Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Apache, Cloud Security

@DXWorldExpo: Article

Big Dollars from Big Data

How to reduce costs and increase performance in the data center

Cloud computing has given birth to a broad range of online services. To maintain a competitive edge, service providers are taking a closer look at their Big Data storage infrastructure in an earnest attempt to improve performance and reduce costs.

Large enterprises hosting their own cloud servers are seeking ways to scale and improve performance while maintaining or lowering expenditures. If the status quo of scaling users and storage infrastructure is upheld, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain low cost cloud services, such as online account management or data storage. Service providers will face higher energy consumption in their data centers overall, and many are loath to begin charging for online account access.

Costs vs. Benefits
In response to the trend of growing online account activity, many service providers are transitioning their data centers to a centralized environment whereby data is stored in a single location and made accessible from any location via the Internet. Centralizing the equipment enables service providers to keep costs down while delivering improved Internet connections to their online users and realizing gains in performance and reliability.

Yet with these additional performance improvements, scalability becomes more arduous and cost-prohibitive. Improving functionality within a centralized data center requires the purchase of additional high-performance, specialized equipment, boosting costs and energy consumption that are challenging to control at scale. In an economy where large organizations are seeking cost-cutting measures from every angle, these added expenses are unacceptable.

More Servers, More Problems?
Once a telco moves into providing cloud-based services for its users, such as online account access and management, the demands on its data centers spike dramatically. While the typical employee user of a telco's or service provider's internal network requires high performance, these systems normally have fewer users and can access files directly through the network. Additionally, employees are typically accessing, sending and saving relatively low-volume files like documents and spreadsheets, using less storage capacity and alleviating performance load.

Outside the internal network environment, however, the service provider's cloud servers are being accessed simultaneously over the Internet by more users, which itself ends up becoming a performance bottleneck. Providers, telcos and other large enterprises offering cloud services therefore not only have to scale their storage systems to each additional user, but must also sustain performance across the combined users. Due to the significantly higher number of users utilizing online account tools at any given time, cloud users place a greater strain on data center resources.

Combining Best Practices
To remain competitive, cloud service providers must find a way to scale rapidly to accommodate the proliferating demand for more data storage. Service providers seeking data storage options should look for an optimal combination of performance, scalability and cost-effectiveness. The following best practices can help maximize data center ROI in an era of IT cutbacks:

  1. Pick commodity components: Low-energy hardware can make good business sense. Commodity hardware not only costs less, but also uses far less energy. This significantly reduces both setup and operating costs in one move.
  2. Look for distributed storage: Distributed storage presents the best way to build at scale even though the data center trend has been moving toward centralization. This is because there are now ways to increase performance at the software level that counterbalances the performance advantage of a centralized data storage approach.
  3. Avoid bottlenecks at all costs: A single point of entry becomes a performance bottleneck very easily. Adding caches to alleviate the bottleneck, as most data center architectures presently do, add cost and complexity to a system very quickly. On the other hand, a horizontally scalable system that distributes data among all nodes delivers a high level of redundancy.

Conclusion
Big Data storage consists mainly of high performance, vertically scaled storage systems. Since these current architectures can only scale to a single petabyte and are expensive, they are not cost-effective or sustainable in the long run. Moving to a horizontally scaled data storage model that distributes data evenly onto low-energy hardware can reduce costs and increase performance in the Cloud. With these insights, providers of cloud services can take steps to improve the performance, scalability and efficiency of their data storage centers.

More Stories By Stefan Bernbo

Stefan Bernbo is the founder and CEO of Compuverde. For 20 years, he has designed and built numerous enterprise scale data storage solutions designed to be cost effective for storing huge data sets. From 2004 to 2010 Stefan worked within this field for Storegate, the wide-reaching Internet based storage solution for consumer and business markets, with the highest possible availability and scalability requirements. Previously, Stefan has worked with system and software architecture on several projects with Swedish giant Ericsson, the world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addressed the challenges of scaling document repositories to this level; architectural approaches for coordinating data; search and storage technologies, Solr, and Amazon storage and database technologies; the breadth of use cases that modern content systems need to support; how to support user applications that require subsecond response times.
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will detail these pain points and explain how cloud can address them.
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure using the Kublr platform, and how Kubernetes objects, such as persistent volumes, ingress rules, and services, can be used to abstract from the infrastructure.