Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Serafima Al, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Dynamic Scaling in Windows Azure Revisited

Third-party tool support for dynamic scaling in Windows Azure

Auto Scaling Windows Azure
My last article on comparing Dynamic Scaling Features between Windows Azure vs Amazon EC2 mentioned that Both EC2 and Azure provide an auto scaling feature. While EC2 provides a backbone and framework for auto scaling, Azure provides an API that can be extended. We are already seeing several third-party providers delivering tools for Azure auto scaling.

One such third-party auto scaling product company, Paraleap Technologies, has recently released a product called AzureWatch that provides a SaaS-based approach to scale the Windows Azure compute roles. Some of the observations about the product are mentioned below. The company also provides a free 14-day trial of the product whereby some of the facts can be ascertained in a live situation.

The following aspects of the product were observed, based on the technical documentation available with the product vendor.

SaaS-Based Solution
The core of the Azurewatch data collection and aggregation and decision-making process is available as a SaaS-based solution in the form of Azure Watch Service. The AzureWatch Service aggregates and analyzes performance metrics and matches these metrics against user-defined rules on a regular and configurable basis. When a rule produces a "hit," a scaling action occurs.

However, there are some glue or controlling components installed on the ‘On Premise' systems in the form of the AzureWatch Monitor and Control Panel. The Monitor is responsible for sending raw metrics to SaaS-based systems and executing scaling actions. The Control Panel is a simple but powerful configuration and monitoring utility that allows you to configure custom rules and to monitor your instances.

This approach is useful, because much of the overhead of the Data Storage and maintenance of the metrics data is kept away from the enterprises and only a lightweight component in the form of the AzureWatch Monitor and Control Panel needs to be installed ‘On Premise.'

The following diagram, courtesy of vendor, explains the solution.

Rules Engine-Based Interface
As we have seen, Auto Scaling is typically handled by the Pro Active Monitoring, which is done by the AzureWatch Monitor coupled with the analysis and the metrics gathered by the AzureWatch Service. Finally the scaling action is taken based on the rules configured using an easy-to-use GUI tool.

For each of the roles as part of your Azure subscription, Azurewatch provides simple predefined rules that can be tailored further. The two sample rules offered are simple rules that rely upon calculating a 60-minute average CPU usage across all instances within a Role. The Rule Edit screen is simple yet powerful. You can specify what formula needs to be evaluated, what happens when the evaluation returns TRUE, and what time of day should evaluation be restricted to.

Dashboards & Reports
The success of the monitoring tools are measured by the nature of the dashboards and reports, as the metrics data in the raw form is very difficult to understand. Dashboards in AzureWatch provide the following information.

  • Instance Count
  • Instance History
  • Metrics Display based on Windows Counters

Proactive Monitoring
Like traditional data center-based monitoring tools, AzureWatch has built in notification capabilities so that emails are sent based on scaling conditions that happen. AzureWatch can track active/unresponsive/other instance counts for you. You can create rules that either trigger scaling actions or notification emails based upon conditions that rely on instance counts.

Nice to Have
Currently the metrics watch service needs to be carefully watched, and metrics can get stale if the service stopped for some reason. It would be nice to have more ways to avoid the metrics getting stale.

If new packages are installed, they may get missed from monitoring if the instructions are not followed.

If there are options to manually set the Metrics for some special reasons that may provide more control. It's similar to the way in which Oracle and other databases handle Stale statistics.

Summary
Over all AzureWatch and similar third-party tools will make the Cloud Deployments really fruitful because they're meant to improve the core tenant of the Cloud-based deployment, namely the elasticity and dynamic scaling.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

@ThingsExpo Stories
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo 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 ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.