5 Replies - 339 Views - Last Post: 29 September 2013 - 03:06 AM

#1 draxent  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 23-August 13

Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

Hi everyone, :)
I'm writing a thesis on the lock-in issue with Platform-as-a-Service.

I have been searching through hundreds of documents, but I still have a lot of questions on the argument (I hope you can help me) :
  • Data lock-in) -> You cannot take back your data from your application on the cloud. Why this? If I can read the data from a site, I can easily write a script that query my cloud database and put all the data in local. I cannot understand practically where is the real problem.
  • Platform lock-in) -> If you choose a cloud's vendor to build your application, you will use features in the operating system or database or other component that are unique to that vendor's product.
    Can you give me some examples of this kind of lock-in? If you are writing code, you should not care about the operating system, right? When can I see this lock-in, only when I'm saving files on the cloud?

So these two, plus the API lock-in, are the only lock-in issue.
Maybe I'm young and I have never had to build a complex application, but the lock-in doesn't seem to me a big problem and it seem pretty simple selects only the propretary API or the SO API and change them.

I hope you can clear my mind.
Thanks.

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Lock-in with PaaS

#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

  • #include "soul.h"
  • member icon

Reputation: 1201
  • View blog
  • Posts: 7,309
  • Joined: 07-September 06

Re: Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:55 AM

To start we'll define what lock-in is. It isn't something that absolutely prevents you from switching tools. It is however a tool to make your life difficult while doing it. For instance, if you are using a closed-source source code management tool which has a proprietary format and then decide you want to switch, but they don't provide an exporter or any way to get a standard format out of their tool you will have to write a hacked-together script that may not export everything, or maintain the same state. This is what lock-in is. Not preventing you outright, but making it difficult and time consuming to change.

Now, here is an example of the problems you stated above:
Data lock-in: I am going to heap this on in to infrastructure and simply say that the cloud vendor can and will have significantly more storage available than you will. Say you even write out 100TB of data to their cloud, how are you going to export that? You would need to have an enterprise-level solution at hand just to store it, and that doesn't even count backing the data up. This is assuming that they even give you direct access to the data you have stored.

Platform lock-in: While you can write an application to be cross-platform and be OS independent that way you are unable to escape proprietary libraries (for instance, if Amazon provides you with an API to dynamically scale the number of nodes in your cluster, you can expect that they will do it a completely different way than Microsoft will, assuming that they both even provide the same functionality). So if you wanted to change providers you would have to rewrite portions of your code. Platform refers to everything from their servers, networks, and storage to their available APIs, so API lock-in is a subset of platform lock-in.

Hope that helps.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 draxent  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 23-August 13

Re: Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 16 September 2013 - 11:52 AM

Oh thanks BetaWar, this answer helped me a lot!!!
Now I have a clearer picture of the situation, but since I haven't never had to deal with writing an application on a server (with and without cloud computing), I still have some confusion points (sorry :P)

Data lock-in: Even if you don't have a direct access to the data you have stored on the cloud, you can do brute force from the web and get your data back, right? The problem (if I got it XD) is that this process is slow, so in the meanwhile the data can change. Besides you cannot store all the data in local, because probably you don't have enough space.

Platform lock-in: What does it change if the cloud uses the Virtual Machine Disk respect Virtual Hard Disk?
If you write a cros-platform and OS independent application you have no problem to call API to save/open files on the cloud, so here you can't see the lock-in issue, right?
Could you give me other API examples that suffer the lock-in problem, like the API to dynamically scale the number of nodes?

Thanks.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 draxent  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 23-August 13

Re: Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

BetaWar, can you help me with the question above?
It's important for me to know the answer as soon as possible.

Thanks!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

  • #include "soul.h"
  • member icon

Reputation: 1201
  • View blog
  • Posts: 7,309
  • Joined: 07-September 06

Re: Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:56 PM

Ah, sorry lost track of the thread.

Quote

Even if you don't have a direct access to the data you have stored on the cloud, you can do brute force from the web and get your data back, right?

Only if they give you a way to access the data in the first place. It will really depend on how they store the data, and what they allow you to access (and how) as to how easy/ possible it is to retrieve. Not to mention that if they decide for some reason that you aren't allowed to access their servers (IE you are banned for some reason) your data will be completely lost.

Quote

What does it change if the cloud uses the Virtual Machine Disk respect Virtual Hard Disk?

VMs only allow you to write code for your own preferred OS, and doesn't save you from any lock-in (since it is still a single OS that is actually running the application, though it can be run from any computer that supports the VM).

Quote

If you write a cross-platform and OS independent application you have no problem to call API to save/open files on the cloud, so here you can't see the lock-in issue, right?

Other than if Azure and Amazon Web Services have different APIs that you get access to then you still need to potentially rewrite part if not all of you code to use a different API if you want to switch. The API is vendor-specific, unless they have an agreed upon standard. And at the moment the cloud market is pretty much a free-for-all.

Quote

Could you give me other API examples that suffer the lock-in problem, like the API to dynamically scale the number of nodes?

Here I honestly can't. I am not even sure that there is an API to dynamically scale, but it is something I expect exists somewhere...
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 draxent  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 23-August 13

Re: Lock-in with PaaS

Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:06 AM

Thanks, you helped me a lot. I'm really grateful and indebted with you.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1