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Load balancing the Cloud for business benefit

Cloud computing has evolved and is a firm reality for most businesses. However, what some decision makers may not realise is that the development
of the Cloud has fuelled the development of load balancing solutions for Cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS, and radically changed the way businesses use technology to enhance operations.

Despite initial scepticism in the market regarding management of resources via the Cloud, there is now a deeper appreciation for what can be achieved specifically from a hybrid Cloud model point of view.

The idea of a hybrid Cloud is starting to resonate among mid-market customers and resellers. All the benefits of Cloud computing but with the confidence of a physical on-site presence. This plays well for resellers that are able to deliver a ‘wrapping’ of professional services such as remote configuration, management and on-site support. In addition, trusted resellers are also offering specific hosted cloud services for applications such Microsoft Exchange.

Making sure that new enterprise workloads running on top of a hybrid cloud architecture to navigate the private-public journey without degradation of performance offers a number of advantages.

The hybrid Cloud also opens the possibility for workload overflow processing or Cloud bursting so that applications can bring up new instances as needed in the public part of the hybrid Cloud once data centre capacity is reached.

Load balancing instances, among other dynamic, virtualised network functions, is a core enabler to make service assurance and optimised delivery possible.

However, without application delivery controller (ADC) technology running natively in the cloud, virtualisation admins can find it challenging to know where data centre capacity exhausts and how much external resources will need to be consumed in varying scenarios for proper planning.

Additionally, applications actually built with the capabilities to traverse public and private Cloud boundaries bring about the additional challenges of ensuring that the underlying data is in the right place at the right time, as well as dealing with enforcement of the same governance and security policies regardless of where active instances are operating.

Where is it all heading?

Fortunately, these challenges are not insurmountable. Cloud-focused security solutions with the capability of propagating a unified set of policies across Cloud borders have come onto the market.

Technology leaders such as VMware, Microsoft and IBM have launched many new offerings to help companies build better private Clouds and extend the benefits of a virtualised infrastructure beyond the on-premise datacentre.

Advancements in application delivery technology have made possible the use of complex traffic steering algorithms across a fabric of private and public Clouds based on business rules that dictate how company resources should be consumed.

Load balancing and application delivery will always have a critical part to play, no matter what the platform, no matter what the application and no matter where it is hosted.

Khutso Mashile is the Sales Manager – KEMP Technologies Africa.


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