Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Stackify Blog, Vaibhaw Pandey, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Wesley Coelho

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Balancing, Cloud Bursting, and Intercloud

So once we have the intercloud, what are we going to do with it?

So once we have the intercloud, what are we going to do with it?

Some debate is heating up, at least on Twitter, about a variety of cloud-related topics. As James Urquhart pointed out in his “Three debates that will benefit cloud computing” debate is good, because it fuels innovation and drives markets forward.

One of the things that’s frustrating about new technology and concepts is that terminology often confuses the discussion. We periodically still see discussions – and debates – around the definition of cloud computing, after all, so that shouldn’t be surprising at all. Intercloud is another one of those terms that is going to cause some contention because it sounds like a technology, but apparently it’s not. According to the folks who started using it (like James) it’s more akin to the Internet in that it’s a description of what will grow out of interoperability and portability standards once they’re applied to actual implementations. Not to get all Euclidian, but the intercloud is a lot like the set of all clouds connected via standards-based mechanisms. What those mechanisms are may be up for discussion and there are certainly groups devoted to defining those mechanisms but suffice to say that right now the “intercloud” does not exist. It (probably) will but we’re a ways off from that.

But because the intercloud is more of a set of capabilities it really doesn’t do anything. Intercloud is like the Internet is like the network – without someone or something (usually applications) leveraging it, it’s just, well, there. So what could we do with intercloud besides avoiding vendor lock-in?

There are a couple of things that spring to mind; specifically cloud balancing and its closely related cousin, cloud bursting. I say closely related because, despite protests to the contrary, they are based on the same technological concepts and architecture, and work best when leveraging the intercloud. 

distributedclouds


CLOUD BURSTING


Cloud bursting has already been talked to death but just as a refresher cloud bursting is the practice of “bursting” into a cloud when capacity has been reached in the corporate cloud/data center. The business case for cloud bursting primarily revolves around seasonal or event-based peaks of traffic that push infrastructure over its capacity but are not consistent enough to justify the cost of investing in additional hardware that would otherwise sit idle.

Cloud bursting takes advantage of global application delivery (load balancing) – or some strategic control point that acts very much the same - as a means to provide nearly immediate redirection of requests to an external cloud in the event that corporate resources are depleted. When a request is received the global load balancer decides which data center (corporate or cloud) should handle the request based on its understanding of capacity. Other variables can of course, be introduced, but basing the decision on where to route a request on other business or technical metrics immediately moves the architecture into one of cloud balancing, not cloud bursting.

So basically there’s a rule that tells the global application delivery solution to direct requests to CLOUD A or CLOUD B when the CORPORATE CLOUD is near or at capacity. It’s a bit more complex than that in implementation, of course, but when distilled down to its basic operations, it really is that simple.


CLOUD BALANCING


Cloud balancing is the routing application requests across applications or workloads that reside in multiple clouds. It assumes that all instances of the application deployed in the various clouds are accessible at all times, which makes it different than cloud bursting as bursting may actually require the deployment and/or launching of the application at a remote cloud. Cloud balancing is not simply load balancing across clouds. The simplification of load balancing down to a dumb process is part of what causes problems with the definition of such concepts. If one assumes that load balancing in general is a rudimentary, dumb process that has no awareness of context and no ability to make intelligent routing decisions then I suppose that the misconception that cloud balancing and cloud bursting have very little in common makes more sense.

But load balancing has not been, for quite some time, dumb. It evolved years ago into what analysts and vendors call “application delivery” and it is capable of quite intelligent, on-demand request routing based on everything from technical to business metrics. Cloud balancing requires that level of intelligence; it requires a context-aware decision maker that can collaborate with the rest of the infrastructure and solutions providing business-level metrics and information in order to make a decision, in real-time, regarding which “cloud” should respond to any given request. Service-level agreements, business metrics, response time, capacity, cost, power, etc... Any one or combination of these variables can provide the basis for deciding how to route a request. context

So basically there’s a set of rules that tell the global application delivery solution to direct requests to CLOUD A or CLOUD B or the CORPORATE CLOUD when certain conditions exist. Those conditions are contextual, which is why the notion of context-awareness in application delivery solutions in general is an imperative when architecting a cloud-based (on-demand) infrastructure.


IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTEXT and AGILITY


Both cloud balancing and cloud bursting require intercloud in order to be as seamless as they are intended to be because without the interoperability and portability across clouds, well, things start to break down. Sure, you could do it without standards, i.e. today, but the cost and effort to do so is probably not going to engender a lot of tinkering in this area. The standards need to exist so the actually development and deployment of applications across multiple clouds is not only technically but financially feasible. Standards need to exist not just for deployment, but for management and gathering of data – the data that will be needed in order to utilize clouds based on business and operational metrics. Those operational metrics can – and should – include more than physical conditions on the network and in the data center, but also those describing costs – down to the cost of power at the moment, if possible. Business metrics should include cost thresholds, SLAs, and KPIs specific to the business. All this data is part of what makes up context, and context is what makes things like cloud balancing and cloud bursting valuable architectures. 

Context-awareness is the foundation of a dynamic infrastructure and a dynamic infrastructure requires integration and collaboration in the network and application network infrastructure, hence the focus on standards and interoperability. Only when a solution is capable of interpreting the myriad variables available from layer 2 through layer 7 (and beyond) can it start making decisions that are based on real-time conditions and business parameters rather than just CPU or memory resources or connections or response time. Certainly these are valuable factors in the overall equation, but the goal of IT and solutions implemented and deployed by IT is to provide business value. It stands to reason, then, that business goals and parameters and metrics should be a part of that implementation.

Cloud balancing isn’t as simple as it sounds, simply distributing requests in an orderly fashion across X number of clouds. It is, like modern load balancing in general, an intelligent, policy-driven, interpretive method of routing application requests in a way that adds significant value to the organization. From a process standpoint cloud bursting and cloud balancing are the same thing. Both leverage global application delivery as the real-time decision maker regarding how requests are to be distributed.  One might even go so far as to say that cloud bursting is a subset of cloud balancing as the former is more restrictive about when external cloud resources may be invoked than is the latter. But really, the big differences between the two are the metrics and business use-case in which they are utilized. That’s where the real value of these new-fangled ideas comes from: it affords IT agility which fuels business agility. It isn’t just about the bottom line or speeds and feeds, though these are certainly part of the equation. It’s about providing a framework through which the business and IT can innovate new ways of leveraging technology, and that enables other technology related markets to develop and deliver innovative solutions that provide value to IT and the organizations it supports.

 

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare friendfeedicon_facebook AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related blogs & articles:


Categories:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...