Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, JP Morgenthal, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, Linux, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: 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
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Cloudwick, the leading big data DevOps service and solution provider to the Fortune 1000, announced Big Loop, its multi-vendor operations platform. Cloudwick Big Loop creates greater collaboration between Fortune 1000 IT staff, developers and their database management systems as well as big data vendors. This allows customers to comprehensively manage and oversee their entire infrastructure, which leads to more successful production cluster operations, and scale-out. Cloudwick Big Loop supports ...
To manage complex web services with lots of calls to the cloud, many businesses have invested in Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) tools. Together APM and NPM tools are essential aids in improving a business’s infrastructure required to support an effective web experience… but they are missing a critical component – Internet visibility. Internet connectivity has always played a role in customer access to web presence, but in the past few years use...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
What are the benefits of using an enterprise-grade orchestration platform? In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Tegethoff, CEO of Appcore, and Kedar Poduri, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix Systems, will take a closer look at the architectural design factors needed to support diverse workloads and how to run these workloads efficiently as a service provider. They will also discuss how to deploy private cloud environments in 15 minutes or less.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of Li...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. ...
StackIQ offers a comprehensive software suite that automates the deployment, provisioning, and management of Big Infrastructure. With StackIQ’s software, you can spin up fully configured big data clusters, quickly and consistently — from bare-metal up to the applications layer — and manage them efficiently. Our software’s modular architecture allows customers to integrate nearly any application with the StackIQ software stack.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?