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

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Page 17 of 38

All access is provided via an API, and you have absolutely no con‐ trol over how the service is run or configured. Examples in this section For consistency and to illustrate the range of services offered by single providers, all examples of services in this section are provided by Ama‐ zon Web Services (AWS); other providers offer similar ranges of services. These SaaS systems can provide a wide range of functionality, including database (Amazon RDS or DynamoDB), file storage (Amazon S3), message queuing (Amazon SQS), data analysis (Ama‐ zon EMR), email sending (Amazon SES), authentication (AWS Directory Service), data warehousing (Amazon Redshift), and many others. There are even cloud-based services now that will provide shared code-execution platforms (such as Amazon Lambda). These services trigger small pieces of code in response to a schedule or an event (e.g., an image upload or button click) and execute them in an envi‐ ronment outside your control. Performance Risks As you start to introduce third-party SaaS services, there are two key performance risks that you must be aware of. Complete failure or performance degradation Although one of the selling points of third-party SaaS systems is that they are built on much more resilient platforms than you could build and manage on your own, the fact remains that if they do go down or start to run slowly, there is nothing you can do about it— you are entirely in the hands of the provider to resolve the issue. Loss of data Though the data storage systems are designed to be resilient (and in general, they are), there have been examples in the past of cloud providers losing data due to hardware failures or software issues. 8 | Chapter 1: Losing Control

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