What Organizations Need to Know in Order to Improve their Cloud Performance

June 27, 2016 by Lore Engineering Team

Organizations across the country are moving their data, services, and applications to the cloud. Since many of these organizations are still in the planning stages, the ideal time to tackle cloud performance is now. Being able to set up the cloud in the best way to accommodate organizations’ workflows right from the beginning will ensure better performance later.

The cloud offers organizations many benefits, such as improved security from data loss due to technical issues, hackers, and natural disasters. The cloud also offers flexibility, enabling users to work from anywhere at any time, providing there is a Wi-Fi connection. Security and flexibility are the driving forces for increasing productivity for organizations. Architecture, speed, capacity, and consistency of the cloud network greatly affect the speed and flexibility of the cloud, so these variables must be considered when improving or trying to achieve optimal cloud performance.

Now, we want to share what organizations need to know in order to improve their cloud performance as it relates to the cloud’s architecture, speed, capacity, and consistency.

Cloud Architecture

Cloud architecture is the most important part of the planning process as organizations adopt the cloud. According to David Linthicum, senior VP at Cloud Technology Partners in Cambridge, Mass, “People have a tendency not to think about architecture.” Not having a good cloud architecture can lead to major performance issues in the future because users will have a difficult time finding what they need, which decreases productivity. The cloud is a system of loosely connected data and applications, unless the organization of the data and applications on the cloud makes sense to users. Users must understand how to locate data and applications within the cloud and be able to access them quickly. The cloud’s architecture can either lead users astray, which makes them frustrated, or it can lead users to exactly what they need in seconds. This is the reason the architecture is an important consideration in cloud performance. In the planning stages, designing the architecture of the cloud will save a lot of time because it is easier to categorize the flow of data and applications from the start and pigeonhole new information from the get-go rather than creating an architecture retroactively.

To design an architecture that will improve cloud performance, begin organizing information according to department. Since users from many different divisions of an agency will utilize the cloud, it is imperative that they understand where to access the information most applicable to them. Setting up sections on the cloud for each department will help users easily find where they need to go for information, and then they can begin to follow the architecture to find the exact data or application they need to work on at the time. Within the department sections, there should be topics applicable to users. For example, if an agency’s department manages security, some of the topics under security could be “On-site,” “Cyber,” “Computer,” etc. When users need to access information on a specific topic, they can easily go to their section and the topic they need. And within each topic, there can be subtopics, which will help users pinpoint exactly what they need in as little time as possible.

Optimal Speed and Capacity

Optimal speed (latency) and capacity (throughput or bandwidth) are imperative for good cloud performance. Simon Rust, vice president of technology at AppSense, points out, “As the consumerization of IT continues to make things smaller, cheaper and more attractive to consumers, the network capabilities of these devices become more and more necessary and, ultimately, critical. These devices require always-on connectivity, and on today’s connectivity, only the applications capable of handling high-latency connections are appropriate for these devices.” Therefore, without adequate latency and throughput, cloud performance will suffer greatly.

Latency and throughput pertain to the cloud provider’s network, so it is important to realize this when seeking cloud services. Start with a strict requirement for response time, and find cloud services that promise to offer it. For example, you may decide service delivered to users should have a response time of below 200 milliseconds. This time is the period it takes from the second the user presses “Send” to seeing the action on the screen. If the response time is slower, users may become frustrated, as they have to wait for the information they need to appear. Many organizations will need to transfer cloud information between server nodes. Many of these organizations have a latency requirement of 10 to 20 milliseconds or less, which high-performing applications often need.

Throughput is another key consideration for cloud performance. Throughput (calculated in bits) is the amount of data sent per amount of time, whereas 8 bits is 1 byte. Many cloud providers offer 200 Megabits/second. While this is standard and adequate for many software applications, some applications require much more, such as video and streaming applications, and real time big data systems. These high-demand video and streaming applications and real time data systems may need 1.3 GBits/s of throughput to function at the speed and functionality desired by users.

Consistency is critical to cloud performance because it ensures continued productivity. The best speed and capacity mean nothing without consistency. An average latency (the lag that occurs) of 20 ms may not slow users down too much, but when latency reaches 20 ms and 100 ms, it starts to impact performance. When choosing a cloud provider, requesting latency statistics is a good way to know whether the high speed and consistency will offer users the performance needed to remain productive.

Get it Right the First Time

Many organizations will begin using the cloud without a plan. They start to upload data and applications haphazardly without architecture. Over time, many users become frustrated, not only because they have a difficult time finding what they need, but also because data and application response times are slow and inconsistent. When adopting the cloud for an agency setting, start with a solid plan on finding a cloud provider offering the latency, throughput, and consistency needed and have an architecture that will ensure efficiency.

For more information on improving cloud performance, contact us here.