Over the next several weeks, I want to discuss some core concepts of cloud computing. This series is designed for tech professionals (whether at the staff or senior-level management/executive level) in evaluating the potential benefits of a cloud solution.
I’m a big fan of books, and I love going to the bookstore whenever I can to find interesting technology or business releases. When I buy a book at a bookstore, that book is mine to use as I see fit. I can read it whenever I want, let someone else borrow it, or even sell it once I have finished reading.
Libraries are also fantastic places to pick up new books (which I’m also a big fan of!). This service does not cost anything, and an equally impressive number of titles are available at libraries. But the book I select can only be consumed for a limited time. It is entirely possible that the book is subject to a recall because someone else would like to borrow the book.
These features of libraries and bookstores are useful when considering the concept of resource pooling, a key characteristic of the cloud. When using a public cloud platform, many users are relying on the same overall infrastructure and resources, where the cloud is functioning as a library of sorts.
While resource pooling is an essential characteristic, it can present two additional challenges. First, if multiple users, or multi-tenants, are sharing resources on a platform, how do we ensure that other tenants cannot access another’s resources? How can a tenant’s privacy and security be ensured? This is illustrated by the concept of cloud isolation. Each major cloud provider has developed architectures and mechanisms to ensure that tenants and resources are isolated on multiple levels.
Second, with so many tenants accessing services simultaneously, how do we reduce the likelihood of “noisy tenants”, or as it pertains to the cloud when you experience poor service performance because one (or several) neighbors utilize a tremendous amount of resources?
Unfortunately, this cannot be eliminated, even with major cloud providers putting in as many resources as possible to meet actual and forecasted demand. To help minimize this effect, one of the most recommended tips for users is to use a single-tenant version of a cloud service when possible. For example, you may want to use a physical, or “bare metal” server instead of a virtualized version. This will ensure that you are the only person using the server. This can be a more costly option, but it can provide better performance.
In the third part of this series, I will cover trust and cloud platforms. Still have questions? Reach out to me on Twitter, @SusanneTedrick.