Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, Anders Wallgren

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, API Journal, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Bare Metal Blog: Throughput Sometimes Has Meaning

Knowing what to test is half the battle

Knowing what to test is half the battle. Knowing how it was tested the other. Knowing what that means is the third. That’s some testing, real clear numbers.

In most countries, top speed is no longer the thing that auto manufacturers want to talk about. Top speed is great if you need it, but for the vast bulk of us, we’ll never need it. Since the flow of traffic dictates that too much speed is hazardous on the vast bulk of roads, automobile manufacturers have correctly moved the conversation to other things – cup holders (did you know there is a magic number of them for female purchasers? Did you  know people actually debate not the existence of such a number, but what it is?), USB/bluetooth connectivity, backup cameras, etc. Safety and convenience features have supplanted top speed as the things to discuss.

The same is true of networking gear. While I was at Network Computing, focus was shifting from “speeds and feeds” as the industry called it, to overall performance in a real enterprise environment.  Not only was it getting increasingly difficult and expensive to push ever-larger switches until they could no longer handle the throughput, enterprise IT staff was more interested in what the capabilities of the box were than how fast it could go. Capabilities is a vague term that I used on purpose. The definition is a moving target across both time and market, with a far different set of criteria for, say, an ADC versus a WAP.

There are times, however, where you really do want to know about the straight-up throughput, even if you know it is the equivalent of a professional driver on a closed course, and your network will never see the level of performance that is claimed for the device.

There are actually several cases where you will want to know about the maximum performance of an ADC, using the tools I pay the most attention to at the moment as an example. WAN optimization is a good one. In WANOpt, the goal is to shrink the amount of data being transferred between two dedicated points to try and maximize the amount of throughput. When “maximize the amount of throughput” is in the description, speeds and feeds matter. WANOpt is a pretty interesting example too, because there’s more than just “how much data did I send over the wire in that fifteen minute window”. It’s more complex than that (isn’t it always?). The best testing I’ve seen for WANOpt starts with “how many bytes were sent by the originating machine”, then measures that the same number of bytes were received by the WANOpt device, then measures how much is going out the Internet port of the WANOpt device – to measure compression levels and bandwidth usage – then measures the number of bytes the receiving machine at the remote location receives to make sure it matches the originating machine. So even though I say “speeds and feeds matter”, there is a caveat. You want to measure latency introduced with compression and dedupe, and possibly with encryption since WANOpt is almost always over the public Internet these days, throughput, and bandwidth usage. All technically “speeds and feeds” numbers, but taken together giving you an overall picture of what good the WANOpt device is doing. There are scenarios where the “good” is astounding. I’ve seen the numbers that range as high as 95x the performance. If you’re sending a ton of data over WANOpt connections, even 4x or 5x is a huge savings in connection upgrades, anything higher than that is astounding.

This is an (older) diagram of WAN Optimization I’ve marked up to show where the testing took place, because sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. And yeah, I used F5 gear for the example image… That really should not surprise you Smile.

So basically, you count the bytes the server sends, the bytes the WANOpt device sends (which will be less for 99.99% of loads if compression and de-dupe are used), and the total number of bytes received by the target server. Then you know what percentage improvement you got out of the WANOpt device (by comparing server out bytes to WANOpt out bytes), that the WANOpt devices functioned as expected (server received bytes == server sent bytes), and what the overall throughput improvement was (server received bytes/time to transfer).

There are other scenarios where simple speeds and feeds matter, but less of them than their used to be, and the trend is continuing. When a device designed to improve application traffic is introduced, there are certainly few. The ability to handle a gazillion connections per second I’ve mentioned before is a good guardian against DDoS attacks, but what those connections can do is a different question. Lots of devices in many networking market spaces show little or even no latency introduction on their glossy sales hand-outs, but make those devices do the job they’re purchased for and see what the latency numbers look like. It can be ugly, or you could be pleasantly surprised, but you need to know. Because you’re not going to use it in a pristine lab with perfect conditions, you’re going to slap it into a network where all sorts of things are happening and it is expected to carry its load.

So again, I’ll wrap with acknowledgement that you all are smart puppies and know where speeds and feeds matter, make sure you have realistic performance numbers for those cases too.

The Whole Bare Metal Blog series:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is currently a Senior Solutions Architect at StackIQ, Inc. He is also working with Mesamundi on D20PRO, and is a member of the Stacki Open Source project. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
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.
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...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
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...
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...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. 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...
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...
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...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
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...