planning.

The first appendix contains a reference of Amazon command-line tools.

Opinion

I read this book around the spring of 2010. At that time I didn't know very much about the cloud and had to get started somewhere. This book provided an excellent introduction! Its style is very down-to-earth, easy to read, and it covers a lot of ground at a level that can be considered more than sufficient for a beginner.

In 200 pages the author manages to give a good overview of the topic and provide you with the actual commands and examples to really get started. A beginner can have this book in front of him and type in the commands and actually get something up and running in Amazon's cloud.

There are two down-sides to this book. One minor and one major, the former being the fact that it's superficial and only treats Amazon (OK, Appendix B and C mention Rackspace and GoGrid, but that doesn't change anything).

The big down-side, though, is that this book is quite outdated by now. Since the time it was written Amazon has enhanced the graphical interface and has added new services, new instance types and new features. This makes the book cover rather little of Amazon's current cloud offering, and the command-line approach described in the book may feel old.

On the other hand, I'd say that the examples should still work, and command-line is better for scripting and automation.

In summation. Yes, not entirely up-to-date, but still a good introduction for the beginner. Touches on the central topics and easy to read. I still like this one.

Who should read this book

If you need a soft, albeit slightly outdated, introduction to Amazon's cloud, this is your book.




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