|By Jason Bloomberg||
|September 30, 2012 09:00 AM EDT||
You're the widget product manager for Widgetco, who sells about 500 widgets per day on your Web site, some days a dozen more, some days a dozen less. Everything is fine until you pick up a copy of USA Today. Right there on the front page, in brilliant color-on-newsprint, is Justin Bieber. And what is the Biebster holding in his hand? One of your widgets.
Dream scenario? No, you think, more like nightmare scenario. Widgetco hosts its Web site in its own data center, as it has done since 1997. It can take maybe, say, a thousand or two transactions per day at most. But sure enough, Bieber Fever crashes your site, on the one day you could make your entire quarterly sales quota, if only you could fulfill the demand.
You should have listened to your CIO, who recommended Cloudbursting as a way of dealing with unexpected spikes in demand. Cloudbursting is being able to maintain on-premise or Private Cloud capacity for normal capacity requirements, while a Public Cloud automatically handles excess demand. Cloudbursting is supposed to be an economical way of leveraging the Public Cloud, because you only pay the Cloud provider when you require excess capacity. On normal days, however, your existing, already-paid-for infrastructure handles the load quite well.
A straightforward value proposition, right? Any on-premise or Private Cloud-based app that is subject to spikes in demand that existing infrastructure can't handle should be able to benefit, so the argument goes. Unfortunately, however, Cloudbursting has a number of problems, making it challenging for even the most suitable scenarios-and furthermore, such scenarios are rarer than you think. Bottom line: Cloudbursting is mostly marketing vaporware, and even as the Cloud marketplace matures, may only be of limited applicability.
A Closer Look at Cloudbursting
Cloudbursting depends upon workload migration: when your on-premise system bogs down, you must move your entire application to the Cloud-data, business logic, and user interface. Over an Internet connection to the Cloud. Even the most basic workloads might take hours to migrate, and in the meantime, your customers are left out in the cold.
The obvious way to mitigate the workload migration problem is to set up a copy of your application environment in the Cloud ahead of time. That way when the Bieber effect kicks in, all you need to do is fire up the Cloud copy and reconfigure your DNS to direct traffic to it, right?
Not so fast. First you'll need to synchronize your data. There are tools for that, true, but it still takes time, and you now have the challenge of maintaining the true version of the data. For example, let's say you have 5,000 widgets in inventory (as reported by your ERP application) when your site goes down. You can't migrate the whole ERP to the Cloud, so you copy over your master inventory table. Now you're fulfilling orders in the Cloud as well as on-premise, since your on-premise site has recovered now that you've lightened its load. The result? Each site sells 3,000 widgets before the next data synchronization cycle, and once again you're in trouble.
OK, so that won't work either. Instead, you integrate the Cloud app with your ERP system, so that you can handle orders in real time, instead of waiting to synchronize your data. In other words, you set up a Hybrid Cloud. Yes, you can do that-after all, many organizations are moving to Hybrid Cloud models-but then you ask yourself: does it really make sense to put in all the time and effort to set up a Hybrid Cloud solely for handling Cloudbursting? If you're going to all that trouble, why not keep the Cloud-based app live all the time?
There's the rub with Cloudbursting: you might think you're saving money by only using a Public Cloud for handling peak demand, but in reality, you get better Total Cost of Ownership by using the Cloud all the time, either via a Hybrid model, or by migrating your entire app to the Cloud. The Hybrid model provides additional benefits as well, namely a measure of failover, increasing your overall availability. It's always better to have two (or more) geographically distributed instances of an app serving your customers, in case something happens to one of them. And if you want to offer seamless availability, you should have all the instances running at once, with a load balancer distributing the traffic. Chances are, you can get load balancing from the Cloud provider as well.
So you've convinced your CIO that Cloudbursting might not be the best alternative. Instead, you're discussing moving your entire site to the Cloud when your CEO walks into the room. Her concern is for compliance and security. You're taking customer credit card numbers, so you must be PCI compliant. And everybody knows Public Clouds are less secure than Private ones, right?
