Full Stack Migration or Modified Stack Migration to public cloud providers?

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James Pulley

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Jan 16, 2014, 3:50:27 PM1/16/14
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This is a curious question post.   Given that most cloud public providers charge for resource access on the finite resource pool (Disk, Network, CPU, RAM), for those you who are migrating to these providers are you taking the time ahead of the migration to tune the stack to reduce your overall resource fingerprint of the application or are you migrating the stack "as is?"

If "as is," have you been surprised by any bills for use of resources in your cloud provider which were masked by your previous installation on internal hardware?

James Pulley

Peter

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Jan 16, 2014, 5:13:28 PM1/16/14
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Generally you pay for a set amount of resources from the cloud provider. This may, or may not be oversubscribed by the cloudprovider. Normally your application won't burst beyond the instance size you selected. (Unless you set up auto-scaling rules on a cloud system that supports this.)

Although it would be good to see if you can re-engineer your system to scale horizontally rather than just vertically (like most legacy applications), I think it is a waste of time to tune the stack beforehand, since you more or less know how much your invoice will be based on the instance (server) size you selected.

James Pulley

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Jan 16, 2014, 11:20:35 PM1/16/14
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Amazon has a variable charge per resource cycle.  If, say, for instance you use 60% of your Java infrastructure to manage empty shopping carts, wouldn’t it be prudent to alter your cart allocation mechanism to minimize empty carts and the resources associated with managing them?   The same could be said of inefficient cache management where you pay for any byte in an out of the cloud.   Modify the caching strategy and you may reduce your number of actual bytes in and out of the cloud by 50-60%

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Peter Koelewijn

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Jan 16, 2014, 11:56:43 PM1/16/14
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Hi James,

That's why I said 'generally you pay for a set amount of resources'. To my knowledge Amazon is the only cloud provider using such obscure pricing mechanisms. They also have charges per IOPS and such, making it very difficult for people just starting on the cloud to actually anticipate the total cost of a solution.
Of course you generally pay for every GB in and out of the cloud, but unless you're running a very large website, the ROI of spending time on reducing this is going to be pretty small looking at how low the fees for bandwidth are.

I personally believe that people who are new to the cloud are better of with a (any) different cloud provider to prevent unpleasant surprises. Another benefit is that in my experience no other cloud provider is as complex to work with from a UX point of view. Of course, the trade-off for this is less functionality to fine-tune. For this reason people might want to consider Amazon after they become more familiar and comfortable with the concept of cloud.

Peter Koelewijn
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