Incomplete Thought – Cloudanatomy: Infrastructure, Metastructure & Infostructure
I wanted to be able to take the work I did in developing a visual model to expose the component Cloud SPI layers into their requisite parts from an IT perspective and make it even easier to understand.
Specifically, my goal was to produce another visual and some terminology that would allow me to take it up a level so I might describe Cloud to someone who has a grasp on familiar IT terminology, but do so in a visual way.
I came up with extending the notion of infrastructure as a foundation and layering what I call metastructure and infostructure layers atop.
You can see how I define “metastructure” and “infostructure” in the diagram definitions to the left.
Essentially Infrastructure is comprised of all the compute, network and storage moving parts that we identify as infrastructure today.
Metastructure* is the protocols and mechanisms that provide the interface between the infrastructure layer and the applications and information above it.
Infostructure is the applications and information/content as well as the service definitions that depend upon the other substrates.
These groupings really align well and simplify how I talk about various elements of Cloud.
Specifically, these three layers line up remarkably well with the S, P, I layer demarcation points that I outlined in my Cloud Model (see the extensive discussion here) built before that I use in my Frogs presentation that has met with good reception thus far.
I can drill down as needed, but if I want to summarize from a security perspective where/what I am talking about, I now have three handy and easily understood set of macro-definitions to help me.
What do you think? I know we’re all pretty buzzworded out these days, but this really seems to resonate with folks up and down the stack I have presented it to.
Update 6/21: Reuven Cohen posted a nice follow-up to this blog on his in regards to his “metaverse” concept.
* I first mentioned the concept of “metastructure” in a post back in Februrary in another Incomplete Thought titled “Incomplete Thought: What Should Come First…Cloud Portability or Interoperability“