Dynamic Landscape: Cloud ecosystems at a glance

Von Denis Kurkov

21. February 2020

In a swiftly developing IT universe developers in a cloud native field are often confronted with vast number of tools, services and platforms. This sheer amount of possibilities can be quite overwhelming. In order to bring some structure into a cloudy chaos the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) introduced a Landscape project which provides an organized overview of all kinds of tools and system related to the cloud native concept. At the beginning of 2020 this landscape contained over 1300 entries.

Dynamic Landscape Project

This concept inspired the us to develop another data visualization tool with a more specific purpose. The goal of the opensource project Dynamic Landscape is to provide an overview of ready-to-use services which are integrated into the ecosystems of three of the main cloud providers on the market: Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google (GCP).

The web-based application features over 400 services categorized by their intended use. Among the 34 categories you will find common applications, like machine learning and database tools as well es more exotic beasts to help you out in the field of robotics or satellite communication. For every enlisted service you will find a brief description and a link leading to a more detailed page of the respective service provider. A simple search function enables you to filter the map based on provided keywords.

Roadmap and future Development

For now, the Dynamic Landscape Project is mainly in a state of an advanced proof of concept. It is entirely custom-built pure JavaScript application which utilizes a small number of external libraries. In order to improve code structure, readability and maintainability, Dynamic Landscape is to be remastered with ReactJS.

One of the main challenges in this project is keeping the database of the existing microservices up to date. The initial set of data was gathered using a custom-built parser which scraped the necessary information directly from the web sites of Google, Microsoft and Amazon. The result had to be cleaned up by hand as the sites were not homogeneous. Although most of the service icons were officially made available by the service providers, a significant number of them also had to be assigned manually to the database entries. Our main goal is to make these procedures fully automated.

Another feature which was already introduced in the PoC were “Scenarios”. This functionality was introduced to depict connections of multiple services on the map. The idea behind this visualization was to provide common use cases of certain service combinations. This feature will be available in the revised ReactJS version.

Join Us!

Dynamic Landscape is available on GitHub among other interesting opensource projects curated by MaibornWolff. If you want to contribute, provide an idea for a feature or just lurk into the code, you are welcome to visit the project page.