Cloud Computing: Managing Your Reliability, Availability and Scalability

The world witnessed the Microsoft Azure cloud outage earlier this week documented in this eWeek article on cloud computing , the outage was attributed to human error associated with leap year settings. Problems and changes within any infrastructure are inevitable, even within cloud computing infrastructure.

Your company applications can leverage many different types of mainframe, UNIX, windows and cloud computing platforms. Here are three aspects to remember to make your cloud computing experience more reliable, available and scalable within your existing enterprise and with your cloud computing provider.

First, have no single point of failure. Have a plan for your application component changes and for non-availability of your system. This latest cloud computing outage reinforces that no system or application is available or stays the same over its lifetime. Changes are needed to improve all types of application aspects. The best way to make your application and cloud implementation reliable is to have no single point of failure. Having a cloud application doesn’t mean that 100% of it needs to be operating in the cloud. The Amazon EC2 failure last year and the Azure cloud computing failure proves that cloud computing is just another platform option for more elastic computing and storage infrastructure. Make sure you have no single point of failure in or out of the cloud.

Next cloud computing security capabilities are still lacking. Cloud certifications are beginning to pop up as the latest must-have computing certification. While the cloud security training is good, cloud security itself still does not meet many federal security standards and might not meet your company’s standards. For example in these ComputerWorld ( and Technorati ( articles, the FBI warns cloud providers about their security shortfalls. The articles also talk about Google Apps not being secure enough for the LAPD. For the peace of mind for your CEO and all your customers, understand the cloud computing security consideration and implications if your cloud application gets hacked. Cloud security is improving but still has some ways to go.

Next application virtualization in the cloud can be constrained. One of the selling points of the new cloud architecture is the ability to quickly start up additional virtual images for the application, providing elastic scalability. Unfortunately the application needs to be architected properly so all the resources can be spread out horizontally in the cloud. Application monitoring within the cloud can be difficult to measure and cloud vendors are only beginning to get the instrumentation in place for detail application monitoring. Make sure to measure your scalability and performance within the cloud especially after scaling out to several virtual images.

So remember cloud computing is not always the best solution right now for all your company’s application deployments. In the end even these Microsoft and Amazon clouds can have stormy down and depressing days.

I will be speaking at the Heart of America DB2 Users Group on March 12 in Overland Kansas. (

I will be doing my new speech: Agile Big Data Analytics: Implementing a 22 Billion Row Data Warehouse

This presentation discusses the design, architecture, meta-data, performance and other experiences of building a big data and analytics data warehouse system. You will learn through this presentation the real life issues, agile development considerations, and solutions for building a data warehouse of 22+ billion rows in only six months.

This presentation will help you understand techniques to manage, design and leverage the big data issues for a more in-depth understanding of your business. Also the agile development processes will be detailed, showing how to uncovered complex analytics requirements and other issues early in the development cycle. This presentation will help you understand all these experiences that took processes from 37 hours to seconds so you can create a successful big data design and scalable data warehouse analytic architecture.

Also I am beginning to plan my Regional DB2 User Group support for 2012 year. Please send an email to me at moc.ekluebevadnull@evad if you would like me to come and speak or offer a DB2 class at your local user group.

I look forward to speaking at the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference 2012 North America conference. The conference will be held in Denver, Colorado on May 14-18, 2012. Sign up today at

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