The problem here is that if these concerns are valid then they rule out Cloudbursting as well. Being PCI compliant except during peak demand is just another way of saying you're not PCI compliant. On the other hand, if your Public Cloud provider offers PCI compliance, then it would apply equally well to Cloudbursting as to a Hybrid approach or migrating to the Public Cloud. The same argument applies to security concerns.
There are a few more pitfalls to Cloudbursting worth mentioning. If you're thinking of putting your app in a Private Cloud and using a Public Cloud for Cloudbursting, then what you're really saying is that you didn't plan your Private Cloud properly in the first place. After all, what's the point in setting up a Private Cloud unless it can provide sufficient elasticity to meet your needs? You might as well just stick to a traditional on-premise hosted environment.
You also need to work through the details of the Cloudbursting event itself. Does your on-premise app need to fail for Cloudbursting to take place, or do you have a way of bursting as your existing app nears a critical threshold, but before it actually goes down? The latter requires careful management, and even with all the appropriate management tools in place, you may still have a failure-based scenario. The question then is whether the on-premise failure will impede your ability to successfully Cloudburst. For example, if the Bieber effect causes your database server to crash requiring a reboot, you may not be able to synchronize your data in order to begin the Cloudbursting. In other words, you've designed your Cloudbursting to fail just when you need it.
The ZapThink Take
Let's say you've made it to this point in this ZapFlash and you're still not convinced. You remain confident that Cloudbursting is practical in your situation. OK, then, what kind of situations might be appropriate for Cloudbursting?
Our Widgetco example required some legacy integration, which obviously complicates Cloudbursting enormously. Cloudbursting would clearly be more suitable for standalone applications that didn't require such integration. But on the other hand, you would only need Cloudbursting if you have an app that is susceptible to spikes in demand-and virtually all such apps have public-facing Web interfaces. And thirdly, Cloudbursting would clearly not be appropriate for any app that should obviously be entirely Cloud-based from the get go, namely a SaaS or PaaS app.
We've essentially crossed off every kind of application from the list. Any sort of app that processes customer transactions is out of consideration, because they either require legacy integration or should run as SaaS apps in order to process transactions in the Cloud. All that remain are free, public-facing Web applications that have unpredictable traffic patterns and yet have an on-premise component that you don't want to move to the Cloud. You have one minute to think of one. Ready? Go!
Image credit: oskaree
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, 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. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Sep. 29, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,927
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Sep. 28, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,723
Analysis of 25,000 applications reveals 6.8% of packages/components used included known defects. Organizations standardizing on components between 2 - 3 years of age can decrease defect rates substantially. Open source and third-party packages/components live at the heart of high velocity software development organizations. Today, an average of 106 packages/components comprise 80 - 90% of a modern application, yet few organizations have visibility into what components are used where.
Sep. 28, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 800
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That’s how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well. There’s no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there – there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for conta...
Sep. 28, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,226
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,714
[session] Cloud Adoption and Digital Transformation By @TIBCO | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DigitalTransformation
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 340
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
Sep. 28, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,321
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,725
Large enterprises today are juggling an enormous variety of network equipment. Business users are asking for specific network throughput guarantees when it comes to their critical applications, legal departments require compliance with mandated regulatory frameworks, and operations are asked to do more with shrinking budgets. All these requirements do not easily align with existing network architectures; hence, network operators are continuously faced with a slew of granular parameter change req...
Sep. 28, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 791
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,819
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
Sep. 28, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,880
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, 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. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Sep. 28, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,502
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Sep. 28, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,494
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,339
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...
Sep. 28, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,429
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 28, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,120
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 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 Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Sep. 28, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,114
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Sep. 28, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,881
Apache Hadoop is a key technology for gaining business insights from your Big Data, but the penetration into enterprises is shockingly low. In fact, Apache Hadoop and Big Data proponents recognize that this technology has not yet achieved its game-changing business potential. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, John Mertic, director of program management for ODPi at The Linux Foundation, will explain why this is, how we can work together as an open data community to increase adoption, and the i...
Sep. 28, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,139
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Sep. 28, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,556