cloud.ca is a Citrix Ready verified regional IaaS, meaning that it is trusted to enhance Citrix solutions for cloud infrastructure and end-user compute workloads. As such, we were invited to demo our platform at Citrix Synergy a couple of weeks ago in Orlando, FL.
Earlier this month a CloudOps team attended Citrix Synergy in Orlando, FL. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's a three day event for Citrix partners and customers focused on enterprise mobility, not to mention a great place to network and have a bit of fun.
Previously, I blogged about differences between hosting and cloud on cloudops.com. To continue with the theme of contrasting Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud to things that are often confused with cloud, in this post I will compare IaaS cloud to virtualization. First off, SaaS can run on cloud, but is not cloud. I am strictly referring to an IaaS cloud.
Cloud computing is a victim of its own success. For one thing, cloud advocates have promised so much—worry-free, turnkey IT that just works— that the reality is bound to disappoint. Worse, clouds seem immune to tough economic times, so nearly every technology company is wrapping itself in a cloud mantle, and every dynamic website is claiming it’s a cloud. We don’t want to get bogged down in definitions, but any discussion of clouds requires a clear understanding of three things:
Cloud computing is a significant shift in the way companies build and run IT resources. It promises pay-‐as-‐you-‐go economics and elastic capacity. Every major change in IT forces IT professionals to “rebalance” their application strategy—just look at client-‐server computing, the web, or mobile devices. Today, cloud computing is prompting a similar reconsidering of IT strategy. But it’s still early days for clouds. Many enterprises are skeptical of on-‐ demand computing, because it forces them to relinquish control over the underlying networks and architectures on which their applications run. In late 2009, performance monitoring firm Webmetrics approached us to write a study on cloud performance. We decided to assess several cloud platforms, across several dimensions, using Webmetrics’ testing services to collect performance data. Over the course of several months, we created test agents for five leading cloud providers that would measure network, CPU, and I/O constraints. We also analyzed five companies’ sites running on each of the five clouds. As you might imagine, this resulted in a considerable amount of data, which we then processed and browsed for informative patterns that would help us understand the performance and capacity of these platforms. This report is the result of that effort. Testing across several platforms is by its very nature imprecise. Different clouds require different programming techniques, so no two test agents were alike. Some clouds use large-‐scale data storage that’s optimized for quick retrieval; others rely on traditional databases. As a result, the data in this report should serve only as a guideline for further testing: your mileage will vary greatly.