Keeping Clouds at Peak Performance

By Kelly Teal Comments
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As cloud deployments take off, resellers, systems integrators and even agents need to be on the lookout for performance problems. After all, enterprises and SMBs don’t choose cloud technology with the expectation that their data and applications will get the hiccups or, worse, slow to a crawl. But cloud providers, keen to promote their services as the answer to all business concerns, don’t always bring attention to the need for efficiency aids, particularly in the case of a public cloud deployment where the merchant has no control over a user’s Internet connection. That’s why channel partners need to be aware that complications can emerge and know how to deal with them. To do that, join forces with vendors that specialize in the cloud and in WAN optimization.

Cloud-WAN optimization improves network functionality right away and, when done correctly, spots emerging bottlenecks, speeds up protocols and fast-tracks data replication among databases. Best of all, partners don’t have to be experts in cloud-WAN optimization to help their clients. Most suppliers recognize that partners want to serve as trusted advisers, rather than technical specialists, and, as a result, deliver targeted support and training.

Once partners have chosen vendors that work with their business models, it’s time to take action. First, check in with enterprises and SMBs already in the cloud. Constraints often appear after a deployment, said Mark Urban, senior director of product marketing for Blue Coat Systems Inc., because many cloud providers don’t want to admit their services need optimization. To say that the cloud needs an efficiency boost “takes the shine off the apple a bit," Urban said.

But the truth is that the Amazons and Googles of the world don’t control a user’s connection to the cloud. And people simultaneously retrieving information from Salesforce.com and Microsoft SharePoint, for example, as well as from video and SSL-encrypted sites, are bound to clog the pipes. Therefore, businesses in the public cloud have to optimize what they can control, such as protocols and network capacity. But WAN optimization is just as necessary in private and hybrid clouds as it is in the public cloud, as enterprises send the data through their own infrastructure. In all instances, cloud customers will need special equipment or software to analyze, route and manage cloud traffic.

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