Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, API Journal, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Challenges of Cloud: Infrastructure Diaspora

The disparity between services in the data center and the cloud needs to be addressed

With performance rising as a concern for cloud computing adoption, the disparity between services in the data center and the cloud needs to be addressed.

One of the negative's of cloud computing is it's one-size-fits-all approach to infrastructure. A single load balancing system (and subsequently configuration) is considered acceptable for all applications. After all, it's just about distributing requests, isn't it?

itdm-concerns-cloud-2011Except it isn't, and neither are myriad other infrastructure services that provide not only customized services for applications but additional benefits not currently offered by what are commoditized versions of functionality.

Even assuming an organization is using a fairly non-customized Load balancer, there is a disparity between the algorithms supported by the industry and those supported today by cloud computing providers. If you don't think something as simple as the choice of a load balancing algorithm has an impact on availability and performance, think again. The reason there's a list of more than six "industry standard" algorithms is the maturation of distribution algorithms over time. Different methods are better suited to specific types of applications and usage patterns, while those same algorithms are wholly unsuited for others. Determining the best algorithm is part of the process of deploying said solutions, and one that's completely ignored by providers of cloud computing load balancing services.

Similarly, organizations that have deployed web application firewall or web filtering (web secure gateway in today's vernacular) solutions, recognize that the policies created and enforced by such solutions are not just application but URI specific, making shared, generic configurations almost completely useless. Such solutions must be deployed and configured on a per-application basis at a minimum, and the time and effort involved in doing so is generally non-trivial (though collaborative efforts around Persistent Threat Management offer a potential solution to drastically reducing the time required to configure WAF solutions for the most common threats).

NOT JUST COSTS, CAPABILITIES

Thus when organizations look outward to the cloud, it's not just a matter of costs but also capabilities that becomes important. Replication of infrastructure services is beginning to be recognized as an imperative. Given the rising importance of performance as a concern for cloud computing deployments, the impact of infrastructure diaspora on application performance should be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

"I don't feel that sticking your servers out there and saying, 'OK, you've got cloud now,' is the way to go," said Tom Hollingsworth, a senior network engineer with United Systems, an Oklahoma City-based value-added reseller (VAR). "I want to replicate [in the cloud with] as much functionality [customers] have for load balancers, firewalls and things like that."

Hollingsworth described a hypothetical situation where an enterprise has a mail server that has been tuned to a specific in-house load balancer and then wants to move that mail server to an IaaS provider that offers fundamentally different load balancing capabilities. Attempting to recreate those Layer 4-7 services from a data center to the cloud is complex, time-consuming and difficult to manage once you've got it up and running.

Many IaaS providers sell Layer 4-7 cloud networking services (firewalls, load balancers, application accelerators) to customers, but these services tend to be monolithic, feature-limited and in some cases proprietary.

-- Layer 4-7 cloud networking still scarce in IaaS market

There are myriad options in the TCP RFC that enable organizations to tune networking stacks to improve performance for a given application and its unique usage patterns. TCP window sizes, turning on or off Nagle, and controlling time-out values have a significant impact on not only performance but capacity of web applications. Eliminating the ability to tweak and tune these settings in a cloud computing environment removes a very important set of tools upon which the enterprise relies to address performance issues in the data center.

This infrastructure diaspora has other consequences, as well, including the introduction of a separate set of operational processes that must be managed along with existing procedures. This burdens operations with more management and monitoring duties, and introduces additional risk in the form of mis-configuration or missteps in deployment processes.

While some application delivery vendors have addressed this disparity with cloud-enabled ADN offerings, these are still not universally available or supported across all cloud computing offerings. Similarly, some customers will have no complementary offerings in their own data center (if they have a data center) but will still experience the same performance-degrading scenarios which could be addressed by more robust Layer 4-7 services in cloud computing environments.

The challenge for providers is balancing costs of their services versus costs to organizations who lose revenue due to applications exhibiting poor performance when deployed in their environment. The cost-benefit analysis for enterprises will certainly include this value, and thus providers who move to address the use of more robust application delivery services as a means to redress potential performance problems will be better positioned to vie for enterprise customers for whom performance is as important – or more so – than other inhibiting concerns.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...