Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: John Wetherill, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Rex Morrow, Datical, Michael Kanasoot

Related Topics: CloudExpo® Blog, JAVA IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Apache

CloudExpo® Blog: Article

Bursting the Cloudbursting Bubble

Cloudbursting is mostly marketing vaporware, & even as the Cloud marketplace matures, may only be of limited applicability

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

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Virtualization is everywhere. Enormous and highly profitable companies have been built on nothing but virtualization. And nowhere has virtualization made more of an impact than in Cloud Computing, the rampant and unprecedented adoption of which has been the direct result of the wide availability of virtualization software and techniques that enabled it. But does the cloud actually require virtualization?
Working with Big Data is challenging, especially when decision makers depend on market insights and intelligence from your data but don't have quick access to it or find it unusable. In their session at 6th Big Data Expo, Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia; Zel Bianco, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Interactive Edge of Solgenia; and Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder at Solgenia, discussed how a revolutionary cloud-based BI along with mobile analytics is already c...
I read an insightful article this morning from Bernard Golden on DZone discussing the DevOps conundrum facing many enterprises today – is it better to build your own DevOps tools or go commercial? For Golden, the question arose from his observations at a number of DevOps Days events he has attended, where typically the audience is composed of startup professionals: “I have to say, though, that a typical feature of most presentations is a recitation of the various open source products and compo...
In the first four parts of this series I presented an introduction to microservices along with a handful of emerging microservices patterns, and a discussion of some of the downsides and challenges to using microservices. The most recent installment of this series looked at ten ways that PaaS facilitates microservices development and adoption. In this post I’ll cover some words of wisdom, advice intended for individuals, teams, and organizations considering a move to microservices. I've gleaned...
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore's Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
Many people recognize DevOps as an enormous benefit – faster application deployment, automated toolchains, support of more granular updates, better cooperation across groups. However, less appreciated is the journey enterprise IT groups need to make to achieve this outcome. The plain fact is that established IT processes reflect a very different set of goals: stability, infrequent change, hands-on administration, and alignment with ITIL. So how does an enterprise IT organization implement change...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
T-Mobile has been transforming the wireless industry with its “Uncarrier” initiatives. Today as T-Mobile’s IT organization works to transform itself in a like manner, technical foundations built over the last couple of years are now key to their drive for more Agile delivery practices. In his session at DevOps Summit, Martin Krienke, Sr Development Manager at T-Mobile, will discuss where they started their Continuous Delivery journey, where they are today, and where they are going in an effort ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseDB (EDB), the leading worldwide provider of enterprise-class Postgres products and database compatibility solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EDB is the largest provider of Postgres software and services that provides enterprise-class performance and scalability and the open source freedom to divert budget from more costly traditiona...
Do you think development teams really update those BMC Remedy tickets with all the changes contained in a release? They don't. Most of them just "check the box" and move on. They rose a Risk Level that won't raise questions from the Change Control managers and they work around the checks and balances. The alternative is to stop and wait for a department that still thinks releases are rare events. When a release happens every day there's just not enough time for people to attend CAB meeting...
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud en...
In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, panelists Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana; Lori MacVittie, IoT_Microservices Power PanelEvangelist for F5 Networks; and Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager; will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of ...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, 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...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
This is the final installment of the six-part series Microservices and PaaS. It seems like forever since I attended Adrian Cockroft's meetup focusing on microservices. It's actually only been a couple of months, but much has happened since then: countless articles, meetups, and conference sessions focusing on microservices have been delivered, many meetings and design efforts at companies moving towards a microservices-based approach have been endured, and five installments of this blog series ...