Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bandwidth connection is just one of the problems with cloud computing

I was just reading an article about some of the problems that people have encountered while implementing cloud computing. One of the problems that hit me is the issue on bandwidth.

The problem is actually quite simple. User experience with accessing the cloud computing resource will differ depending on where you're accessing it. However, the point is that the problem is so simple that I've forgotten all about it.

Just imagine that you're hosting a certain web service in the cloud. You have offices all over the world that are accessing this service. When someone complains that the web service is inaccessible, how would the IT people know if it's the cloud computing vendor's problem, the ISP problem, or the user's infrastructure/desktop environment problem. Add in the fact that you may not even be physically with the user to troubleshoot the problem.

The simple fact is that cloud computing is a shared resource that is placed in the Internet. Different types of infrastructure will route packets differently when accessing the resource in the cloud. I have even encountered problems where users from different floors in the building can have different user experience in accessing a certain resource.Put that problem in the cloud perspective and think of the helpdesk problem that will certainly occur at some point in time.

You have to be ready to manage all the different vendors that are being engaged and must be fully aware on how the cloud is architected and connected to your organisation. Ensure that you have the capability to pinpoint the exact issue in the whole overall architecture so that you can isolate the problem.

Not a good idea to go in blind. User experience is also one of the points that you have to sell to the user. It's difficult to sell cloud computing to a user that complains that the cloud computing resource takes forever to load.

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