Cloud performance refers to how well your applications, workloads and databases operate on the cloud. Your underlying cloud infrastructure should support your business objectives. In today’s digital age, speed matters. On the cloud, performance is everything. Cloud performance allows you to remain competitive as a business.
Why Cloud Performance Matters
Your applications and website are how your customers primarily interact with your product or service. Say you’ve migrated over to the cloud from a legacy on-premises computing system and were surprised at unexpected dips in website performance. Your cloud performance could be why your website is taking so long to load, which negatively impacts your customer’s user experience. Keep in mind, your customers take on average only 3 seconds before they decide to abandon their carts. Your slow website could be costing you hundreds of customers a day.
For retailers, peak shopping season is when your cloud platform also needs to be performing at its peak. Your cloud infrastructure should be able to handle multiple users simultaneously with ease and should not cause customers to leave your website frustrated and empty-handed.
The performance of your underlying cloud platform not only impacts your customers, but your internal processes as well. Your mission critical workloads such as Microsoft SQL and Oracle allow your business to stay afloat. Your cloud performance needs to match the processing demand from internal users as well with high response times.
You’ve collected vast amounts of data that continue to give you critical business insights. Using a cloud data center to store and manage all this data allows you to tap into almost infinite flexibility and scalability. But, at what cost? To gain the cloud performance that you’re used to, you may think provisioning additional cloud resources is the answer. In the end though, are you really using the additional cloud resources? To achieve peak cloud performance, you may end up paying for cloud storage capacity that goes largely unused, affecting your bottom line.
Cloud Performance Metrics – How do you track them?
To keep tabs on your cloud resources and usage, you need cloud performance metrics. Similar to the check engine light on your car, cloud performance metrics let you know when your cloud performance needs a tune up. There are several cloud performance metrics that you can use to get a holistic view of your entire cloud deployment model.
IOPS – I/O Operations per Second
IOPS measures how many operations your cloud platform can execute each second. Essentially, IOPS is the rate at which your cloud platform can read and write to and from your application and/or database. IOPS is a complex measurement. It is impacted by the size of the data being read or written as well as the number of pending read/write operations waiting to be processed. Although cloud service providers may boast a fixed IOPS, it will ultimately depend on your actual workload.
Latency describes the speed at which operations can be executed on your cloud platform. In a perfect world, your cloud platform should support processing speeds at levels seen with on-premises servers. Rarely is that the case though due to throttling performed by cloud service providers. Since the public cloud is a shared environment, cloud service providers may limit speeds for the benefit of all users.
Resource availability lets you know if your cloud instances are running as expected, or if cloud platform requests are hanging in the balance. High availability is the goal of every business operating on the cloud. High availability means that your applications are always available whenever and wherever your customers and internal users need them most.
Capacity is the ability of your cloud platform to provide adequate storage that best suits your business needs. Capacity directly impacts the ability of the cloud platform to process requests. Higher available capacity is often correlated with higher cloud performance.
Testing your Cloud Performance
Now that you have a better understanding of the various metrics used to determine cloud performance, how exactly do you test it? There are a number of tests you can perform:
- Load test – measures the performance of the application under both normal and peak conditions
- Stress test – measures the performance of the application under extreme conditions outside of the bounds of normal operation
- Browser test – confirms that the application works as intended when accessed through different web browsers
- Latency test – measures the amount of time it takes to move data from one point to another within the network
- Targeted infrastructure test – isolates and measures component of the application to test its performance
- Failover test – confirms the application’s ability to automatically provide extra resources and move to a back-up system in the event of server or system failure
- Capacity test – measures how many users the application can handle before performance suffers
- Soak test – measures the performance of the application under a high load for an extended period.
Cloud Performance Strategies
There are many ways to achieve the performance that you want on the cloud. Note that you may have to resort to a combination of techniques to achieve desired performance.
Select the Right Cloud Data Platform
There are a variety of cloud service providers to choose from, including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Each provider offers a slightly different set of features on the cloud. Certain cloud platforms offer better storage capacities. While other cloud platforms are optimized to handle the processing demands of mission-critical workloads. It is important to perform in-depth research and develop an effective cloud strategy before selecting a cloud service provider.
Pick the Right Compute Instance
Selecting the right compute instance once on your desired cloud service platform is another way to potentially boost performance. Compute instances within the cloud platform are optimized for certain features such as storage capacity or processing data-intensive workloads. However, knowing which instance does what can add an unexpected level of complexity to your otherwise seamless cloud experience.
Right sizing refers to scaling your cloud computing resources automatically to match spikes in customer demand. Customer traffic typically ebbs and flows depending on the time of year, like the holiday shopping season for retail. As much as you need your cloud resources to scale up during peaks, you also need it to scale back down just as quickly.Or else you will be left paying for an unusually high cloud bill for idle resources that you no longer use.
Hire a third-party cloud performance management vendor
Third-party vendors can provide the cloud performance management services that you’re looking for. They either manage your cloud performance for you or give you the tools so you can manage it yourself. With a third-party vendor, however, you may be locked into a vendor-specific tool. If your cloud computing needs change, these tools may no longer work for your new cloud platform or multi cloud strategy.
Get Faster Cloud Performance with Silk
Even after you’ve pulled on all these levers, or turned to a third-party, your cloud performance may still be not quite where you need it to be. Your websites may still be taking too long to load. A poor user experience is a turn off for your hard-won customers. Your mission-critical applications may still be suffering from slow response times and unable to keep up with processing demand. This can lead your business coming to a grinding halt.
Turn to Silk!
The Silk Cloud DB Virtualization Platform sits between your underlying cloud infrastructure and your data and applications. Silk breaks the link between computing and performance on the cloud. As a result, you don’t need to overprovision cloud resources to achieve peak performance.
How? Silk offers rich, enterprise data services such as zero-footprint snapshots, data reduction, deduplication, and thin provisioning. These features are not available in native cloud alone. Silk’s data services help to minimize the amount of cloud resources you ultimately need, which in turn, helps to keep your cloud costs under control. Your bottom line will thank you.
With Silk, you can migrate your applications to the cloud, without the need to refactor – or rewrite – the underlying code, at the high level of performance you need, at a price that won’t blow your budget. If your ultimate goal is to refactor, you can lift and shift today to start taking advantage of all the cloud has to offer while working to refactor for tomorrow. Silk makes it ideal for large, complex, and mission-critical workloads such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.
You can see every detail about your cloud infrastructure in-depth and in real time using Silk’s intuitive Flex Dashboard. Idle cloud resources adding to your cloud bill? Use Silk Flex to scale up or scale down your cloud resources instantly using a simple drag and drop.
Silk goes a step further and monitors and manages the performance of all your cloud resources. Silk is cloud-agnostic, meaning you can take Silk with you as your cloud computing needs evolve over time, no matter which cloud platform or multi cloud strategy you deploy. In this way, Silk ensures that your workload and applications continue to operate at the peak performance that your business needs, and your customers love.