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Logs for Better Clouds - Part 2

Predictive Rightsizing - Guesstimations

Last time, we saw that the biggest impediments to Cloud Provider's adoption are Trust and Visibility.

Today, we'll look at the difficulty of predictive rightsizing, and how elasticity is one of the biggest value proposition of Cloud Providers.

One advantage of Cloud Computing is elasticity with self-provisioning, which provides a level of flexibility that didn't exist with traditional Managed Service Providers, and which also allows the selection of a level of service and performance that is close to what is needed.

With "traditional" MSPs (Managed Service Providers) and outsourcers, a client would typically negotiate a 3-year contract. Each year, the client would agree on a static SLA (Service Level Agreement) for the next 12 months and it would be extremely difficult to change this SLA during the year.

It was always a painful exercise to calculate and approximate what SLA to buy for the next 12 months, because needs would change during the year. So it didn't matter what level of service was contracted, there would be periods in which the SLA was too high (client oversubscribed) and periods in which the SLA was too low (the client undersubscribed.)

As a client, periods of oversubscriptions are detrimental because you are paying for a level of service that you are not using.

Undersubscribe and you run into performance issues, potentially leading to denial of service if you are well above your agreed-upon SLA.

Figure 1 below describes actual usage of TPS (Transaction Per Second) versus SLA, and how it creates peaks and valleys of oversubscription and undersubscription.

Figure 1 - Traditional Managed Service Provider with yearly static SLA.

Cloud Computing proposes a very dynamic selection of the SLA. In fact, you can pretty much change your SLA anytime you want. Furthermore you change your SLA yourself, self-provisioning resources via a fairly intuitive and easy to use GUI.

This makes for a very flexible business model where you buy exactly what you need.

Exactly?  Well, almost...   Close but not exact.

Because you are once again working on assumptions and "guesstimations", a react and adjust approach where you end up with peaks and valleys of over/undersubscriptions.  You can quickly and easily change your SLA, buying more or less resources depending on your needs, so these periods of over/undersubscriptions are less pronounced than when using the static, yearly SLA approach of traditional MSPs; but they exist nonetheless.

Figure 2 below describes actual usage of TPS (Transaction Per Second) versus SLA in a Cloud Computing with self-provisioning.

Figure 2 - Traditional Cloud Provider with self-provisioning.

Predictive rightsizing is always a difficult if not impossible task. What is the solution to this problem?

Stay tuned for the next installment.

More Stories By Gorka Sadowski

Gorka is a natural born entrepreneur with a deep understanding of Technology, IT Security and how these create value in the Marketplace. He is today offering innovative European startups the opportunity to benefit from the Silicon Valley ecosystem accelerators. Gorka spent the last 20 years initiating, building and growing businesses that provide technology solutions to the Industry. From General Manager Spain, Italy and Portugal for LogLogic, defining Next Generation Log Management and Security Forensics, to Director Unisys France, bringing Cloud Security service offerings to the market, from Director of Emerging Technologies at NetScreen, defining Next Generation Firewall, to Director of Performance Engineering at INS, removing WAN and Internet bottlenecks, Gorka has always been involved in innovative Technology and IT Security solutions, creating successful Business Units within established Groups and helping launch breakthrough startups such as KOLA Kids OnLine America, a social network for safe computing for children, SourceFire, a leading network security solution provider, or Ibixis, a boutique European business accelerator.

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