Posts tagged ‘infrastructure’

Scaling Your Application Efficiently – Horizontal or Vertical? #CloudWF

Guest Blog with AppDynamics

Author: Eric Smith at AppDynamics

Anyone deploying an application in production probably has some experience with scaling to meet increased demand. A generation ago, virtualization made scaling your application as simple as increasing your instance count or size. However, now with the advent of cloud, you can scale to theoretical infinity. Maybe you’ve even set up some auto-scaling based on underlying system metrics such as CPU, heap size, thread count, etc. Now the question changes from “Can I scale my environment to meet demand?” (if you add enough computing resources you probably can), to “How can I efficiently scale my infrastructure to accommodate my traffic, and if I’m lucky maybe even scale down when needed?” This is a problem I run into almost every day dealing with DevOps organizations.

If your application environment looks like this (if so, I’d love to be you):

Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.57.36-AM

You can probably work your way through to the solution, eventually. Run a bunch of load tests, find a sweet spot of machine size based on the performance under the test parameters, and bake it into your production infrastructure. Add more instances to each tier when your CPU usage gets high. Easy. What if your application looks like this?

Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.57.45-AM

What about when your application code changes? What if adding more instances no longer fixes your problem? (Those do cost money, and the bill adds up quickly…)

The complexity of the problem is that CPU bounding is only one aspect — most applications encounter a variety of bounds as they scale and they vary at each tier. CPU, memory, heap size, thread count, database connection pool, queue depth, etc. come into play from an infrastructure perspective. Ultimately, the problem breaks down to response time: how do I make each transaction as performant as possible while minimizing overhead?

The holy grail here is the ability to determine dynamically how to size my app server instances (right size), how many to create at each level (right scale) and when to create them (right time). Other factors come into play as well such as supporting infrastructure, code issues, and the database — but let’s leave that for another day.

Let me offer a simple example. This came into play recently when working with a customer analyzing their production environment. Looking at the application tier under light/normal load, it was difficult to determine what factors to scale, we ended up with this:

Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.57.54-AM

Response time actually decreases toward the beginning of the curve (possibly a caching effect?). But if you look at the application under heavier load, things get more interesting. All of a sudden you can start to see how performance is affected as demand on the application increases:

Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.58.02-AM

Looking at a period of heavy load in this specific application, hardware resources are actually still somewhat lightly utilized, even though response time starts to spike:

Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.58.12-AM
Screen-Shot-2015-03-17-at-10.58.24-AM

In this application, it appears that response time is actually more closely correlated with garbage collection than any specific hardware bound.

While there is clearly some future effort here to look at garbage collection optimization, in this case optimizing best fit actually comes down to determining desired response time, maximum load for a given instance size maintaining that response time, and cost for that instance size. In a cloud scenario, instance cost is typically fairly easy to determine. In this case, you can normalize this by calculating volume/(instance cost) at various instance sizes to determine a better sweet spot for vertical scale.

Horizontal scale will vary somewhat by environment, but this tends to be more linear — i.e. each additional instance adds incremental bandwidth to the application.

There’s still quite a bit more room for analysis of this problem, like resource cost for individual transactions, optimal response time vs. cost to achieve that response time, synchronous vs. asynchronous design trade-offs, etc. but these will vary based on the specific environment.

Using some of these performance indicators from the application itself (garbage collection, response time, connection pools, etc.) rather than infrastructure metrics, we were able to quickly and intelligently right size the cloud instances under the current application release as well as determine several areas for code optimization to help improve their overall efficiency. While the code optimization is a forward looking project, the scaling question was in response to a near term impending event that needed to be addressed. Answering the question in this way allowed us to meet both the near term impending deadline, but also remain flexible enough to accommodate any forthcoming optimizations or application changes.

Interested to see how you can scale your environment? Check out a FREE trial now!

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John Rakowski, Chief Technology Strategist at AppDynamics will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum on 25th June 2015 at 2.25 pm.

His talk will take place in Theatre C: SDE & Hyperscale Computing on ‘Three Rules for the Digital Enterprise’. 

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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The real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform and difficult…#CloudWF

Guest Blog with NTT Communications

Which Apps? Which Cloud?
5 Findings About The Real World Cloud

The CIO of today is under more pressure than ever to balance the new with the old. He/she must embrace new digital possibilities for creating business value and simultaneously maintain a complex set of existing applications that are an organisation’s foundation. A critical factor that can help a CIO navigate this bi-modal tightrope is an assessment of the application estate and the impact of digitalisation on it.

To aid with the above and to establish the current benchmark for the application estate,  NTT Com commissioned independent research to understand which infrastructure is best suited to host which kind of applications in the real world. Further, the research aimed to ascertain if there was a correlation between the characteristics of an application (type, maturity, adoption rates) and its suitability for the cloud or the corporate data centre.

which delivery model

The responses showed that there are no definitive answers to these questions, but highlighted some interesting trends. Here are some of the key findings from the survey that can give a layer of clarity when making decisions about cloud.

