Every year, companies spend millions on highly custom ads primed and readied to air during the Super Bowl, hoping to capture the interest and dollars of passionate fans. Lots of money is spent, expectations are set, ad agencies vie with each other to produce the most memorable ad, and IT teams prepare for what executives hope will be unprecedented demand. Businesses hope the investment leads to greater exposure for their brands and increased revenue. And every year, those ambitions flame out spectacularly in a Web site outage due to an unexpectedly large spike in traffic.
Make the Application Ecosystem Smarter
What’s gone wrong? These businesses are often innovative, forward thinking and, in most cases, leaders in their field. But the current cloud-based software-defined networking (SDN) tools available to help companies prepare their Web site environments are inadequate. At its most basic, it comes down to three gaps:
- Actionable data to make intelligent routing decisions
- Incomplete or restricted insight into the application ecosystem
- Inadequate response to system issues (i.e., scaling capacity)
Companies need a new approach that is inserted into the application framework to monitor and manage it. To do this in a dynamic and truly automated way, businesses considering move to a distributed cloud environment, whether private/public cloud or multi-cloud, should evaluate how a solution manages for three important requirements.
1. Changes in server performance
Determining whether a server can accommodate incoming spikes in traffic is ideally done before traffic begins to overwhelm an individual load balancer or application server. Instead of estimating traffic demand using long-term historical trends to manually provision your system, consider solutions that are able to forecast changes in traffic and inform capacity scaling.
2. Insights derived in real-time based on traffic patterns
Businesses that opt for traditional routing algorithms (e.g., Round-Robin, Random) lose out on valuable data that can be derived from analyzing the varied requests coming into the application. Traffic demands can reveal more than just content types. The sequence of requests, their timing — including data from both the application server and application delivery controllers (ADCs) — may further enlighten the revenue indicators used in business analytics reports.
3. Categorization of request
Look for a solution that inserts itself into the data stream. This is beyond load balancing — you want a solution that can begin to materially impact site performance. The idea is to influence not only the application performance but help redefine success. The success of an SDN deployment should be more than the successful routing of traffic. By considering what customers are trying to accomplish when they arrive (e.g., complete banking transactions, or complete an online shopping purchase) companies can tailor a system that begins to support those revenue-driving behaviors.
Cloud Computing in a Distributed Environment
To truly take advantage of cloud computing, companies need the ability to manage a distributed environment, where insights from the data stream are used to inform capacity planning and traffic routing decisions. The goal should be supporting an application framework that is optimized to support the business goals of the site.