Episode #20 – Future of Cloud Identity with Thomas Curran, p2

My guest today is Thomas Curran. Thomas is a cloud executive with many years of experience, including VP of Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom and Technology Advisor at Deutsche Börse. He is the co-founder of the Ory Software Foundation, which is the owner of a very popular open source, go-based, identity management library named Kratos, along with other open source identity management tools.

Now, Thomas is co-founders of Ory Corp, an Open Source Identity Infrastructure and Services company.

Thomas is with me today from his office in Munich, Germany, to talk about application identity management.

As means of full disclosure, I’ve worked with Thomas personally for many years, first meeting him back when he was at Deutsche Börse. I’m now currently working directly with Thomas at Ory, architecting their new cloud infrastructure.

Tech Tapas — History of the Term SaaS

When did software as a service start? Well, that depends on what you mean by the term… depending on how you define SaaS, the answer is either the early 1960s, or somewhere around 2005.

Back in the early days of computing, all applications ran on a centralized computer. Users accessed the computers remotely. Initially via punch cards and later via remote terminals. The centralized nature of the application is, by a true definition, Software as a Service.

But the modern definition of SaaS is tied much more closely with cloud computing. SaaS now-a-days refers to software running centrally, typically in a public or private cloud environment, and is shared among multiple users. A thin client of some sort — either a web browser or a thin mobile application — is used to front the centralized application.

From a business model standpoint, users don’t buy SaaS software, instead they rent or lease access to it with monthly or annual fees. Alternatively, the service could be free and supported by advertising or other monetization processes. This is the heart of the business model for social media, for example.

So, SaaS is an old term that has been given new meaning in recent years. But it’s the recent definition that has really changed the way people think and build software today.

Tech Tapas — Amazon S3

Amazon S3. A highly durable, highly available file and object storage mechanism in the cloud. This service is the go to service for most companies that want to store huge quantities of data in the cloud, or for long term persistent object storage.

S3 was designed with the goals of being highly available, highly durable, and highly scalable. The design goal for availability is 99.99%, with a durability of objects of 99.999999999 (that’s 11 9’s).

How available? The 4 9’s availability translates to a total of 52 minutes of downtime per year.

How durable? The 11 9’s durability means that if every man, woman, and child in the world had an object in S3, then Amazon would lose at most one of those objects, approximately once every 15 years.

These are amazing goals, and is one of the reasons S3 has such a great reputation as a high quality object storage system. S3 was one of three initial AWS services and was a big part of AWS’s early success.

 

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