O'Reilly's Performance Optimizations in a Cloud-Centric World

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ficult to determine exactly how a website should be developed. For example: • Can data can be updated in real time? • Can activity be triggered in response to a user activity, e.g., predictive search? • Which functionality should be executed client side and which server side? • Can functionality be consistent across platforms? 3. Servers and Data Center Infrastructure Traditionally, when hosting in a data center, you can make an informed choice about all aspects of the hardware and infrastructure you use. You can work with the data center provider to build the hardware and the network infrastructure to your specific require‐ ments, including the connectivity into your systems. You can influ‐ ence or at least be aware of the types of hardware and networking being used, the peering relationships, the physical location of your hardware, and even its location within the building. The construction of your platform is a process of building some‐ thing to last, and once built, it should remain relatively static, with any changes being non-trivial operations. The migration of many data centers to virtualized platforms started a process of migration from static to throwaway platforms. However, it was with the growth of cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms that systems became completely throwaway. An extension to IaaS is Platform as a Service (PaaS), where, rather than having any access to the infrastructure at all, you simply pass some code into the system, a platform is created, and the code deployed upon it is ready to run. With these systems, all details of the underlying hardware and infra‐ structure are hidden from view, and you're asked to put your trust in the cloud providers to do what is best. This way of working is practi‐ cal and can be beneficial; cloud providers are managing infrastruc‐ ture across many users and have a constant process of upgrading and improving the underlying technology. The only way they can coordinate rolling out the new technology is to make it non- optional (and therefore hidden from end users). 6 | Chapter 1: Losing Control

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