Modern Digital Business Blog

Assessing Your Organization’s Cloud Maturity Level

Operating successfully in the cloud is still a daunting challenge for many companies today. Too often, organizations have overly high expectations about the benefits of being in the cloud while underestimating the amount of work required to get there. An unfortunate result can be a vicious cycle of blame, finger pointing, and business leaders grasping for something—anything—that could be considered a victory. When they find that small bit of success, organizations may decide they&rsq

The Dangers of Data Partitioning While Scaling

Data partitioning is a common practice to make use of multiple databases to store larger datasets, or datasets accessed at a higher frequency than a single database can handle. It’s a common practice used in large software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems for scaling to handle larger quantities of traffic. Typically, a partitioning key is used to determine which partitioned database to use for a particular data request. A simple example of data partitioning is to partition all data for an appli

How to Become a Software Architect: Interview with Java Brains Founder

I was recently interviewed by Koushik Kothagal, founder of the popular Java Brains developer training portal, for his podcast show The Artifact. Koushik and I had a lively discussion about what it really takes to become a software architect—and specifically how software engineers who are ready for the next step in their careers can make the leap from developer to architect. Our conversation was inspired by my popular LinkedIn learning course Software Architecture: From Developer to Archite

Don’t Put Architecture at Risk in Rush to Build a Minimum Viable Product

Agile development and DevOps processes are in vogue now. It seems that most well-run development organizations either already have these processes ingrained in their culture, or are striving to. No matter which Agile development process you use, they all have one guiding principle: incremental software development. In its simplest form, Agile methodologies focus on  building the minimum viable product that will solve your business’s needs. Then, based on feedback and experience, you i

Tech Trends: First Look, Episode #1

Join Lee Atchison and Ken Gavranovic as we discuss the latest hot tech trends. We look at what’s getting funded and what’s getting traction in the marketplace. Finally, we take a look at a story behind a story in the news.   More articles from Lee Atchison: Dive into ‘Architecting for Scale’ in the Latest GOTO Book Club Podcast More Kubernetes, Less Serverless, According to Latest CNCF Report 2022 Is the Year of the Citizen Developer  

Availability vs. Reliability: What’s the Difference?

Availability and reliability are two similar but different concepts. When building a highly scaled, highly available web application, it is important to understand the difference between the two. Reliability generally refers to the quality of a system. Typically, it means the ability of a system to consistently perform according to specifications. You speak of software as reliable if it passes its test suites, and does generally what you think it should do. Reliability answers questions such as

Don’t Let Your Application Turn into Another Winchester Mystery House

Some time ago when I was living in Silicon Valley, I often drove by a curious-looking structure called the Winchester Mystery House every day on my way to work. The Winchester Mystery House is a San Jose mansion that was once the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Winchester, and the heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune. Originally purchased in 1884 as an unfinished eight-room farmhouse, it was expanded over the course of 36 years to an overall footprint of 24,000 square feet.&nb

Your Business Has a Disaster Recovery Plan—But Have You Actually Tested It?

If the qualifications for playing in the Big Game were based entirely on regular season records, then the championship should’ve been between Tennessee and Green Bay. And yet, neither team made it to the game. In fact, both of the league’s best teams were gone by the end of the second round. The lesson is clear: Things that look good on paper don’t always play out well in practice.  This lesson extends far beyond sports. In fact, it’s a crucial one for businesses th

10-Step Checklist to Migrate Your Business to the Cloud

I have been involved in cloud computing for more than a decade, and I’ve heard from many IT executives about the challenges they faced trying to move key enterprise applications to the public cloud. Far too often, their teams struggled or had only limited success with their cloud migrations. In some cases, the migration failed altogether. If your organization is looking to modernize mission-critical applications and you’re planning a cloud migration as part of this process, you don&r

Building Right-Sized Application Services: The Goldilocks Calculation

In the world of applications, services are standalone components that, when connected and working together, create an application that performs some business purpose. But services come in a wide variety of sizes, from tiny, super-specialized microservices up to services that are big and complete enough to form their own monolithic applications. Just like Goldilocks looking for the perfect fit, it’s not always easy to determine the right size for the services you need to build your organizat