  1. The reality – many apps many clouds:

    NTT Com’s study found that on average, an organisation runs hundred applications. In some sectors like telecoms and finance this number doubles. Organisations use four different cloud platforms on average and over 80% of respondents expect the number of cloud platforms to increase.

  2. Which Apps go Where – no definitive answers:

    The survey responses showed a lack of consensus on which applications are best suited to which environments. This did not mean a lack of faith in the cloud though. Respondents made it clear that they were comfortable deploying core business applications in the cloud.

  3. Cloud platforms – the winners and losers:
    While there is no clear choice on which platform is the most adopted, nearly 48% voted for IaaS in some form (Private and Public) making it the most favoured among the respondents. On the other hand, there weren’t many takers for PaaS, showing that PaaS providers still need to build confidence for this platform in enterprises.

    4. Top cloud benefits – scalability and cost:
    With 50% of respondents citing it, scalability emerged, unsurprisingly as the top cloud benefit, followed by cost (Capex and Opex) savings at 47%. These point out that despite the confusion around cloud platforms, organisations are clear about the benefits of cloud.

  4. Have Cloud, will move:
    Nearly 90% of respondents cited that they will migrate their most important application from the corporate datacentre to the cloud at some point. 60% believe this will happen within 2 years. What does this mean? The question is not “To cloud or not to cloud”, but when, how and how much.

In summary,  NTT Com’s findings show that the cloud ecosystem is complex and is affected by numerous factors such as the company type, industry, scale, size, and location. The real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform and difficult. There are no broad answers that can apply to all.

The CIO of today, when formulating strategies, must take into account all of these factors and aim for a realistic balance between achieving the benefits of cloud and managing its complexities. In doing so, he/she can create a winning strategy unique to the needs of his/her organisation.

To read the full report go here.  An infographic highlighting the key facts and figures of the report is available here.  Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #realworldcloud.

NTT Communications

NTT Communications is our Headline Sponsor at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Accenture, Huawei target telcos, enterprises with private cloud services #telcocloud

Source: Business Cloud News

Huawei and Accenture have announced a strategic alliance that will see the two firms jointly develop cloud services for telcos and enterprise customers.

The companies plan to jointly develop cloud solutions – including business support systems (BSS) for telcos, and customer care solutions for enterprises – by leveraging Huawei’s deep experience with networking and IT hardware and Accenture’s consulting and systems integration experience.

Accenture will also work to integrate its infrastructure as a service platform with Huawei’s private cloud infrastructure, with a view towards developing integrated private cloud solutions for enterprise customers.

“In an era where the physical and digital worlds are increasingly converging, no enterprise is able to address all customer needs alone. Enterprises need to collaborate openly and integrate their resources and capabilities to help customers succeed,” said Eric Xu, chief executive officer of Huawei.

“Our collaboration with Accenture will further augment Huawei’s business in the enterprise ICT market, enabling us to build on our diverse product portfolio to offer our enterprise and carrier customers even more innovative software and services solutions that support them in boosting efficiency and driving revenue growth,” Xu said.

The companies will focus initially on developing solutions for clients in China, Southeast Asia, and other emerging markets.

“The combination of Accenture’s industry-aligned offerings and reputation for delivery excellence together with a new and enhanced set of offerings based on Huawei’s infrastructure and software products will enable us to better help clients achieve their business requirements with reduced costs, risks and time of implementation,” added Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive – growth markets at Accenture.

Accenture is the latest systems integrator to partner with Huawei, which views SIs as a critical avenue for enterprise penetration. Last month Infosys announced a partnership with the Chinese hardware manufacturer to jointly develop IT solutions that combine Huawei’s cloud infrastructure with service expertise from Infosys.

The two companies plan to build reference architectures and standardised solutions for big data platforms on Huawei hardware infrastructure, and explore setting up a joint lab in China to enable better delivery in all areas of the partnership.

Huawei is also working with a number of Chinese incumbent telcos to roll out cloud-based services to the country’s vast SMB base.

Running a global cloud infrastructure

By: Fabien Petitcolas, Director for Innovation, Europe

Microsoft is exhibiting this year as Enterprise Cloud Partner at the CLOUD WORLD FORUM

Early December 2013, I had a chance to talk to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Windows Azure. I asked him what it takes to run a truly global cloud infrastructure and the kind of growth in the demand for cloud computing that we’ve observed over the last few year. We also talked about how Microsoft is facilitating the transition to the cloud by making it easier for our customers to move their application.

Here is what Scott had to say:

Tag Cloud

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