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3 Ways to Ensure Good Performance for Cloud-Based Systems

3 Ways to Ensure Good Performance for Cloud-Based Systems

3 Ways to Ensure Good Performance for Cloud-Based Systems

Written by David Linthicum exclusively for Nelson Hilliard

Those moving to the cloud are often taken aback by system performance surprises after deployment.  Some are good surprises, such as the ability for cloud-based resources to auto-provision the resources required to manage huge data and computing loads.  Some are bad surprises, such as the unexpected latency when transmitting data back and forth over the open Internet. 

So, how can we avoid these surprises as we move to cloud computing?   Here are three things to consider:

First, understand the model for most public cloud-based resources.  Processing that occurs within the cloud (we’ll call this intra-cloud) is typically fast, considering that all communications occur internally and resources may be allocated and de-allocated for use by your process.  Thus, you want to leverage the intra-cloud model as much as possible. 

However, many design their public cloud-based system so that they are “chatty,” or communicating back to a system, or a user interface back within the enterprise.  Thus, they are subject to the latency of leveraging the open Internet as a communication mechanism.  The more you avoid communicating back to the enterprise, the better your cloud computing system will perform. 

Second, look at the legal angle, such as the SLAs (Service Level Agreements).  Your only leverage to hold your cloud provider’s feet to the fire is contained within these SLAs that were put in place in the beginning.  These typically state performance expectations, including response times, and how lacking performance will be dealt with in terms of financial penalties.  Indeed, I’ve had users that are owed money at the end of the month due to logged performance issues and outages.  You’ll find that public cloud computing providers typically live up to these SLA, as long as they are structured and written correctly. 

Finally, consider a private cloud.  Cloud computing has three core models: Public, where the consumption of cloud computing services are remotely hosted by a provider who sells these services to all who will pay.  Private, meaning you purchased the hardware and software and set up a private cloud provider within your data centre.  Hybrid leverages both the private and public models. 

Private clouds provide very similar benefits of public cloud computing, but you have to purchase, host, and operate the hardware and software.  One of the core benefits is performance.  The cloud is down the hall, and not hosted several thousand miles away.  However, you still have the benefits of core cloud computing services, including self- and auto-provisioning.  Moreover, enterprises typically view private clouds as more secure, but it really depends upon how you design security into them.

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David S. Linthicum is a managing director and chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting, and an internationally recognized industry expert and thought leader.
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