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Cloud Computing Price-Performance Could Vary By 1000%!

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Cloud Computing Evolves: An Interview with Mats Johansson

By G C Network | June 6, 2019

Recently, Ericsson Digital released an amazing report on Edge Computing and 5G. In it, they explained how distributed cloud computing is paving the way for the future of network communications. They also advised telecommunications operators, not to wait for 5G but they should build tomorrow’s networks today! Given the cost, effort and focus such a commitment…

The IoT Nexus: Bosch Connected World 2019 in Berlin

By G C Network | May 11, 2019

Next week, I will be influencing #LikeABosch as I accept an invitation from the company to attend Bosch ConnectedWorld 2019 (BCW19) in Berlin, Germany. This is one of the world’s largest international forums for the Internet of Things (IoT) and brings together the best minds to energize the co-creation of connected products and solutions invented for life. The conference,…

Survive and Thrive With Digital Transformation

By G C Network | April 17, 2019

First cloud computing then multi-cloud. How can we get ahead of this digital transformation nightmare? These are the laments heard in conference rooms and board meeting around the world. While the goal seems simple, adopting and migrating to a cloud service provider requires much more than executive willingness and a sharp IT organization. A lot…

The “George Jetson” of Today

By G C Network | April 13, 2019

He grew up in Silicon Valley, landed his first job at Apple Computers, was introduced to Nobel Prize winners by his dad and today, he takes a self-driving car to work so that he can squeeze in a few morning conference calls with the US east coast Team. Is this George Jetson!? No. It’s just…

MWC19: Where Telecommunications and Cloud Meet

By G C Network | March 23, 2019

As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specific business cases. This curiosity is what drove my excitement when Ericsson invited me to work with them during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. As the largest mobile event in the world, MWC Barcelona brings together the latest…

Tulane University SoPA Selects “Architechting Cloud Computing Solutions”

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Last week, Packt Publishing announced that “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” by Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Goessling was selected for use by the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement, Applied Computing Systems & Technology Program as the textbook for their mandatory Enterprise Architecture – Hardware course starting Spring Semester 2019. I am proud and honored to be trusted by such a prestigious institution. Being an “Amazon…

5G Wireless Technology Connecting Healthcare

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industry’s pursuit of the many promises offered by connected patients, connected caregivers, and connected hospitals. While the goals of this transformation are many and varied, a recent HIMAA Media survey revealed the top four as: Seeking improved quality of care…

Maria Lensing: The Network Platform for Healthcare’s Future

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

As a girl, Maria and her family traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get cancer treatment for her sick brother. The miracle she observed, as the healthcare providers saved her brother’s life, ignited a passion for healthcare. Unfortunately, that passion didn’t apply to blood, so she went into electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, eventually falling in…

How “Big Iron” Does “Big Regulation”

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

According to Verizon, there were over there were over 53,000 security incidents in 2017, with over 2,200 of those identified as confirm data breaches. A Ponemon Institute study also showed that companies experiencing a data breach took an average of 147 days to detect that breach. These statistics serve a key motivator of Stuart McIrvine, Director…

Mainframe Synergies for Digital Transformation

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

In July  of 2018, Broadcom announced its intentions to acquire CA Technologies. In the press release, Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said: “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies. With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned…

Yes, you read that right. The price/performance of your cloud computing infrastructure could vary as much as 1000 percent depending on time and location. High levels of variability have actually been seen within the same cloud service provider (CSP) processing the exact same job. This also means that the cost to you of processing the exact same job in the cloud could vary by this much as well.

This surprising result was discovered by a Rice University group, headed by Dr. T. S. Eugene Ng, that has been focusing on cloud computing. Recently they published their joint work with Purdue University: Application-Specific Configuration Selection in the Cloud: Impact of Provider Policy and Potential of Systematic Testing, in the IEEE INFOCOM 2015 Conference Proceedings. That paper took a first step towards understanding the impact of cloud service provider policy and tackling the complexity of selecting configurations that can best meet the price and performance requirements of applications. That work resulted in a collaboration between Rice University and Burstorm, a developer of computer aided design (CAD) software specifically built to support cloud computing architects.
The Burstorm platform contains a product catalog of over 36,000 products across 900 CSP product sets. Working with Dr. Ng’s group, the study looked at seven suppliers across three continents (Asia, North America and Europe) with a total of 266 computer products spread over three locations per vendor, where available. Raw data was collected every day, for 15 days. The results were then normalized to reflect a 720-hour, monthly pricing model. The final output were price-performance metrics graphs that were used to look at performance and price variance both between the CSPs and geographic regions.
Analysis of the final output showed a 622 percent variation of performance within a same instance type and a price/performance variance of 1000 percent. Performance of the exact same virtual machine instance can also vary by as much as 60 percent over time. The best performing instance also did not show the best price-performance. Availability and behavior of instances was also very dependent on location, even when the instance was provisioned by the same CSP. Dave Hansen, Vice President and General Manager of sales, marketing and services for Dell Software sums up the importance of these results saying:

Dave Hansen, VP and General Manager, Dell

“…[This] report is incredibly valuable. I’ve looked at this problem many times over the years and it is very difficult to make buying decisions on cloud services without this context.”

These results also show that today’s enterprise desperately needs to use active metering and monitoring when procuring cloud-based services. Changes in instance types, pricing, performance over time and availability of services by location highlights the inadequacy of traditional benchmarking philosophies and processes. Another hidden gem in this report is the use of “performance quota” by some service providers. When a customer meets this CSP management quota, the performance of the relevant instance will be reduced. In other words, exceeding this limit will drive up your usage bill. These findings also drive home the need for enterprises to ramp up their due diligence when selecting CSPs. They should
also investigate the use of third party brokers and automated solution design tools when developing their cloud migration strategy.
As the use of cloud computing advances, consumers must take active steps toward being more sophisticated, automated and dynamic in their use of cloud service providers. At a minimum, these steps should include:
  • The use of computer aid design tools when conducting due diligence on cloud service providers;
  • Use of organic or independent third parties to meter, monitor and report on the performance of cloud-based resources;
  • Clear understanding of the use and associated limits of “performance quotas”; and
  • The identification of one or more alternative sources for the provisioning of all cloud-based resources.
This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site Power More. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

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