Cloud Infrastructure as a Cell-Based Architecture

Cloud Infrastructure as a Cell-Based Architecture

“Cell Architecture model and design has been inspired by the molecular model of the eukaryotic cell, similar principles have been adopted and applied"

Eukaryotic cell

In biology a cell represents the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialised functions.

Cells have many parts, each with a different function. Some of these parts, called organelles, are specialised structures that perform certain tasks within the cell. Human cells contain the following major parts, listed in alphabetical order:

eukaryotic cell.jpeg

  • Cytoplasm Within cells, the cytoplasm is made up of a jelly-like fluid (called the cytosol) and other structures that surround the nucleus.

  • Cytoskeleton: The cytoskeleton is a network of long fibers that make up the cell’s structural framework. The cytoskeleton has several critical functions, including determining cell shape, participating in cell division, and allowing cells to move. It also provides a track-like system that directs the movement of organelles and other substances within cells.

  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER): This organelle helps process molecules created by the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum also transports these molecules to their specific destinations either inside or outside the cell.

  • Golgi apparatus: The Golgi apparatus packages molecules processed by the endoplasmic reticulum to be transported out of the cell.

  • Lysosomes and peroxisomes: These organelles are the recycling center of the cell. They digest foreign bacteria that invade the cell, rid the cell of toxic substances, and recycle worn-out cell components.

  • Mitochondria: Mitochondria are complex organelles that convert energy from food into a form that the cell can use. They have their own genetic material, separate from the DNA in the nucleus, and can make copies of themselves.

  • Nucleus: The nucleus serves as the cell’s command center, sending directions to the cell to grow, mature, divide, or die. It also houses DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the cell’s hereditary material. The nucleus is surrounded by a membrane called the nuclear envelope, which protects the DNA and separates the nucleus from the rest of the cell.

  • Plasma membrane: The plasma membrane is the outer lining of the cell. It separates the cell from its environment and allows materials to enter and leave the cell.

  • Ribosomes: Ribosomes are organelles that process the cell’s genetic instructions to create proteins. These organelles can float freely in the cytoplasm or be connected to the endoplasmic reticulum (see above).

Cells group themselves together in clusters to make up the tissues and organs of our bodies.


Cell Architecture for Cloud Infrastructure

Cell Architecture is a type of modular infrastructure where its different components are designed to work together as whole, the modular components can be added or removed as needed.

“Simplicity through complexity” is one of the goals with the purpose to enable anybody with or without technical knowledge around infrastructure to deploy at scale complex architecture models that must follow an organisation set of best practices."

"Cell Architecture” model and design has been inspired by the molecular model of the eukaryotic cell, similar principles have been adopted and applied to computational systems."

Scalar units

  • Amino: The smallest unit also known as the “building block”
  • Modulus: Multiple “aminos” grouped together within a modulus boundary.
  • Stack: A collection of multiple “modulus” systems.
  • MetaStack: Orchestration of multiple stacks, also known as “Stack of Stacks”.
  • Cell: A group of metaStacks defined within a Cell boundary.
  • Cluster: A collection of multiple “Cells”.
  • metaCluster: Centralised orchestration of multiple “Clusters”.


Key Principles

  1. Modularity: Represents the capability to break down a “Cell” into smaller units.

  2. Interoperability: The possibility of exchanging key information parameters between the Cell components and the ability to create more complex structures.

  3. Replication: The ability to deploy at scale without breaking the reusability of the “Cell” while maintaining both modularity and interoperability conditions.

Definitions applied to AWS

The representation of a Cell in AWS is the equivalent of an individual account. Each managed service represents a “modulus” within the “Cell Architecture” model. The “modulus” includes a set of multiple “aminos” also known as resource attributes.

For example, the known “aminos” of a VPC “modulus” are: CIDR,Transit Gateway, NAT Gateway, Subnet, Internet Gateway etc. When grouping together multiple “modulus” systems ex. (VPC + EC2) we generate a “stack”.

Multiple stacks can be orchestrated by different metaStacks which might require different key functionalities based on their computational requirements.

Scalar Units Applied to EKS

EKS is one of the complex systems in AWS as it requires a multitude of services to be deployed together as a whole. With the known ability provided by the “Cell” framework we can break down its architecture model into smaller “units” to apply the 3 principles: modularity, interoperability and replication.

The “building blocks” are then joined together based on their specific “scalar units” and bundled together, for EKS the “scalar unit” defined would be a “metaStack”.

  • Modulus -> Eks, Vpc, Ec2, Iam, R53, Kms

  • Stacks:

    • Layer 1 -> Networking
    • Layer 2 -> Eks - Control Plane
    • Layer 3 -> Eks - Data Plane
    • Apps -> Cluster Operators
  • metaStack:

    • Layer 1
    • Layer 2
    • Layer 3
    • Apps

The metaStack orchestrates all the defined stacks to create the framework model for an EKS cluster deployment.

Screenshot 2022-05-09 at 13.54.03.png


1) What is a Cell

2) How cells and tissues grow

3) AWS Docs