Click here to close now.

Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: XebiaLabs Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Jason Bloomberg, Dana Gardner, David Sprott

Related Topics: Virtualization, Java, SOA & WOA, Search, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Virtualization: Blog Feed Post

Bare Metal Blog: Throughput Sometimes Has Meaning

Knowing what to test is half the battle

Knowing what to test is half the battle. Knowing how it was tested the other. Knowing what that means is the third. That’s some testing, real clear numbers.

In most countries, top speed is no longer the thing that auto manufacturers want to talk about. Top speed is great if you need it, but for the vast bulk of us, we’ll never need it. Since the flow of traffic dictates that too much speed is hazardous on the vast bulk of roads, automobile manufacturers have correctly moved the conversation to other things – cup holders (did you know there is a magic number of them for female purchasers? Did you  know people actually debate not the existence of such a number, but what it is?), USB/bluetooth connectivity, backup cameras, etc. Safety and convenience features have supplanted top speed as the things to discuss.

The same is true of networking gear. While I was at Network Computing, focus was shifting from “speeds and feeds” as the industry called it, to overall performance in a real enterprise environment.  Not only was it getting increasingly difficult and expensive to push ever-larger switches until they could no longer handle the throughput, enterprise IT staff was more interested in what the capabilities of the box were than how fast it could go. Capabilities is a vague term that I used on purpose. The definition is a moving target across both time and market, with a far different set of criteria for, say, an ADC versus a WAP.

There are times, however, where you really do want to know about the straight-up throughput, even if you know it is the equivalent of a professional driver on a closed course, and your network will never see the level of performance that is claimed for the device.

There are actually several cases where you will want to know about the maximum performance of an ADC, using the tools I pay the most attention to at the moment as an example. WAN optimization is a good one. In WANOpt, the goal is to shrink the amount of data being transferred between two dedicated points to try and maximize the amount of throughput. When “maximize the amount of throughput” is in the description, speeds and feeds matter. WANOpt is a pretty interesting example too, because there’s more than just “how much data did I send over the wire in that fifteen minute window”. It’s more complex than that (isn’t it always?). The best testing I’ve seen for WANOpt starts with “how many bytes were sent by the originating machine”, then measures that the same number of bytes were received by the WANOpt device, then measures how much is going out the Internet port of the WANOpt device – to measure compression levels and bandwidth usage – then measures the number of bytes the receiving machine at the remote location receives to make sure it matches the originating machine. So even though I say “speeds and feeds matter”, there is a caveat. You want to measure latency introduced with compression and dedupe, and possibly with encryption since WANOpt is almost always over the public Internet these days, throughput, and bandwidth usage. All technically “speeds and feeds” numbers, but taken together giving you an overall picture of what good the WANOpt device is doing. There are scenarios where the “good” is astounding. I’ve seen the numbers that range as high as 95x the performance. If you’re sending a ton of data over WANOpt connections, even 4x or 5x is a huge savings in connection upgrades, anything higher than that is astounding.

This is an (older) diagram of WAN Optimization I’ve marked up to show where the testing took place, because sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. And yeah, I used F5 gear for the example image… That really should not surprise you Smile.

So basically, you count the bytes the server sends, the bytes the WANOpt device sends (which will be less for 99.99% of loads if compression and de-dupe are used), and the total number of bytes received by the target server. Then you know what percentage improvement you got out of the WANOpt device (by comparing server out bytes to WANOpt out bytes), that the WANOpt devices functioned as expected (server received bytes == server sent bytes), and what the overall throughput improvement was (server received bytes/time to transfer).

There are other scenarios where simple speeds and feeds matter, but less of them than their used to be, and the trend is continuing. When a device designed to improve application traffic is introduced, there are certainly few. The ability to handle a gazillion connections per second I’ve mentioned before is a good guardian against DDoS attacks, but what those connections can do is a different question. Lots of devices in many networking market spaces show little or even no latency introduction on their glossy sales hand-outs, but make those devices do the job they’re purchased for and see what the latency numbers look like. It can be ugly, or you could be pleasantly surprised, but you need to know. Because you’re not going to use it in a pristine lab with perfect conditions, you’re going to slap it into a network where all sorts of things are happening and it is expected to carry its load.

So again, I’ll wrap with acknowledgement that you all are smart puppies and know where speeds and feeds matter, make sure you have realistic performance numbers for those cases too.

