Cloud Design Patterns: How They Can Help You

A couple of years ago I came across the video of a presentation that some young Japanese Solution Architects from AWS hosted at re:Invent 2012. They were presenting architectural solutions in the AWS through a series of Design Patterns.

I found it extremely interesting, because I work in the Cloud Computing industry since years, and many of the traditional concepts of Design Patterns are very resonant with the potentials of the cloud. For example: drawing an architectural solution starting from common needs in the whole range of architectures computer systems, or automating predetermined layouts, specific actions based on events, and so on. To test the reception of the academic and professional area on this topic, I hosted a talk on this topic in July 2013, during the Cloud Community Day, an event I organized with EuroCloud Italy in the Politecnico of Milan, a prestigious Italian university.

The topic is quite broad, so we will have discussed in a series of posts, starting with this one. Don’t mean to be exhaustive, but hope to inspire you the curiosity shared by many other Patterns enthusiasts.

The concept of AWS Cloud Design Patterns

A good, general definition of a Design Pattern might be as follows: “A general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem”. A design pattern is defined by the following elements:

  • Name for the Design Pattern;
  • description or a model to be applied to solve a problem that can occur in different situations during the design process;
  • problem, or the description of the situation you can apply the pattern too;
  • solution describing the elements of the project with the relations and their consequences;
  • the consequences, results, and constraints resulting from the application of the pattern.

It’s important to remark that, given the rapid innovation of the Cloud services, a design pattern may become obsolete over time, for example, due to the release of new services. For example, think to Lambda, the new service that AWS recently launched: it could replace many architectural solutions. Or the new RDBMS service called Aurora: it might become a better solution for RDS on AWS than other engines. It’s important to stay up-to-date with news like these and update your Design Patterns accordingly.

AWS has no reference nor official documentation about Cloud Design Patterns but they have a good amount of continuously updated “Best Practices” documents available at the AWS Architecture Center. Also, they share a good amount of Whitepapers that you might want to read. The AWS blog is another place where you can often find many interesting pointers. None of them is primarily focused on Cloud Design Patterns though. So, all in all, this initiative by the three Japanese guys, who work for AWS since several years, by the way, seems to be an unofficial effort, probably born as a great evangelizing activity aimed at creating a community of pattern designers.

On the implementation side though, AWS has a service that perfectly blends with the logic of Cloud Design Patterns, and it is Cloud Formation. A solution described by a Design Pattern may be easily transformed into a template of CloudFormation. An interesting software from an AWS partner, that is Cloud Pattern Studio, tries to do just that. It’s a free AMI, published on the AWS Marketplace and produced by Cognizant, which allows you to draw an environment in AWS and to export it as a template of Cloud Formation.
Now, a definition for AWS Cloud Design Patterns might be as follows: “AWS Cloud Design Patterns are a collection of solutions and design ideas aimed at using the AWS Cloud technology to solve common systems design problems”. Following up the breakdown we have seen before, a Cloud Design Pattern might be described as follows:

  • Pattern Name/Summary: Pattern name, summary, and a brief description;
  • Solving Issues: Description of typical issues that led to pattern creation, and what issues/challenges can be solved through its implementation;
  • Explanation of pattern / Resolution in the cloud: Description of the terms or how to solve the problems in the cloud; why any pattern or a description of the configuration has become a pattern of what;
  • Implementation: Description about how to implement the pattern using AWS;
  • Benefits: Description of the benefits from the pattern’s application;
  • Notes: Description of tradeoffs, advantages, disadvantages, and points to note when applying this pattern;
  • Other: Comparison with other patterns, use cases, and additional information.

In the next post, we will see an application of these patterns to a practical use case, to have a better idea of how Cloud Design Patterns can help you design effective architectures in real-life scenarios.

Avatar

Written by

Fabio Cecaro

Expert and Visionary of the Cloud Computing model, Cloud Solution Architect, President of EuroCloud Italy. Purist of the NIST definition of Cloud Computing. I began to deal with the Cloud since 2007 as a private researcher, then as an entrepreneur. To evangelize the area where I live, I founded one of the first five Europeans AWS User Group (Naples, Italy), co-founded the EuroCloud Italy association and organized CloudCamps. I have "baptized" many to the Cloud. My Nicknames: Mr.Cloud or Santa Cloud at Christmas time.


Related Posts

Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross
— January 7, 2021

New Content: AWS Terraform, Java Programming Lab Challenges, Azure DP-900 & DP-300 Certification Exam Prep, Plus Plenty More Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Big Data Courses

This month our Content Team continues building the catalog of courses for everyone learning about AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. In addition, this month’s updates include several Java programming lab challenges and a couple of courses on big data. In total, we released five new learning...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— December 17, 2020

Where Should You Be Focusing Your AWS Security Efforts?

Another day, another re:Invent session! This time I listened to Stephen Schmidt’s session, “AWS Security: Where we've been, where we're going.” Amongst covering the highlights of AWS security during 2020, a number of newly added AWS features/services were discussed, including: AWS Audit...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • cloud security
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— December 4, 2020

AWS re:Invent: 2020 Keynote Top Highlights and More

We’ve gotten through the first five days of the special all-virtual 2020 edition of AWS re:Invent. It’s always a really exciting time for practitioners in the field to see what features and services AWS has cooked up for the year ahead.  This year’s conference is a marathon and not a...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Glue Elastic Views
  • AWS re:Invent
Bryony Harrower
Bryony Harrower
— November 6, 2020

WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead

At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • GCP
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— October 25, 2020

Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future

Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • careers
  • champions
  • upskilling
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— October 14, 2020

New Content: AWS Data Analytics – Specialty Certification, Azure AI-900 Certification, Plus New Learning Paths, Courses, Labs, and More

This month our Content Team released two big certification Learning Paths: the AWS Certified Data Analytics - Speciality, and the Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900. In total, we released four new Learning Paths, 16 courses, 24 assessments, and 11 labs.  New content on Cloud Academy At any ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 15, 2020

New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More

This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— August 28, 2020

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Patrick Navarro
Patrick Navarro
— August 25, 2020

Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS

From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day —  cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Cloud Adoption
  • digital transformation
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— August 18, 2020

Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap

Hello —  Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • Content updates
  • DevOps
  • GCP
  • Google Cloud
  • New content
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— August 5, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More

This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 16, 2020

Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More

This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs