Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Apache, Cloud Security

@DXWorldExpo: Article

Big Dollars from Big Data

How to reduce costs and increase performance in the data center

Cloud computing has given birth to a broad range of online services. To maintain a competitive edge, service providers are taking a closer look at their Big Data storage infrastructure in an earnest attempt to improve performance and reduce costs.

Large enterprises hosting their own cloud servers are seeking ways to scale and improve performance while maintaining or lowering expenditures. If the status quo of scaling users and storage infrastructure is upheld, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain low cost cloud services, such as online account management or data storage. Service providers will face higher energy consumption in their data centers overall, and many are loath to begin charging for online account access.

Costs vs. Benefits
In response to the trend of growing online account activity, many service providers are transitioning their data centers to a centralized environment whereby data is stored in a single location and made accessible from any location via the Internet. Centralizing the equipment enables service providers to keep costs down while delivering improved Internet connections to their online users and realizing gains in performance and reliability.

Yet with these additional performance improvements, scalability becomes more arduous and cost-prohibitive. Improving functionality within a centralized data center requires the purchase of additional high-performance, specialized equipment, boosting costs and energy consumption that are challenging to control at scale. In an economy where large organizations are seeking cost-cutting measures from every angle, these added expenses are unacceptable.

More Servers, More Problems?
Once a telco moves into providing cloud-based services for its users, such as online account access and management, the demands on its data centers spike dramatically. While the typical employee user of a telco's or service provider's internal network requires high performance, these systems normally have fewer users and can access files directly through the network. Additionally, employees are typically accessing, sending and saving relatively low-volume files like documents and spreadsheets, using less storage capacity and alleviating performance load.

Outside the internal network environment, however, the service provider's cloud servers are being accessed simultaneously over the Internet by more users, which itself ends up becoming a performance bottleneck. Providers, telcos and other large enterprises offering cloud services therefore not only have to scale their storage systems to each additional user, but must also sustain performance across the combined users. Due to the significantly higher number of users utilizing online account tools at any given time, cloud users place a greater strain on data center resources.

Combining Best Practices
To remain competitive, cloud service providers must find a way to scale rapidly to accommodate the proliferating demand for more data storage. Service providers seeking data storage options should look for an optimal combination of performance, scalability and cost-effectiveness. The following best practices can help maximize data center ROI in an era of IT cutbacks:

  1. Pick commodity components: Low-energy hardware can make good business sense. Commodity hardware not only costs less, but also uses far less energy. This significantly reduces both setup and operating costs in one move.
  2. Look for distributed storage: Distributed storage presents the best way to build at scale even though the data center trend has been moving toward centralization. This is because there are now ways to increase performance at the software level that counterbalances the performance advantage of a centralized data storage approach.
  3. Avoid bottlenecks at all costs: A single point of entry becomes a performance bottleneck very easily. Adding caches to alleviate the bottleneck, as most data center architectures presently do, add cost and complexity to a system very quickly. On the other hand, a horizontally scalable system that distributes data among all nodes delivers a high level of redundancy.

Conclusion
Big Data storage consists mainly of high performance, vertically scaled storage systems. Since these current architectures can only scale to a single petabyte and are expensive, they are not cost-effective or sustainable in the long run. Moving to a horizontally scaled data storage model that distributes data evenly onto low-energy hardware can reduce costs and increase performance in the Cloud. With these insights, providers of cloud services can take steps to improve the performance, scalability and efficiency of their data storage centers.

More Stories By Stefan Bernbo

Stefan Bernbo is the founder and CEO of Compuverde. For 20 years, he has designed and built numerous enterprise scale data storage solutions designed to be cost effective for storing huge data sets. From 2004 to 2010 Stefan worked within this field for Storegate, the wide-reaching Internet based storage solution for consumer and business markets, with the highest possible availability and scalability requirements. Previously, Stefan has worked with system and software architecture on several projects with Swedish giant Ericsson, the world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators.

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.


Microservices Articles
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Consumer-driven contracts are an essential part of a mature microservice testing portfolio enabling independent service deployments. In this presentation we'll provide an overview of the tools, patterns and pain points we've seen when implementing contract testing in large development organizations.