Abstractions and Implementations

Abstractions are hidden layers that act like black boxes for end users. However, the interface to abstractions should be transparent such that you would be able to peer into its inner workings should the need arise.

As the saying goes,

Head in the cloud, feet on the ground.

Cloud computing is an abstraction.

But Mark Mayo of Joyent believes disk abstraction is a myth.

I still believe that it was the right decision, and as we have grown up as a company and increased our engineering capabilities we’re only now really beginning to see how liberating the decision to drop network storage out of the Joyent cloud was. I believe that applications can rise to the task and not require perfect, always on block storage, for the simple fact that they’re going to have to do it anyways to get to the goal of global deliverability and availability. We just can’t lean on the false abstraction of a perfect disk forever.

Abstraction is one thing, implementation is another.


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