The Whole Bare Metal Blog series:

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is Founder of Ingrained Technology, LLC, specializing in Development, Devops, and Cloud Strategy. Previously, he was a Technical Marketing Manager at F5 Networks. As an industry veteran, MacVittie has extensive programming experience along with project management, IT management, and systems/network administration expertise.

Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was a Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing, where he conducted product research and evaluated storage and server systems, as well as development and outsourcing solutions. He has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice, a new global team of experts that will assist companies with more quickly on-ramping to the cloud. They will do this by providing solutions and services such as validated designs with reference architectures and agile methodology consulting, training, and support. The Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is born out of the integration of technology and engineering expertise gained through the company’s 2014 acquisitions of leading Ceph s...
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add sc...
Business and IT leaders today need better application delivery capabilities to support critical new innovation. But how often do you hear objections to improving application delivery like, “I can harden it against attack, but not on this timeline”; “I can make it better, but it will cost more”; “I can deliver faster, but not with these specs”; or “I can stay strong on cost control, but quality will suffer”? In the new application economy, these tradeoffs are no longer acceptable. Customers will ...
Data-intensive companies that strive to gain insights from data using Big Data analytics tools can gain tremendous competitive advantage by deploying data-centric storage. Organizations generate large volumes of data, the vast majority of which is unstructured. As the volume and velocity of this unstructured data increases, the costs, risks and usability challenges associated with managing the unstructured data (regardless of file type, size or device) increases simultaneously, including end-to-...
The excitement around the possibilities enabled by Big Data is being tempered by the daunting task of feeding the analytics engines with high quality data on a continuous basis. As the once distinct fields of data integration and data management increasingly converge, cloud-based data solutions providers have emerged that can buffer your organization from the complexities of this continuous data cleansing and management so that you’re free to focus on the end goal: actionable insight.
CommVault has announced that top industry technology visionaries have joined its leadership team. The addition of leaders from companies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, PwC and EMC signals the continuation of CommVault Next, the company's business transformation for sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging and technology innovation. The company also announced that it had realigned its structure to create business units to more directly match how customers evaluate, deploy, op...
Docker has acquired software-defined networking (SDN) startup SocketPlane. SocketPlane, which was founded in Q4, 2014, with a vision of delivering Docker-native networking, has been an active participant in shaping the initial efforts around Docker’s open API for networking. The explicit focus of the SocketPlane team within Docker will be on collaborating with the partner community to complete a rich set of networking APIs that addresses the needs of application developers and network and system...
JFrog on Thursday announced that it has added Docker support to Bintray, its distribution-as-a-service (DaaS) platform. When combined with JFrog’s Artifactory binary repository management system, organizations can now manage Docker images with an end-to-end solution that supports all technologies. The new version of Bintray allows organizations to create an unlimited number of private Docker repositories, and through the use of fast Akamai content delivery networks (CDNs), it decreases the dow...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Symantec, a provider of leading security, backup and availability solutions for where vital information is stored, accessed and shared, has launched new ad campaigns on SYS-CON's i-Technology sites, which include Cloud Computing Journal, DevOps Journal, Virtualization Journal, and IoT Journal. Symantec’s campaigns focus on Disaster Recovery and High Availability, the availability of business-critical applications in today’s complex heterogeneous environments, ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to mak...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics arc...
Cryptography has become one of the most underappreciated, misunderstood components of technology. It’s too easy for salespeople to dismiss concerns with three letters that nobody wants to question. ‘Yes, of course, we use AES.’ But what exactly are you trusting to be the ultimate guardian of your data? Let’s face it – you probably don’t know. An organic, grass-fed Kobe steak is a far cry from a Big Mac, but they’re both beef, right? Not exactly. Crypto is the same way. The US government require...
The speed of product development has increased massively in the past 10 years. At the same time our formal secure development and SDL methodologies have fallen behind. This forces product developers to choose between rapid release times and security. In his session at DevOps Summit, Michael Murray, Director of Cyber Security Consulting and Assessment at GE Healthcare, examined the problems and presented some solutions for moving security into the DevOps lifecycle to ensure that we get fast AND ...
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing ...
Docker is becoming very popular--we are seeing every major private and public cloud vendor racing to adopt it. It promises portability and interoperability, and is quickly becoming the currency of the Cloud. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, discussed why Docker is so important to the future of the cloud, but will also take a step back and show that Docker is actually only one piece of the puzzle. Copeland will outline the bigger picture of where Docker fits a...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS soluti...