Do we need to care about cloud performance?

Many think performance problems don’t exist in the cloud, but they do. Deal with them the same way you did before cloud

Do we need to care about cloud performance?

Performance issues went away after we migrated our applications and data sets to the cloud, right? That has not been the case. Here’s just a few examples of why. 

  • Most performance issues are traceable back to the application and to the hard fact that the applications must be redesigned and rebuilt to deal with the problem.
  • Database response time is a frequent performance issue and often requires a redesign or even an entire change of the database model.
  • Cloud platforms such as Linux and Windows Server often have the same performance limiters as their on-premises versions, including use of memory, user interface management, and external communications.

This list could go on for pages. By now I assume you’re sold on the idea that performance must be managed in the cloud, and that the solutions are not typically easy. You need a strategy to approach cloud computing performance management. Here are a few key ideas to get started:

Get down with performance metrics. If you do not have logging, monitoring, and analysis systems on your cloud-based applications and databases, get some—yesterday. These systems should help you trend performance behavior over time. They can spot performance issues before they become true issues and link this analysis to self-healing processes, such as changing tunable on platforms based on the changing behavior of applications. 

Use DevOps. One of the nice things about DevOps is that it deals with past limitations. Dev and Ops used to not work and play well together. Assume that’s changed, and Ops can now take performance issues directly to Dev. This is important because most of the cloud performance issues that I run into are traced back to the application or to the data bound to the application. You can have all of the virtual cloud services in the world on-line running your application and it won’t solve a problem that’s born in programming code. 

The bummer is that many of you were under the impression that cloud would solve all problems, including poorly performing applications. The problems can be hidden for a while, but eventually you need to deal with them. 

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