Cloud Computing Patterns

A colleague recommended this list of application design patterns for cloud computing. The idea of common dictionary of terminology is always important. This is a good collection of the different patterns that can be used in a cloud application. Using the abstract pattern names rather than the specific implementation names can help abstract the discussion from a single implementation to the more generic architectural discussion. A specific implementation can have specific strengths, weaknesses and biases, but a generic pattern is the more pure concept. The concept allows the discussion to focus on the goals rather than implementation specifics at the initial level.

I read through the patterns and found a couple I hadn’t been aware of like timeout-based message processor, community cloud and data abstractor. The timeout-based message processor is a name for a concept I was familiar with, but never had a name for. Essentially it’s a message handling process where you ack the message after processing, as opposed to on receipt. The community cloud is a pattern for sharing resources across multiple applications and organizations. The data abstractor is a way to handle multiple services having eventually consistent data and show a single consistent view of the underlying data, by abstracting the data to hide the inconsistencies. None of these three patterns is a mind blowing solution to a problem I’ve been having, but they’re all interesting tools to have in my toolbox.

There are a bunch of different ideas which vary from the common base level knowledge of cloud computing to solutions for some quite specific problems. The definitions of the various patterns are concise and reference other related patterns, so even if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for you should be able to find your way to it fairly quickly. Overall worth checking out if you are working on a distributed application.

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