Dive into ‘Architecting for Scale’ in the Latest GOTO Book Club Podcast

What do technology expert Ken Gavranovic and I have in common? We are both featured in the GOTO Book Club video this month. The GOTO Book Club series brings in experts and authors to interview each other, with a focus on newly released and classic dev books. In the latest episode, Ken and I discuss some of the topics I cover in the new second edition of my book, Architecting for Scale. “Chaos shouldn’t be feared. Chaos is value. Chaos is an opportunity to learn.” —

More Kubernetes, Less Serverless, According to Latest CNCF Report

An interesting trend is emerging in the world of cloud computing: non-cloud native technologies are growing in popularity while cloud native technologies are decreasing in popularity. This is according to the December 2021 “State of Cloud Native Development,” released by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), developed in conjunction with research firm SlashData. This report reflects the change in use of various cloud-related technologies by the 6.8 million cloud native de

2022 Is the Year of the Citizen Developer

This past year has seen a rise in a new class of software developer, known collectively as the citizen developer. The term citizen developer is used to describe when non-programmers build applications that solve specific business needs. Citizen developers could be product managers, marketing managers, business executives, and others in an enterprise that are not in a traditional software development role. The role of the citizen developer has been growing for many years, with 2021 seeing an expo

What Will AWS Announce at re:Invent This Year? Hopefully, Less Than Usual

It’s the same old question technology industry insiders and people like myself ask every year at this time: What will AWS announce at re:Invent this year? Sometimes our predictions are pretty good, sometimes they are very far off. But there’s one sure answer to the question of what AWS will announce at its enormous annual conference: “A whole lot of things!”  As AWS has grown exponentially, so has AWS re:Invent. In a typical year, it’s safe to say, there will b

What Model Airplanes Teach Us About Avoiding Application Failures

I learned to fly radio-controlled airplanes when I was a kid, and one of the most important rules I remember was “Always keep your airplane at least ‘two mistakes’ high.” When you are learning to fly a model airplane, especially when you begin to attempt acrobatics, you learn this lesson quickly because mistakes equal altitude. You make a mistake, you lose altitude. As you can imagine, losing too much altitude makes for a very bad day for your airplane. So what does this h

6 Steps to Prepare Your E-Commerce Business for the Holidays

The holiday shopping season, which traditionally kicks off with Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, is just around the corner. What started out as a uniquely American shopping holiday day has now become a global phenomenon, with retailers everywhere steeling themselves for the annual onslaught of shoppers, both in store and online.  If you’re running an e-commerce business, it’s crucial that your website be able to scale to meet the huge surges of traffic that you will (hop

The 3 Scariest Mistakes Companies Make in the Cloud

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been thinking lately about scary things. The truth is, I sometimes like being scared when watching a scary movie or reading a scary book. But when it comes to working with customers and clients on their cloud projects, sometimes I get quite scared—and not in a good way.  I get scared when I hear stories about how a company is preparing to migrate to the cloud incorrectly, or when someone shares a misguided plan about how their organiza

What Is DNS?

Facebook and its other networks Instagram and WhatsApp suffered their largest outage on Monday since 2008. By mid-day, The Verge speculated that DNS had caused the problem, and referred back to Slack’s outage last week to claim that “it’s always DNS.” We’re not going to speculate on what caused Facebook’s misfortune, but we will answer some of the most common questions about DNS. What is DNS? DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is akin to the internet&rs

Modern Application Caching With Redis

Our modern world demands modern applications. Today’s applications must be able to handle large quantities of data, perform complex operations, maintain numerous relationships among data elements, and operate on distinct and disparate states between transactions.Doing this at the high scale demanded by our modern world is a challenge that requires significant resources—and those demands are constantly growing based on ever-changing needs. Handling these needs while maintaining high av

Cloud Myth: ‘Lift and Shift’ Is a Cloud Migration

Early in the process of adopting the cloud, many companies consider moving applications to the cloud by simply taking the application off of servers running in their own data center and move them to servers they’ve created in the cloud. This type of migration is often called a simple “lift and shift.” Lift and shift is a valid way to very quickly get your application out of your data center and into a cloud-based data center. But while this approach is quick and easy, it isn&r