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CloudWeaver Brings Visibility and Control to Public Cloud Infrastructures

  • August 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 9 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

In this SPIE, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan examines the performance issues that drive a need for public cloud optimization, and the solutions that CloudWeaver can provide. We examine the “application-defined infrastructure” model that CloudWeaver operates within, and discuss the benefits of cloud optimization for businesses and providers.

Introduction
Adoption of public cloud infrastructure has been increasing in recent years, with 2014 bringing a tipping point.2 While about half of U.S. enterprises are using public cloud services, IT decision-makers have some very real fears that limit the workloads they are migrating to the cloud. In fact, % of US businesses surveyed recently by Frost & Sullivan report that concerns about poor or inconsistent application performance can keep them from using the public cloud for some or all workloads.

Today, businesses using the public cloud have little, if any, visibility into what happens to their applications after being uploaded to a public cloud environment. Large, public cloud providers host hundreds of thousands of servers within data centers that can be many acres in size. Furthermore, for many providers, a single geographical “region” comprises many physical data centers that can be miles apart. When a subscriber uploads an application, it generally is assigned to any available capacity, anywhere in the region. As subscribers scale their applications or increase their volume, the additional capacity can be allocated from anywhere in the cloud region, adding to the distance the packets travel within the cloud, as well as the potential for performance degradation. With hundreds of thousands of users uploading, scaling, and tearing down their cloud applications, in-cloud network traffic, as well as resource allocation, increases.

The truth is, the public cloud model is designed to optimize the infrastructure usage, allowing the provider to maximize use of existing infrastructure, and thus minimize costs to tenants. The public cloud is not designed to optimize application performance. Since subscribers do not have visibility into how the infrastructure resources are allocated, or where their instances are hosted within a provider’s cloud region, they are unable to align the infrastructure to the application the way they would in their private data center. They rarely can measure or pinpoint or mitigate the sources of performance-impacting issues such as network latency or processor availability.

A software platform from CloudWeaver—formerly Lyatiss, the French-based cloud monitoring and optimization company—is enhancing public cloud functionality, making it more intuitive, resilient, and functional. The company has created a new suite of services that bridge the gap between the network and cloud-hosted applications, aligning resources to optimize the cost, performance, and availability of public cloud-hosted applications.

In this SPIE, Stratecast | Frost & Sullivan examines the performance issues that drive a need for public cloud optimization, and the solutions that CloudWeaver can provide. We examine the “application-defined infrastructure” model that CloudWeaver operates within, and discuss the benefits of cloud optimization for businesses and providers.

Performance Issues in the Public Cloud
In the on-premises data center or on-premises private cloud, data center architects ensure that the infrastructure is physically configured to support specific applications. For latency-sensitive applications, that may mean deploying the application server close to the network interface, so that the data passes through fewer network “hops.” It can also mean configuring applications and related databases to maximize throughput.

In the public cloud, subscribers generally have little control over application performance. There are different types of performance issues that commonly occur within public cloud environments.

- Network Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel from one point to another over a network. An increase in latency caused by poor network or server configurations, or by sudden spikes in tenants or traffic, can detract from application performance. In a public cloud environment, servers that are part of the same “region” can be in different data centers, miles apart; and instances of the same application can be randomly allocated to infrastructure that is physically dispersed, adding to latency issues.
- Latency variability—also known as jitter—is fluctuation in the time it takes for data to travel over a network from one point or node to another. Jitter can contribute to performance issues, particularly for real-time and chatty applications. Jitter is a common symptom of network and CPU congestion, usually due to oversubscribed CPUs and inadequate capacity. The larger a public cloud server scales, the greater the likelihood of latency spikes that can cause jitter.
- Resource allocation challenges can occur when virtual machine (VM) instances in a multi-tenanted environment compete for the same processor resources at the same time. When multiple VMs attempt to use the same processing capacity at the same time, bottlenecks that slow application performance can occur.
- Application-specific requirements, such as the need for disk input/output (I/O) or RAM access, may also cause fluctuations in application performance, which can impact the user experience.

These challenges are most critical for applications that require real-time data flow, such as streaming media, IP-based voice services, and some data-intensive analytic applications. Latency and resource allocation challenges that occur while running such applications can cause unacceptable service quality. Imagine watching a streaming movie and the stream suddenly stops, appears “digitized,” or loses audio because the audio or video “bits” are stuck in a slow network. Ultimately, such variability can impact a business’s bottom line.

Enterprises want assurance that their high-bandwidth, resource-dependent services will run optimally; and public cloud providers should find ways to support their efforts.

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