O'Reilly's Performance Optimizations in a Cloud-Centric World

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Performance Risks Loss of control over the data center creates two key performance risks. Loss of ability to fine-tune hardware/networking Cloud providers will provide machines based on a set of generic sizes, and they usually keep the underlying architecture deliber‐ ately vague, using measurements such as "compute units" rather than specifying the exact hardware being used. Likewise, network connectivity is expressed in generic terms such as small, medium, large, etc., rather than specifying the actual values so that the exact nature of the networking is out of your control. All of this means that you cannot benchmark your application and then specify the exact hardware you want your application to run on. You cannot make operating system modifications to suit that exact hardware, because at any point, your servers may restart on different hardware configurations. No guarantee of consistency Every time you reboot a machine it can potentially (and usually, actually) come back up on completely different hardware, so there is no guarantee that you'll get consistent performance. This is due in part to varying hardware, and also to the potential for noisy neighbors—that is, other users sharing your infra‐ structure and consequently affecting the performance of your infrastructure. In practice, these inconsistencies are much rarer than they used to be. Some cloud vendors will offer higher-priced alternatives that will guarantee that certain pieces of hardware will be dedicated for your use. 4. Third-Party SaaS Tools While you lose control over the hardware and the infrastructure with IaaS, you still have access to the underlying operating system; however, in the world of the cloud, systems are increasingly depen‐ dent on higher-level Software as a Service (SaaS) systems that deliver functionality rather than a platform on which you can execute your own functionality. 4. Third-Party SaaS Tools | 7

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