A book by Michael Kavis, ISBN

In the summer of 2008, after three decades of building software in corporate data centers, I walked away from corporate America to take a stab at building a technology company from the ground up based on a clever concept of the start-up company’s founder.

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I first met Mike Kavis when he brought our Licensed ZapThink Architect SOA course to his company in Florida several years ago. As the vice president of architecture for this firm, Mike hoped to wrangle his group of developers to help them think like architects. And while I couldn’t transform developers into architects in four days, the thrust of the course was to help people think like architects. The book you have in your hands now has the same mission. Cloud com- puting as an approach to IT infrastructure is still emerging, and thus the tech- nical details are still in flux—but the architectural principles of the cloud are now falling into place. But only by thinking like an architect will you be able to take advantage of the full power of the cloud. Architects are in a unique position in the IT shop, because they have one foot in the business and the other squarely ensconced in the technology. They must understand the nuts and bolts of what works and what doesn’t without falling victim to the techie tunnel vision that inflicts so many IT people. But they must also live and breathe the business: its strategy, its goals, and most importantly, its problems. Architecting the Cloud connects these dots. Mike Kavis has intentionally avoided product- or vendor-specific details, focusing instead on the challenges that architects, as well as stakeholders in the architecture, should address—in other words, connecting the business problem with the appropriate solution. A truism to be sure, but easier said than done in the cloud. The reason that solving business challenges in the cloud is so difficult is because the cloud is not just one thing. It is many diverse things: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS service models, public, private, and hybrid deployment models, not to mention diverse value propositions. Some organizations seek to save money with the cloud while others want to shift capital to operational expense. On top of these benefits is elasticity: dealing better with unpredictable demand for IT resources. Never before has architecture mattered so much. Building working solu- tions in the cloud that actually address the business need depends upon it. With his hands-on experience architecting such cloud solutions, Mike Kavis has the experience and insight to lead the way. —Jason Bloomberg President, ZapThink