The survey was conducted among 677 IT directors in large enterprise organizations, and the report discusses the infrastructure and topology of cloud environments alongside the unique additional limitations of the cloud, starting from access networks, such as mobile networks, high latency, bandwidth, all the way to the application server and the database.
One of the major findings from the survey was that “the majority of organizations… are greatly aware that poor performance of cloud applications has a direct impact on revenue.”
Naturally, I would like to focus on the database side. The database, in most cases, is the last stop in the application-fulfillment chain and is also one of the most sensitive parts in it. It is the most difficult tier to scale, and, even when scaled, it comes with a price of additional networking and latency.
A database that does not scale, such as a standalone database (the simplest and most used configuration today on the cloud), may lead to very unstable performance distribution (as we have seen in our Amazon RDS benchmark). As the number of concurrent requests grows performance has declined rapidly in a non-linear manner, quickly reaching the point where it is considered to be too slow. Add that to all the other latencies in the chain until the information gets to the end point, and what we will likely experience is a service or application that is not usable and will most likely lead to customer abandonment and possible revenue loss.
Xeround Cloud Database is a great example of how a native cloud database is different from a traditional technology/solution that has been adopted to the cloud environment. The inherent limitations of the cloud are taken into consideration as an integral part of the architecture and engineering of Xeround’s solution, making sure customers get a highly predictable performance model that they can count on.
In the broader sense, I think clouds today are still, in many respects, in their infancy, and there is much improvement ahead of us, both in terms of the infrastructure, especially networking and fast I/O, and with more intelligent ways to manage resources on the cloud and making sure related resources are allocated in an optimal way. For example, the Application Server and the database should preferably be hooked on the same switch – for both improved performance as well as proper allocation: the cloud service provider will not need to allocate costly long path routing resources for the two elements.