Cloud: Understanding Sizing and Capacity Requirements Driven by IoT
Let’s start right at the top. Today, users are driving productivity by using mobile and even wearable devices which allow them to process information and applications on any device that helps make them more productive. The big challenge is for the data center to keep up and help support this kind of growth. In terms of trends, we need to come to some serious realities. IoT and wearable systems will be making a big impact on a variety of industries. A recent Cisco report goes on to say that the growth in these devices has been fueled by enhancements in technology that have supported compression of computing and other electronics (making the devices light enough to be worn).
These advances are being combined with fashion to match personal styles, especially in the consumer electronics segment, along with network improvements and the growth of applications, such as location-based services and augmented reality. So how will this ultimately impact service providers all over the world? Consider this: By 2018,Cisco estimates that, there will be 177 million wearable devices globally, growing eight-fold from 22 million in 2013. Here’s something else to be aware of:
- The number of devices connected to IP networks will be nearly twice as high as the global population in 2018. There will be nearly three networked devices per capita by 2018, up from nearly two networked devices per capita in 2013. Accelerated in part by the increase in devices and the capabilities of those devices, IP traffic per capita will reach 17 GB per capita by 2018, up from 7 GB per capita in 2013.
- Global Internet traffic in 2018 will be equivalent to 64 times the volume of the entire global Internet in 2005. Globally, Internet traffic will reach 14 gigabytes (GB) per capita by 2018, up from 5 GB per capita in 2013.
Growth in data, applications, and mobile technologies will continue to place new kinds of demands against the modern data center and cloud provider. The big question this:How ready is your data center partner to take on these kinds of workloads?
- User Count and User Type. The modern user is now accessing cloud and data center resources from a variety of locations and devices. We see remote employees, remote call centers, branch offices, and even campuses utilizing a distributed cloud and data center ecosystem. Today’s data center and cloud environments must be planned around the user type – and most of all their use-cases. Your goal is to create as best of an experience as absolutely possible. This revolves around both ease-of-use and performance. Ultimately, this is the true path to cloud effective adoption. Once you understand your users and their specific use-cases, it’s important to understand if resource spikes will happen, if you’re planning on acquiring new business units, or if you’re deploying new applications, for example. These scenarios all dictate the sizing and capacity requirements around your cloud ecosystem.
- Workload Delivery. What are you actually delivering? Are you pushing down applications and desktops? Maybe you’re supporting a backup service or an application development environment. Whatever the case, it’s important to know what your cloud will be doing and the types of services it will utilize. You can run heterogeneous cloud services but know that different use-cases may require different cloud features and resources. For example, in a DevOps environment you might require application lifecycle management options as well as a sandbox capability. Or, if you’re doing backups or using backup-as-a-service, you might require a very specific SLA and even a secondary set of resources for extremely critical (or long-storage) workloads. Finally, there may be scenarios where you’re supporting a VDI initiative from the cloud. In these cases, you have to take extra care when managing resources. It’ll be a delicate balance between proper resource utilization and end-user experiences.
- WAN Considerations. Bandwidth, latency, and data delivery are absolutely critical when designing a cloud ecosystem. A major part of sizing and capacity planning when it comes to cloud must revolve around connectivity capabilities. Considerations around WANOP, Ethernet services, multi-carrier options, and QoS are all major aspects around cloud sizing and planning. One of the biggest challenges around application and content delivery revolves around latency issues. If you properly plan out your cloud environment – you’ll be able to have systems and resources in place capable of handling a variety of WAN scenarios.
- Data Center Sizing Considerations. There are many types of data center options to work with. For the most part, data centers and cloud providers offer services which are very flexible; offering management options at almost every level. For example, administrators can opt to manage everything from the hypervisor and beyond. In these scenarios the hardware level is managed completely by the hosting site. As always, make sure to have a solid SLA developed. Other times, private cloud data centers are managed entirely by the organization. In these cases, it’s very important to have clear communication established between IT teams. Resources must be managed and distributed appropriately – otherwise, an organization may be wasting money around poorly managed resource allocation.
Working with a data center or cloud provider means one simple fact: This is a two-way partnership. By ‘partnering’ with a provider, you are able to align your vision and share that with the provider. From there, both your organization and the provider can build an infrastructure capable of growth, capacity and efficiency. Remember to plan out your infrastructure for the future. This means planning around capacity, redundancy, and unexpected growth.
By applying best practices and working with a partner who is capable of being flexible, data center administrators are able to better adjust their infrastructure needs. Getting locked into an agreement can have very detrimental results for any infrastructure. This is even the case when the upfront contract may seem less expensive. Remember, the benefits can be very thin in the long run. Flexibility within a data center and cloud infrastructure is a must for any organization looking to scale as their business as the industry evolves.