|By Don MacVittie||
|October 16, 2012 05:00 AM EDT||
It has long been said – often by this author – that there are four pillars to application performance:
As soon as you resolve one in response to application response times, another becomes the bottleneck, even if you are not hitting that bottleneck yet.
For a bit more detail, they are
- “memory consumption” – because this impacts swapping in modern Operating Systems.
- “CPU utilization” – because regardless of OS, there is a magic line after which performance degrades radically.
- “Network throughput” – because applications have to communicate over the network, and blocking or not (almost all coding for networks today is), the information requested over the network is necessary and will eventually block code from continuing to execute.
- “Storage” – because IOPS matter when writing/reading to/from disk (or the OS swaps memory out/back in).
These four have long been relatively easy to track. The relationship is pretty easy to spot, when you resolve one problem, one of the others becomes the “most dangerous” to application performance. But historically, you’ve always had access to the hardware. Even in highly virtualized environments, these items could be considered both at the Host and Guest level – because both individual VMs and the entire system matter.
When moving to the cloud, the four pillars become much less manageable. The amount “much less” implies depends a lot upon your cloud provider, and how you define “cloud”.
Put in simple terms, if you are suddenly struck blind, that does not change what’s in front of you, only your ability to perceive it.
In the PaaS world, you have only the tools the provider offers to measure these things, and are urged not to think of the impact that host machines may have on your app. But they do have an impact. In an IaaS world you have somewhat more insight, but as others have pointed out, less control than in your datacenter.
Picture Courtesy of Stanley Rabinowitz, Math Pro Press.
In the SaaS world, assuming you include that in “cloud”, you have zero control and very little insight. If you app is not performing, you’ll have to talk to the vendors’ staff to (hopefully) get them to resolve issues.
But is the problem any worse in the cloud than in the datacenter? I would have to argue no. Your ability to touch and feel the bits is reduced, but the actual problems are not. In a pureplay public cloud deployment, the performance of an application is heavily dependent upon your vendor, but the top-tier vendors (Amazon springs to mind) can spin up copies as needed to reduce workload. This is not a far cry from one common performance trick used in highly virtualized environments – bring up another VM on another server and add them to load balancing. If the app is poorly designed, the net result is not that you’re buying servers to host instances, it is instead that you’re buying instances directly.
This has implications for IT. The reduced up-front cost of using an inefficient app – no matter which of the four pillars it is inefficient in – means that IT shops are more likely to tolerate inefficiency, even though in the long run the cost of paying monthly may be far more than the cost of purchasing a new server was, simply because the budget pain is reduced.
There are a lot of companies out there offering information about cloud deployments that can help you to see if you feel blind.
Fair disclosure, F5 is one of them, I work for F5. That’s all you’re going to hear on that topic in this blog.
While knowing does not always directly correlate to taking action, and there is some information that only the cloud provider could offer you, knowing where performance bottlenecks are does at least give some level of decision-making back to IT staff. If an application is performing poorly, looking into what appears to be happening (you can tell network bandwidth, VM CPU usage, VM IOPS, etc, but not what’s happening on the physical hardware) can inform decision-making about how to contain the OpEx costs of cloud.
Internal cloud is a much easier play, you still have access to all the information you had before cloud came along, and generally the investigation is similar to that used in a highly virtualized environment. From a troubleshooting performance problems perspective, it’s much the same. The key with both virtualization and internal (private) clouds is that you’re aiming for maximum utilization of resources, so you will have to watch for the bottlenecks more closely – you’re “closer to the edge” of performance problems, because you designed it that way.
A comprehensive logging and monitoring environment can go a long way in all cloud and virtualization environments to keeping on top of issues that crop up – particularly in a large datacenter with many apps running.
And developer education on how not to be a resource hog is helpful for internally developed apps. For externally developed apps the best you can do is ask for sizing information and then test their assumptions before buying.
Sometimes, cloud simply is the right choice. If network bandwidth is the prime limiting factor, and your organization can accept the perceived security/compliance risks, for example, the cloud is an easy solution – bandwidth in the cloud is either not limited, or limited by your willingness to write a monthly check to cover usage. Either way, it’s not an Internet connection upgrade, which can be dastardly expensive not just at install, but month after month.
Keep rocking it. Get the visibility you need, don’t worry about what you don’t need.
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
Oct. 4, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 365
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Oct. 4, 2015 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 560
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 4, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 354
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 4, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 385
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 4, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 398
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 547
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 4, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 706
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 610
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Oct. 4, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 713
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 4, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 395
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oct. 4, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 544
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 4, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 151
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Oct. 4, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 663
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 4, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 325
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Oct. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 574
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Oct. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 401
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgeniakhela will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgeniakhela is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing ...
Oct. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 543
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, will show how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He will use a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors to web services, and cloud integration to connect accounting and data, providing a Bluetooth...
Oct. 2, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 338
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Oct. 2, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 556
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Oct. 1, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 398