Top Five Best Practices for Ensuring Optimal Cloud Performance - Slide 4

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Remember the transaction. Monitoring is often forgotten when talking cloud; however, it is essential. Rather than merely monitoring the individual components such as the network, servers, J2EE Web apps and message operations, take a step back and monitor the entire transaction path.

If you just monitor the components it is like reading the cast of characters at the beginning of a play, but not reading the actual dialog. You will know who is in the play, but not what they said or did. Transactions are conversations, if you don’t monitor them, just like in the play example, you will have no clear idea of what is going on. Each component could be quite happy, but an order may still not be processed. Instead, focus on transaction performance: the speed with which an application completes an activity that meets business requirements and expectations.

Cloud-washing, a practice of renaming or repackaging existing products and dubbing them cloud-ready, has become an art form. Every software package, service and now even hardware is described as cloud-enabled. Seemingly, we are all headed into the clouds never to return. Sounds like heaven, right? Maybe, maybe not.

While the atmosphere is everywhere, the cloud decidedly is not. It is by definition remote. That means if your applications require the highest in performance, cloud may not be the answer. For example, when you rent movies that are delivered over the cloud in real-time to your home, periodically, everything freezes and you see the infamous “buffering” message. While this may enhance the mystery of what is going on in the “Lost” episode you’re watching, it would be a disaster for algorithmic trading. In that environment milliseconds can determine profitability or loss.

Not all applications can be completely move to the cloud. In some cases this is done by design and the type of application, while in others the impact of migration is too high. For those business-critical applications that require the highest performance and have the most sensitive information and complexity of process, a hybrid model of cloud services to bridge the datacenter, branch offices and trading partners is best.

In this slideshow, Charley Rich, vice president of product management and marketing at Nastel Technologies, covers the top five best practices for ensuring optimal performance and uptime when using the cloud for your most demanding applications.

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