SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

After Security, Network Bandwidth is the Next Cloud Bottleneck

IT professionals and developers often assume they have huge network capacity

Security concerns (real and imagined) have long dominated much of the cloud conversation and caused many companies to deliberate about getting started in the cloud. Slowly, the security issues are being addressed--through the adoption of corporate policies for cloud usage, maturing cloud provider offerings, and by technologies such as CloudSwitch which isolate and encrypt all cloud resources to meet the requirements of the CSO. But while the focus has been on cloud security, another potential bottleneck is on the horizon as companies start using the cloud in more substantial ways.

In our discussions with IT executives and their teams, we’ve been hearing about a new concern: the ability of corporate networks to handle cloud traffic. Network performance is a lurking issue that hasn’t yet received the attention it deserves. That’s understandable, since bandwidth is rarely a problem for companies exploring the cloud in a small way, where they may deploy a few experimental VMs in order to understand the process. But as they start expanding their cloud footprint and running production-oriented applications, data movement takes on a completely different scale. As enterprises start to move real workloads out to the cloud (or to straddle internal and external clouds), look for network performance to become top of mind.

IT professionals and developers often assume they have huge network capacity, and it’s probably ample for their current Internet usage or the small cloud projects they may have tried so far. But what will happen, for example, when you have dozens of developers all trying to use cloud resources? Or if you put high-transaction processes in the cloud that need to “talk back” to your data center?  What if you are trying to move a lot of video or graphics between your business users and the cloud? Network usage is about to get much more demanding, and the traffic will need to flow without bottlenecks (or saturating the network) for an organization’s cloud strategy to work.

Thus potential cloud users will have to do some back-of-the-envelope analysis of the maximum bandwidth they might need and how much additional traffic the network can handle. While the data center (or internal network) is running at speeds of 1Gb and even 10Gb, the connection to the Internet is lagging behind. Today, a “good” Internet connection is considered to be in the 100Mbps range. Some companies have more, and many have less than this capability, so when extending services to the cloud, you have to consider what impact this lower speed could have, and how to deal with it.

This is actually a two-part problem. You have to consider initial data movement: how long will it take to move a terabyte of data over the Internet and into the cloud? What impact will that have on current users and your business? You also have to look at ongoing updating of that data: how much traffic will be flowing back and forth, and what will that mean for your steady state? Will you have to buy more bandwidth for the cloud to be viable? Obviously, any major new capex requirements would be a challenge for cloud adoption.

Fortunately, technologies are emerging that can help optimize your current network and avoid an expensive upgrade. For example, CloudSwitch has a public IP address capability that provides direct access to cloud resources without having to go through the enterprise data center, avoiding what could otherwise be a huge bottleneck. Rather than relying on the Internet connection to the data center, cloud deployments can take advantage of the aggregate bandwidth of end users. This CloudSwitch feature also allows enterprise firewalls and load balancing capabilities to run in the cloud so traffic can flow smoothly and securely. In addition, companies like Citrix, F5, Riverbed, and Cisco are developing software versions of their WAN optimization technologies that can be deployed in the cloud. Their innovations in compression, de-duplication, and other techniques will enable much more efficient data movement so you can make better use of the network you already have.

If you’re the head of IT or Application Development looking ahead to 2011, you probably have some great cloud pilots under your belt, and you’re evaluating moving into the cloud in production mode. Just remember that bandwidth is something you’ll need to think about and prepare for.

CloudSwitch has been thinking about these issues, and together with our partners we’re working on solutions to ensure optimum bandwidth for the cloud. Emerging technologies will allow you to meet the bandwidth demands required by production applications, so you can scale out your cloud footprints without building out your corporate network, leveraging the investments you’ve already made.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is the Founder & VP Products at CloudSwitch. She's an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in founding innovative technology companies and leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was a member of the early management team at Netezza (NYSE: NZ), the pioneer and market leader in data warehouse appliances, where she helped grow the company to over $125M in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Prior to Netezza, she founded Manna, an Israeli and Boston-based developer of real-time personalization software. Rubin began her career as a marketing strategy consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. .

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.


Latest Stories
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...