AUTHOR: http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2013/07/running-riak-on-ec2-new-white-paper.html LINK!

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Jeffrschneider

Jeff B.
It would seem as though this type of document is outdated in a world where we automate the architecture. I don't understand why the author wouldn't have started with the full CloudFormation template of a secured, monitored, DR ready, scalable cluster of Riak and merely explained the decisions. Instead, the author presents a series of manual steps that are a subset of the actual Riak CloudFormation template made available in GitHub.

There is an opportunity for the AWS team to take the lead in how to present template/reference architectures. For example, one could infer that AWS believes that 'baking Riak into the AMI' is the best practice, or alternatively, that designing a solution with no cross-region DR plan is acceptable. Does AWS consider the opening of ports manually a best practice? Should there be a CloudFormation template for the Riak test harness? Should we really be using paper and pen to write down IP addresses so that we can create a cluster? To be clear, my issue isn't with Brian's white paper. It's with the format used by the AWS Solution Architecture team. The standardization of architectural solutions across the non-functional requirements would be a tremendous leap forward in your value proposition. IMHO, you should: 1. Standardize the non-functional requirements 2. Standardize the language in which you'll use to resolve the NFR's (CloudFormation, or other) and 3. For each solution architecture, describe them using #1 and #2. For each solution architecture, roll out code snippets in each area (e.g., here's the snippet to have Riak report its health to CloudWatch, etc.)

Veterans of cloud realize that although elasticity in resources and cost are important, the ability to automate is perhaps the greatest benefit.
Jeff S

Jinesh

This is excellent feedback, Jeff S. Thanks!

In this first version of paper, we wanted to help customers get started quickly with AWS and Riak using the Marketplace AMI. We are aware of the Riak CloudFormation Templates and are looking into incorporating them in our next version of the paper.

Generally, cloud architecture discussions are about mastering the trade-offs between durability, scalability, cost, availability, agility etc. For example, What level of "DR-ready" (RTO/RPO) is considered acceptable at what cost. While standardization is possible, there is always a better way to optimize for non-functional requirements and implementation. That said, your feedback is spot on.

Again, Thanks for the feedback!

Jin

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