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How Performance Issues Impact Cloud Adoption

How Performance Issues Impact Cloud Adoption

Cloud computing is continually changing the way IT services are provided. The initial promise of cloud computing was the ease of Internet service delivery and of simplified service management. A current challenge a company can face is related to how to incorporate cloud computing into their integrated business and IT strategy. It is necessary to develop an enterprise cloud adoption strategy in order to grow and stay competitive.

According to an IDC survey, Availability, Performance and Security are the three main problems when it comes to cloud adoption. The risk of data loss and legal issues because of security breaches is very high and most users and IT administrators are very well aware of it.

Most companies chose to adopt a federated cloud computing system, where some applications were located on public cloud, some applications on private cloud, and some legacy applications were accessible over VPN. The only reasonable way to handle this volume of information is to have a performance management system that monitors the activity of all applications.

Performance is generally linked to an application’s capabilities within the cloud system. Poor performance can be caused by:

• limited bandwidth;

• disk space;

• memory;

• CPU cycles;

• network connections, latency;

Often, the lack of proper resources leads to poor application performance. In some cases, unsatisfying performance is the result of an application architecture that does not properly distribute its processes across available cloud resources.

Performance issues in the system can effectively end a service delivery. From the user point of view, poor performance and non-availability of service are the same. Users will not accept slow performance – regardless of where the problem is. Poor application performance causes companies to:

• lose customers;

• reduce employee productivity;

• deal with the service outage;

• reduce bottom line revenues;

• deal with general lost productivity.

Application performance can vary significantly based on delivery environment. Businesses must ensure that that application performance is optimized when it is moved from a data center to a cloud computing infrastructure or it is written to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud. You keep in mind that ensuring the minimum performance level across the cloud could be challenging.

Capacity planning solves many performance issues when companies grow their cloud environments. Positive employee productivity relies on solid and trustworthy application performance which will help them complete work effectively and efficiently.

Beyond capacity planning, scalability is the solution to increase and preserve application performance in the cloud. Smart application development can reduce performance issues by separating resource-intensive processes from the other and assigning the appropriate assets to handle the load across virtuals within the same environment.

Many companies believe switching to private cloud is the answer to scaling issues. Internal private clouds within an organization’s facility or dedicated cloud within a data center have proven easier to control the resources. However, scaling to meet performance demands remains generally a manual process and requires vigilant monitoring and real-time response.

A Service Level Agreement for cloud can help increase performance because it covers an expected range of availability and performance. Application and network performance should be a top concern before moving forward with other aspects; the information collected from these components can be used to set cloud computing performance limits. It is also important to transform application performance in certain parameters that can be measured on the cloud provider’s system.

Over all, operating in a cloud computing environment does not eliminate all of the application performance issues. In fact, the cloud is and could possibly present even more performance problems comparing to non-cloud environments. The ongoing monitoring of all the applications accessed via the cloud is again a principal quest. This will ensure that Service Level Agreements are met and – therefore – performance and scaling are at their optimal levels.

By Rick Blaisdell / Rickscloud

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One Response to How Performance Issues Impact Cloud Adoption

  1. A couple of recent surveys support the premise of this article. Virtualization management vendor Veeam sponsors an interesting quarterly report on virtualization management called the V-index (http://www.v-index.com/). The V-index Q3 2011 report found that among more than 500 enterprise IT groups, application performance is the second most-cited main concern preventing increasing virtualization. Symantec’s 2011 Virtualization and Evolution of the Cloud Survey found that less than half of CEOs and CFOs are willing to migrate business-critical apps to the cloud because of performance worries. You can read the Symantec survey here: http://www.symantec.com/en/pr/theme.jsp?themeid=cloudsurvey
     
    As you’ve mentioned in your article, measuring true end-to-end response time and tying SLAs to that is key to migrating business-critical applications to the cloud. Unfortunately, most application performance monitoring tools only measure discrete resource utilization such as CPU and memory, which by themselves do not accurately reflect response time as experienced by the end user. Any application performance management tool that claims to work in virtualized environments and only monitors system resources will not provide the visibility needed to assuage the concerns of application owners and business stakeholders. 
     
    The company that I work for, ExtraHop Networks, takes a network-based view of application performance that works seamlessly with physical, virtual, and hybrid environments to provide IT teams with end-to-end application response times for every transaction. These real-time measurements can form the basis for performance SLAs that can help convince app owners and business execs that migrating to the cloud will not necessarily threaten performance.
     

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