Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, John Basso, Glenn Rossman, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Filling the SLA Gap in the Cloud

Meeting user expectations of fast and available applications becomes more difficult as you relinquish more and more control…

Meeting user expectations of fast and available applications becomes more difficult as you relinquish more and more control…

User expectations with respect to performance are always a concern for IT. Whether it's monitoring performance or responding to a fire drill because an application is "slow", IT is ultimately responsible for maintaining the consistent levels of performance expected by end-users – whether internal or external.

Virtualization and cloud computing introduce a variety of challenges for operations whose primary focus is performance. From lack of visibility to lack of control, dealing with performance issues is getting more and more difficult.

service-pilot-perf-challenges

The situation is one of which IT is acutely aware. A ServicePilot Technologies survey (2011) indicates virtualization, the pace of emerging technology, lack of visibility and inconsistent service models as challenges to discovering the root cause of application performance issues. Visibility, unsurprisingly, was cited as the biggest challenge, with 74% of respondents checking it off.

These challenges are not unrelated. Virtualization's tendency toward east-west traffic patterns can inhibit visibility, with few solutions available to monitor intra-virtual machines deployed on the same physical machine. Cloud computing – highly virtual in both form factor and in model – contributes to the lack of visibility as well as challenges associated with disconnected service models as enterprise and cloud computing providers rarely leverage the same monitoring systems.

Most disturbing, all these challenges contribute to an expanding gap between performance expectations (SLA) and the ability of IT to address application performance issues, especially in the cloud.

YES, YET ANOTHER GAP

There are many "gaps" associated with virtualization and cloud computing: the gap between dev and ops, the gap between ops and the network, the gap between scalability of operations and the volatility of the network. The gap between application performance expectations and the ability to affect it is just another example of how technology designed to solve one problem can often illuminate or even create another.

Unfortunately for operations, application performance is critical. Degrading performance impacts reputation, productivity, and ultimately the bottom line. It increases IT costs as end-users phone the help desk, redirects resources from other just as important tasks toward solving the problem and ultimately delaying other projects.

This gap is not one that can be ignored or put off or dismissed with a "we'll get to that". Application performance always has been – and will continue to be – a primary focus for IT operations. An even bigger challenge than knowing there's a performance problem is what to do about it – particularly in a cloud computing environment where tweaking QoS policies just isn't an option.

What IT needs – both in the data center and in the cloud – is a single, strategic point of control at which to apply services designed to improve performance at three critical points in the delivery chain: the front, middle, and back-end.

FILLING THE GAP IN THE CLOUD

Such a combined performance solution is known as ADO – Application Delivery Optimization – and it uses a variety of acceleration and optimization techniques to fill the gap between SLA expectations and the lack of control in cloud computing environments.

A single, strategic implementation adoand enforcement point for such policies is necessary in cloud computing (and highly volatile virtualized) environments because of the topological challenges created by the core model. Not only is the reality of application instances (virtual machines) popping up and moving around problematic, but the same occurs with virtualized network appliances and services designed to address specific pain points involving performance. The challenge of dealing with a topologically mobile architecture – particularly in public cloud computing environments – is likely to prove more trouble than it's worth. A single, unified ADO solution, however, provides a single control plane through which optimizations and enhancements can be applied across all three critical points in the delivery chain – without the topological obstacles.

By leveraging a single, strategic point of control, operations is able to leverage the power of dynamism and context to ensure that the appropriate performance-related services are applied intelligently. That means not applying compression to already compressed content (such as JPEG images) and recognizing the unique quirks of browsers when used on different devices.

ADO further enhances load balancing services by providing performance-aware algorithms and network-related optimizations that can dramatically impact the load and thus performance of applications.

What's needed to fill the gap between user-expectations and actual performance in the cloud is the ability of operations to apply appropriate services with alacrity. Operations needs a simple yet powerful means by which performance-related concerns can be addressed in an environment where visibility into the root cause is likely extremely limited. A single service solution that can simultaneously address all three delivery chain pain points is the best way to accomplish that and fill the gap between expectations and reality.

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.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
ReadyTalk has expanded the capabilities of the FoxDen collaboration platform announced late last year to include FoxDen Connect, an in-room video collaboration experience that launches with a single touch. With FoxDen Connect, users can now not only engage in HD video conferencing between iOS and Android mobile devices or Chrome browsers, but also set up in-person meeting rooms for video interactions. A host’s mobile device automatically recognizes the presence of a meeting room via beacon tech...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, 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. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.