You’re not just a coder. Sure, you spend your days coding, but you also have to consider the bigger picture of architectures and cloud computing. You need to be able to know when it’s a good idea to do something in the cloud and when it’s best to keep things

 The five tools that follow can be used to help you make the right decision.

1. Above the Clouds

There are many tools you can use to keep track of cloud computing and its constant change. The most popular is probably the Cloud Technology Radar , which gives you a good overview of the current state of cloud computing. However, there are three other tools that I recommend:

1) Cloud Computing Questions and Answers  is a document produced by NIST, containing a list of questions that will give you an idea about what makes sense for your particular situation.

2) The Cloud Computing International Standard (CCS) is a document that has been created by the ISO. It defines what is expected of your cloud. This could be useful if, for example, you’re considering whether to use Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon’s AWS. 

The CCS gives you an idea about what investments you can expect in the future for those platforms and how they will look 5 years into the future. It’s not a tool that gives you the final opinion but it should be enough to help make a decision.  In addition, their blog is also very interesting .

3) The NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture is a document that gives you the requirements and benefits of using cloud computing. It doesn’t tell you how to get it but if you’re looking at how to implement something in the cloud this might provide you with a good starting point.

2. Inside the Clouds

Cloud computing is great but it can be used in a variety of different ways. It might work great for one application but not for another. This is why you need to know how each cloud provides services and how they differ from one another. 

A great tool in the cloud space is Cloudability . Their comparison tables are very comprehensive and they tell you, at a glance, what kind of services you can get on-premise versus what services are available on-demand in the cloud.

 A similar tool that helps you compare different cloud computing providers is Cloud Compare . With this tool, it’s easy to compare offers from AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and Digital Ocean.

3. Inside the Hardware

A cloud is only as powerful as the hardware that it runs on. All the clouds are connected to each other and they share resources. However, this makes it difficult to know how well each cloud performs and how its running affects other clouds in its path. This is where you need to know what each cloud provider has available in terms of hardware specs:

For example, AWS has a range of Quantum computing hardware that can be used for big-data analytics . Microsoft offers virtual machine instances which have a 3-4x performance boost than general purpose instances . Google offers an impressive GPU-accelerated instance that can be used for artificial intelligence applications .

4. Inside the Code

Finally, there is the code . You need to know how to code in a working environment that supports cloud computing. Is your application prepared to run on a distributed cluster? Does it have any dependencies? Can it deal with changes in the cloud resources?

 These are all questions you need to ask yourself and make sure you’re aware of whether your application is suitable for use in a cloud environment. There are many tools out there that can help with this such as CloudAware and Skymind . Both of these tools allow you to test your application before putting it into production.

5. Inside the Future

Everything that is done today will be done tomorrow. Knowing what has happened in the past will help us make sure we are not repeating mistakes. This is why you need to keep a close eye on new technologies and new developments in the cloud such as machine learning and artificial intelligence .  

We don’t fully understand how these things will change computing so it’s essential to keep an eye on what’s coming down the line. It can be difficult to keep up with all this, but there are plenty of tools that let you do so, such as LaunchDarkly .

 This tool provides powerful automation for developers and allows them to integrate their workflows with various cloud environments.  Another great resource is CloudSense . This is an all-encompassing, large-scale documentation site that focuses on the latest developments in the cloud.

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