3 ways to improve cloud performance

Performance is a larger issue than many expected with cloud computing, but you can solve that problem if you think ahead

Performance issues hold back some cloud computing efforts. This happens because many of those who stand up cloud-based applications did not account for the latency systemic to many cloud-based systems.

For the most part, these performance issues are caused by the fact that cloud-based applications are typically widely distributed, with the data far away from the application logic, which itself may be far away from the user. Unless careful planning has gone into the design of the system, you're going to run into latency and even reliability issues.

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Here are three things to look at to get good cloud computing performance.

First, focus on the architecture and planning. At the end of the day, you're dealing with widely distributed, loosely coupled systems where the data, the application, and the human or machine that consumes the application services could be thousands of miles apart. Thus, you need to create an architecture designed explicitly to deal with the latency. Techniques include using buffers or a cache, as well as moving components that constantly chat closer together physically.

Second, minimize how much information moves among the core components of your cloud-based applications. In on-premises systems, you're used to having the bandwidth and the performance to toss huge messages back and forth within the enterprise. Likewise, when dealing with cloud-based systems, moving information within the cloud typically does not cause that much latency. But handling latency across cloud providers and between the cloud and the enterprise can be a challenge.

Third, test before you buy. In many cases, the latency issues can't be easily solved because their causes are engineered into the cloud platforms themselves. You need to undertake basic proof-of-concept testing, including performance and reliability, before you select your cloud providers. Make sure to test with real-world data loading, and don't be afraid to test-drive several providers. You'll find that they're all at least a little different.

This article, "3 ways to improve cloud performance," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.