3 Comments

  • Hi Nir,
    As always with choices, good or bad is a matter of alternatives.

    The basic problem which you call it the critical path is also known as collocation.
    The concern you raise is valid, however, it is directly linked to the infrastructure software you select.
    The fact that you have to divide presentation, business logic processing, data access and data is a design choice.

    Some applications are fine with geographical separation – for example, many web 2.0 mesh-up applications which consume remote web services have no problem with this concern.

    At the other extreme, high-performance/low-latency systems require that all information is processed on the same node, and even within the same process.

    Product like GigaSpaces XAP enables you make those decisions at deployment time.
    Deployment becomes a matter of SLA and cost.

    Cheers,
    Guy Nirpaz,
    GigaSpaces Technologies

    nirpaz
    December 5, 2008
  • Hi Guy,

    Correction, the critical path is surely not co-location, as if co-location was a problem that the solution path for that problem is known – as indicated by the various “zone” type solutions available.

    The “Critical Path” is based upon a thought pattern that needs to be modified and cultivated with the IT manager. After the GarageGeeks event, I’ve talked to a few of my friends, who are well versed in EC2 and Cloud Computing. Most of them indicated that they’re not really aware of where the physical aspects of the cloud hardware are located, thus, asking questions like: “What is the latency of storage response from the database to my storage?” or “As the instance of my server may shift from one data center to another, what affect does that have on my application?” – when dealing with Web 2.0 mesh-ups, the problem is more or less redundant, by the utilization of CDNs and distributed information stores, but when dealing with Real-Time applications, such as VoIP and IVR, the physical aspects of the installation become one of the key factor in the establishment of a proper platform.

    By no means am I suggesting that any solution for this problem is bad, be it GigaSpaces or any other solution – however, the requirements of the platform must be weighed against the cost factor – not only by TCO/ROI values – but also by operational values as well. Most managers and finance people tend to completely disregard these, thus, forcing IT managers to take wrongful decision. I see the role of GigaSpaces (or the like), not only as the providers of a solution enabling this, but also to assist the prospective customer in the analysis of their requirements and have a clear understanding if cloud computing is truly the solution for them.

    Nir

    admin
    December 5, 2008
  • Hi Nir,

    If you suggest that the critical path is an execution of a single business transaction, which may be an order fulfillment, a SIP call, a move in a multi-user game, I would still argue that what is most important is to make sure that the operation of the service on a specific data-set should be done within a single unit, at best within a single process.
    This is the principal of partitioning in order to scale and collocating related activities and information in order to achieve performance and latency.
    In my view, it is the responsibility of the PaaS to provide this SLA.

    Guy

    nirpaz
    December 5, 2008

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