Surviving a Cloud-Only World

by Hadean Platform

Since its inception cloud-computing has been in a constant state of evolution. Offering ever increasing amounts of processing power, storage and connectivity it has touched most aspects of our lives, from the applications on our smart phones through to the harnessing of big data by analytics engines. We are now on the cusp of the latest iteration, what is coming to be known as “cloud-only”.

After emerging as a nascent concept in the mid 2000s, the last fifteen years or so have been marked by a gradual transition from an almost exclusively on-premise model through to cloud computing as we know it today. Understanding this general trend, vendors often cautiously began to redesign, rearchitect and repackage their applications for the cloud. Eventually, those that didn’t were consigned to the scrap heap. 

As part of this shift in approach, entirely new tooling and middleware has emerged; notably around containerisation with Docker and Kubernetes. Alongside this new compute layer, a handful of major players have come to dominate the cloud landscape with their own infrastructure, applications and tooling. AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure all have powerful offerings and extensive ecosystems built around them. 

A cloud-only startup must find a way to step out from under the spectre of these giants, carving out a space that it can own independently of larger influences. It requires a unique IP that cannot simply be absorbed or co-opted by one of the current leaders. 

Why Hadean Have Created A Cloud-Native Platform

Fortunately, startups do have a particular advantage against many incumbent businesses that have endured the transition to cloud computing. Software developed during that era was still fundamentally designed for static infrastructure; it was intended to run on premise and then be migrated to the cloud. The very nature of containerisation fragments an application in order to take advantage of the cloud’s elasticity.

Indeed, whilst containerisation technology is well suited for designing cloud apps, it lacks the capability for dynamic scaling and high-performance. These apps must rely on bespoke, often complex architectures that involve significant manual ops and maintenance. At the same time, HPC technologies such as MPI were developed to help carry out low-level optimisations on programs to the specific characteristics of a supercomputer and achieve performance. The emphasis is on conserving precious supercomputing resources rather than highly-productive scale-/distribution-agnostic computing. 

Cloud-nativity, by contrast, involves being designed to run directly on cloud infrastructure, without the layers of middleware and complex, resource intensive architectural redesign. The Hadean platform is a cloud-native solution that combines the lightweight portability of cloud tooling with the power of high-performance computing technologies from the pre-cloud era. It brings together the inherent qualities of cloud-nativity, combining dynamic scaling and high-performance, as well as unifying the infrastructure and application as a single concern. 

Surviving in the cloud-only era requires forging an independent space, whilst also remaining open to other technologies that share similar properties. Hadean is therefore designed to be technologically agnostic and integrate with any major infrastructure provider, or even containerisation tools when required. In essence it reimagines current cloud computing, offering the benefits of near unlimited power, scale and connectivity, without ripping up existing infrastructure.