With the advent of the cloud, more and more companies are migrating their applications, workloads, and databases to the cloud. Most newer companies start out in the cloud and are considered cloud native. Popular cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). You gain access to the cloud with ease over the internet via a service agreement with a cloud service provider

For more established companies, however, adopting the cloud can be challenging. One of the main concerns when considering migrating to the cloud is cloud performance. 

What is Cloud Performance

Cloud performance determines how well your applications, workloads and databases operate on the cloud. In today’s competitive landscape, speed matters. You want your business to be market-ready at all times. To operate your business on the cloud, performance is everything.  Before migrating to the cloud, you want to be sure that your applications, workloads and databases will perform just as well in the cloud as they did on-premises. 

Once you migrate to the cloud, you may be surprised at how slow your applications and websites are taking to load. This unexpected slowdown is known as latency. High latency puts a damper on your cloud performance. Cloud service providers overcome latency by using solid state drives (SSDs). Unlike traditional hard drives (HDs), the speed at which the internal disk spins is directly related to latency. Since there is no disk to spin with SSDs, you will see a marked increase in your cloud performance. 

When it comes to cloud performance, there are two main things to consider: throughput and IOPS. Throughput determines how fast your company’s data moves across your database. IOPS stands for I/O Operations per Second. IOPS measures how many I/O requests or operations your cloud platform can execute each second. Although both throughput and IOPS boosts your cloud performance, they do so in slightly different ways. Let’s explore each one a little further.

What is the difference between throughput and IOPS?

Throughput is a measure of how fast your data moves across your database. Throughput is usually measured in megabytes per second (MB/s). A cloud computing system with a larger throughput can push more data than one with a smaller throughput. Higher throughput translates to improved cloud performance. 

IOPS is a similar measure of data transfer, but this time the focus is on the number of actual operations that your cloud platform is able to execute per second. IOPS is the rate at which your cloud platform can read and write to and from your application and/or database. 

Does throughput or IOPS matter more in cloud computing?

Well, it depends. You can use both throughput and IOPS to help you determine the overall health and performance of your cloud infrastructure. However, each one plays a unique role when it comes to achieving high cloud performance. 

Throughput didn’t always play as big a role in cloud performance as it does today. With the exponential increase in data over the years, throughput has become increasingly more important. The mountains of data that your company generates every day has to be processed, pushed through and stored on your database at some point. 

You don’t want to be limited by throughput when it comes to your data. You want to be able to glean as many insights and trends as possible from your data. A cloud platform with a high throughput allows you to continue to store large amounts of data, while still being able to process this data to grow your business. 

IOPS, although closely related to throughput, is focused more on the volume of operations that you want to execute on your cloud platform. High IOPS allows you to process more read and write functions on your database. For your data-intensive applications and workloads, IOPS becomes more critical. 

Around the holiday shopping season every year, you want to be sure that your cloud database is ready for peak usage. High IOPS allows you to process a large number of transactions from multiple users simultaneously. 

If you just look at each factor independently, you might miss the big picture of your overall need for optimized cloud performance. It’s best to look at throughput and IOPS as parts of a jigsaw puzzle. When combined together, throughput and IOPS give you the cloud performance you need to grow your business. Your cloud platform should help you meet and accelerate your business goals with the cloud performance you need. 

Limitations of Throughput

Cloud platforms are inherently shared by design. That’s how the public cloud is able to give you vast amounts of cloud data storage at a fraction of the cost it would take to build your own on-premises data center. As a result, cloud service providers typically throttle throughput speeds for the interests of all their users. You might end up over provisioning cloud resources to achieve the throughput rates that you need. 

Limitations of IOPS

Cloud service providers also place similar caps on IOPS. In addition, while IOPS is a good indicator of cloud performance, it is a complex measurement that is impacted by the size of the data being read or written. The number of pending read/write operations waiting to be processed also impacts IOPS. Although cloud service providers may boast a fixed IOPS, it will ultimately depend on your actual workload. Again, you may be forced to over provision cloud resources to get your desired IOPS. 

On the cloud, however, every byte costs. It will cost you to blindly over provision cloud resources without a robust cloud strategy in place. In addition, the data stored on your cloud database takes up space in units known as a block size. You need to ensure the block size matches your storage needs. Otherwise, you may end up paying for storage space that’s mostly underutilized just to get the cloud performance that you need. In the end, pulling all these levers may cost you your bottom line.

Partner with Silk to Improve Your Cloud Performance and Speed

Silk allows you to achieve the cloud performance you need at a cost that won’t break the bank. The Silk DB Virtualization Platform sits between your data, workloads and applications and the underlying cloud infrastructure. 

With Silk, you gain 10x faster performance compared to the native cloud alone. On the Silk platform you no longer have to worry about latency. You can continue to enjoy the speeds you were used to on-premises, with the flexibility and scalability of being on the cloud. This can be done without the need to refactor or rewrite your specialized workloads and applications. Silk allows you to simply lift and shift workloads onto your cloud deployment model of choice.

Don’t just take our word for it. We have countless success stories of companies looking to grow by adopting the cloud, while maintaining peak performance for their databases, applications and customer-facing website. 

Priceline is a worldwide leader in online travel deals. When they needed to boost their cloud performance without breaking their cloud budget, they turned to Silk. By partnering with Silk, Priceline was able to quickly spin up the cloud resources they needed to support peak customer traffic all while maintaining peak performance. 

A leader in the furniture and home goods market was under a strict mandate to move off on-premises computing to the cloud. With no time to refactor (rewrite) their applications, they turned to Silk. They were quickly able to migrate to the cloud with minimal disruption to the customer experience. With Silk, they were able to gain the full scalability and flexibility of the cloud, at the performance level that their customers needed. 

Silk also offers a range of enterprise data services such as zero-footprint snapshots, data deduplication, and thin provisioning. These services help to reduce your data footprint on the cloud, reducing the amount of cloud resources that you need. In turn, this helps to minimize your cloud bill since you no longer have to worry about too many snapshots (backup copies) ballooning through your allocated cloud resources. 

Silk goes a step further and monitors and manages the performance of all your cloud resources. Use Silk’s intuitive Flex Dashboard to monitor your cloud infrastructure in-depth and in real time. 

Silk is also cloud-agnostic. Take Silk with you as your cloud computing needs evolve over time. In this way, Silk ensures that you continue to get peak cloud performance that your business needs, and your customers love.