Feeds

Cloud tuning: getting the network up to speed

Get out of the slow lane

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Many problems in IT can be put down to the simple but flawed assumption that resources are infinite.

It is obviously wrong but we repeatedly see examples of where it leads: running out of storage (the technology equivalent of the wardrobe principle that if you have the space, you will fill it), running too many applications at once, writing bloated code and trying to use network connections for purposes they were not designed for.

This last in particular has bitten the backsides of many an attempt to deliver and use cloud-based services. In the early days of selling online storage to consumers, for example, large quantities of space were offered that were virtually unusable.

Why are we waiting?

You don’t need a maths degree to work out that it could take a while to upload 5GB of information over an asymmetric (where uploads are much slower than downloads) 2Mb connection.

For corporates, bandwidth should not be such an issue, but home workers and smaller businesses frequently suffer the symptoms of inadequately specified or unreliable connections.

As well as bandwidth and reliability, latency can affect companies of all sizes. Response times from locally hosted applications are measurable in milliseconds, whereas we are all familiar with having to wait a second or five for web pages to load.

This may be not so bad when we are just surfing but it can become more than annoying when trying to access internet-based business applications – and indeed, it may break the terms of service level agreements.

Tolerance thresholds fall even lower when two computer systems are trying to interact (cloud-based or otherwise in hybrid environments.

Many technology experts are well aware of such issues, and they have beavered away for decades to resolve them.

For example we have HTTP, designed to enable asynchronous data transfers over less reliable connections. The accompanying RESTful protocols now offer the de facto way (rather than SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol) for interfacing to web-based application services.

Other bright sparks are working on caching technologies for applications, video and other media streaming, voice protocols and so on, between a multiplicity of devices and across a widening variety of connection types.

Blame the internet

But today things are moving so fast that it becomes difficult to keep tabs on what problems are being solved where – within the network, by operating systems and management software, or in the application and delivery layers.

Solutions do not need to be complicated

In base terms, the internet will always run more slowly than local networking – that’s just electronics. There are smart people working on solutions, but organisations can recognise the real constraints inherent in the architecture and make decisions based on what is feasible and achievable.

Solutions do not need to be complicated. For example, a mobile application could enable access to a specific subset of application functions and data – logging, for example, the fact that a visit to the customer site has taken place and was a success.

Equally, cloud-based models may offer ways of doing things that we have never considered, enabling new services or new ways of working.

We certainly shouldn’t feel wedded to old models used for in-house applications. That path is more likely to lead to disappointment as a new set of constraints arises.

By abandoning the expectation that the internet should be an infinite resource, we can open opportunities to build new kinds of systems and services that make the best use of capabilities in the cloud as well as of any innovations we have achieved in-house. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.