Balancing Cloud Costs with Application Performance

    March 9, 2017

    By Per Bauer

    The cloud promises users cost savings, scalability, and access, but there are a few pitfalls they should consider before making the switch.

    A company chooses to migrate their applications to the cloud for any number of reasons: streamlining performance, avoiding the high cost of ownership, the ease of implementation, to name a few. The cloud’s scalability and relatively low cost compared to maintaining physical hardware make it an attractive choice for any company, from startup to enterprise.

    But while the cloud has its advantages, some mistake it for a magic bullet for app performance issues. Companies who begin migrating to the cloud without a clear strategy for taking advantage of it can find themselves up to their necks in unexpected costs and underperforming apps.

    In order to truly unlock the “promise of the cloud” — cost savings, scalability, and IT overhead reduction — teams must be aware of the shadows cast over the cloud computing performance that people generally don’t think about when migrating.

    What Lies Ahead

    The aforementioned promise of the cloud is no myth. There are significant opportunities to save and scale upwards when deploying cloud computing to handle an application, but like with any good thing, there are negatives to keep in mind.

    The first of those negatives is a loss of visibility. The benefit of a physical infrastructure is that a company’s IT team knows where it’s located. When a problem arises, you know exactly where your servers are located, and therefore have the ability to physically troubleshoot the issue at hand. Unfortunately, teams lose that visibility when systems are migrated to the cloud, and with it is lost a sense of control.

    “The elastic, dynamic nature of virtual infrastructures makes it extraordinarily difficult for security teams to see what’s happening in the cloud,” writes CloudPassage CTO Amrit Williams. “And without that visibility, it’s impossible for them to enforce consistent policies, detect vulnerabilities, and react quickly to abnormal behavior.”

    Because of these risks, companies looking to migrate to the cloud should have a clear understanding of how responsibility for security is distributed between the client and the cloud vendor. Generally speaking, the vendor guarantees and manages security of the cloud while the company sourcing from the cloud is responsible for security in it.

    While cloud providers have a service level agreement, they rarely compensate for loss of business if they fail to meet that SLA. Ensuring top performance of applications still depends heavily on the IT team’s ability to provision the correct number of resources to handle all of the requests. Because of this, it’s up to the in-house team to maintain their own supplemental SLA by having backup plans for their backup plans if something were to go awry.

    Overcoming the Obstacles

    Of course, none of these issues are insurmountable, and the benefits of the cloud are realistic and attainable. It just takes the right tools to ensure that cloud resources are optimized for the job. However, cloud providers generally do not offer tools to overcome these obstacles natively. It typically takes cloud management software to give IT professionals insight into the health and viability of their current network infrastructure, and this software represent a good first step for balancing cost-effective virtualization with optimal application performance.

    Overprovisioning and service downtime make up for the bulk of avoidable costs in IT, and these issues often only become more dangerous when a company moves its systems to the cloud. The Vityl suite from TeamQuest offers IT teams the ability to see into every corner of their virtualized infrastructure so that they can make proactive decisions that help to avoid such financial pitfalls. Regardless of whether your company utilizes an on-premises, fully-virtualized, or hybrid infrastructure, Vityl Adviser can help monitor the health of each individual system, notify IT professionals when a system is in need of more resources, and even forecast when a system will need attention.

    A move to the cloud does not ensure cost savings with consistent application performance. It takes a plan and a powerful tool to make sense of it all.

    Category: cloud