Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Brief History of Cloud Application Architectures: From Deployment Monoliths via Microservices to Serverless Architectures and Possible Roads Ahead

Version 1 : Received: 14 July 2018 / Approved: 16 July 2018 / Online: 16 July 2018 (10:57:39 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Kratzke, N. A Brief History of Cloud Application Architectures. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1368. Kratzke, N. A Brief History of Cloud Application Architectures. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1368.


This paper presents a review of cloud application architectures and its evolution. It reports observations being made during the course of a research project that tackled the problem to transfer cloud applications between different cloud infrastructures. As a side effect we learned a lot about commonalities and differences from plenty of different cloud applications which might be of value for cloud software engineers and architects. Throughout the course of the research project we analyzed industrial cloud standards, performed systematic mapping studies of cloud-native application related research papers, performed action research activities in cloud engineering projects, modeled a cloud application reference model, and performed software and domain specific language engineering activities. Two major (and sometimes overlooked) trends can be identified. First, cloud computing and its related application architecture evolution can be seen as a steady process to optimize resource utilization in cloud computing. Second, this resource utilization improvements resulted over time in an architectural evolution how cloud applications are being build and deployed. A shift from monolithic servce-oriented architectures (SOA), via independently deployable microservices towards so called serverless architectures is observable. Especially serverless architectures are more decentralized and distributed, and make more intentional use of independently provided services. In other words, a decentralizing trend in cloud application architectures is observable that emphasizes decentralized architectures known from former peer-to-peer based approaches. That is astonishing because with the rise of cloud computing (and its centralized service provisioning concept) the research interest in peer-to-peer based approaches (and its decentralizing philosophy) decreased. But this seems to change. Cloud computing could head into future of more decentralized and more meshed services.


cloud computing; service-oriented architecture; SOA; cloud-native; serverless; microservice; container; unikernel; distributed cloud; P2P; service-to-service; service-mesh


Computer Science and Mathematics, Information Systems

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