Heads up: 3 cloud performance gotchas

IT naïveté can make a migrated cloud application perform very poorly -- but you can avoid this fate

Those moving to the cloud are weighing numerous factors, including the type of cloud and cloud brand to use, as well as the best path for migration. However, most IT organizations aren't considering performance, and they're making huge performance mistakes as systems on clouds move into production.

The common cloud performance mistakes include:

  • Porting code without performing platform localization modifications
  • Not considering I/O tuning
  • Not considering network latency

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Porting code without performing platform localization modifications is an error made by those who think they can take C++ code from on-premise platforms and move it to the cloud without a hitch. They can't.

The fact is you need to localize and optimize any code as you move from platform to platform. Moving to a cloud, either IaaS or PaaS, is no exception. The confusion may stem from cloud computing providers who brag about A-to-A portability, which many do provide. However, that won't get you A-to-A performance characteristics unless you do additional work.

As for not considering I/O tuning, much to the previous point, you need to optimize the I/O subsystems by tweaking the tunables. Keep in mind this is different than elasticity, where cloud platforms can autoprovision servers as you saturate processors. By contrast, the I/O issue is about access to the native I/O system in the most efficient way. Some cloud providers provide access to tunables; some don't.

It's a similar issue with network latency. The Internet doesn't always provide consistent performance, so you need to consider that latency in the overall performance model for your cloud environment. Do not move to a cloud if it's going to be a significant issue. 

Also, don't forget the network latency that may occur as systems communicate within the cloud environment. I find this is often overlooked and actually very difficult to monitor, much less understand, given that you don't have access to the physical systems. Work with your provider on this one.

This article, "Heads up: 3 cloud performance gotchas," 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.


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