Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Greg Schulz, Jerome McFarland

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

How Load Balancing Impacts the Cost of Cloud

Scalability requires load balancing, but it doesn't require efficient or cost-effective load balancing

It's not the first time we've heard the statement that cloud can be too expensive and I doubt it will be the last. This latest episode comes from Alexei Rodriguez, Head of Ops at Evernote by way of Structure 2014:

cloud-tweet-costs_thumb[6]

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/joeweinman/status/479769276027379712

It is important to note that this admission - like those in the past - have come from what we call "web monsters." Web monsters are, as the name implies, web-first (and usually only) organizations who have millions (or billions) of users. Modern web monsters generally have only one application for which they are responsible, a la Evernote, Netflix, Facebook, etc...

It is unlikely that most enterprises will encounter this same conundrum - that of the cloud actually costing more than a DIY approach - for short-lived projects. A marketing campaign, seasonal promotions and offerings, etc... are almost certainly never going to approach the consumption levels of a Facebook or Evernote, and thus their costs will almost certainly be less in the cloud than in house.

That's not to say that enterprises won't run into this problem, or need to carefully evaluate the long-term costs of cloud for an application against their own ability to service it, especially as the Internet of Things begins to arrive and push at oft times already bulging data center seams.

One of the ways in which cloud can end up costing more is based on the load balancing service you choose to use.

The Cost of Inefficient Load Balancing
Load balancing is at the heart of every cloud computing model. Without load balancing of some kind you can't scale, and scalability is one of cloud's biggest benefits, as well as a top driver according to North Bridge Ventures 2014 Future of Cloud.

Load balancing, of course, distributes load across multiple instances of an application to enable scale, improve performance, and maintain availability. In most cloud environments, where provider supplied load balancing services are made available, these services are based on a scale out model, meaning scalability is based purely on the cloning of new application instances when demand reaches a certain (usually customer defined) threshold.

Now, that's all pretty simple stuff. All load balancing services offer scalability this way. What separates enterprise class load balancing from the simplistic offerings from providers is the ability to optimize server-side (virtual or physical) resource utilization in order to eke out the most capacity from each one, without compromising on other service level requirements such as performance.

Enterprise class load balancing services achieve this by using a variety of TCP optimizations designed to offload protocol overhead from the server (instance). TCP multiplexing and response buffering capabilities enable enterprise class load balancing to improve the capacity of servers (instances) by 25% or more, on average.

Obviously if a server (instance) can serve 25% more user requests, you don't scale out as quickly. In other words, you aren't launching more instances as frequently. Which means you aren't paying for more instances as often, either. Interesting, isn't that?

Enterprise load balancing services also offer a variety of load balancing algorithms, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. All load balancing services generally support the most basic of algorithms, round robin, but more sophisticated algorithms are rarely implemented. It is here, along with TCP optimizations, that efficient scalability becomes problematic. Round robin is application and server load agnostic, meaning it doesn't care if the instance selected has 400 connections while a second instance has only 50, it's still going to send that request to the next one in line. While least connections may not be the most efficient algorithm available, it's definitely more application load-aware than round robin.

Most enterprise driven load balancing algorithms take into consideration in some way - whether through weights or connection counts - the load on a given application instance. Rather than just distribute requests, they attempt to efficiently and equally distribute requests in order to maximize resource utilization without impacting performance or availability.

Thus, the use of simple load balancing services with rudimentary algorithmic support and an apathetic view toward server (instance) load serves to distribute load unequally.

These load balancing services do, however, serve to ensure that more instances are launched and more bandwidth is used, which necessarily incurs additional costs.

The load balancing service you choose does ultimately impact the overall cost of cloud. While its not the primary cause behind observations from organizations like Evernote, it's certainly a contributor.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will shares the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at 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. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at 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. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...