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Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

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Article

Fastest Cloud Infrastructure Yet

Cloud Business Intelligence Platform

Cloud Infrastructure
For a lot of public cloud platforms such as Windows Azure, Google App Engine, and Amazon EC2, very little information is available about the infrastructure that they run on. More specifically the performance benchmark details behind them have yet to be made available.

We are also seeing  Cloud Appliances ranging from a Windows Azure Platform Appliance, the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and the IBM WebSphere Cloudburst appliance, which supports the setting up of private clouds.  Again the benchmark details from these appliances are yet to be available.

The characteristics of cloud infrastructure are :

  • Runs on a virtualized platform
  • Hypervisor enabled
  • Multiple guest operating systems possible
  • Dynamic and elasticity

As evident, virtualization support using Hypervisors have been one of the main tenants of cloud infrastructure.

  • Amazon EC2 currently utilizes a highly customized version of the Xen hypervisor
  • Windows Azure runs on a Hypervisor which is a custom version of Hyper-V

VMWare  vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
VMware vSphere Hypervisor is based on VMware ESXi, the hypervisor architecture that sets the industry standard for reliability, performance and ecosystem support.  This  helps in building private cloud appliances by,

  • Run multiple applications on a single server
  • Reduce energy costs
  • Backup and recover applications more easily

In this context servers than run VMware vSphere Hypervisor can be considered a Cloud infrastructure and their benchmarks will enable the enterprises  to adopt cloud faster.

TPH & Cloud Platform
Currently for the large enterprise  MPP (Massively Parallel Processing), SMP (Symmetric  Multi Processing)  servers and their associated databases, the benchmark of server performance is measured and validated by an independent council TPC (www.tpc.org).  TPC stands for   Transaction Processing Performance Council,  defines transaction processing and database benchmarks  and delivers trusted results to the industry.

The TPC Benchmark H (TPC-H) is a decision support benchmark. It consists of a suite of business oriented ad-hoc queries and concurrent data modifications. The queries and the data populating the database have been chosen to have broad industry-wide relevance. This benchmark illustrates decision support systems that examine large volumes of data, execute queries with a high degree of complexity, and give answers to critical business questions.

Recently  we found  the TPC-H benchmark for a 1000 GB database size had been led by the Cloud Infrastructure in the form of Hypervisor-based virtual servers powered by VMware ESXi platform/HP DL380/ParAccel Analytic. (Refer to: http://tpc.org/tpch/results/tpch_perf_results.asp)

The following are some of the  Cloud Tenants that will support the argument  this platform being a fastest  measured Cloud Infrastructure:

  • Hypervisor : VMware ESXi 4.0
  • Guest OS : Redhat Enterprise Linux 5, 64-bit
  • Commodity Hardware : 40 nodes, each with: HP ProLiant DL785 G6, Intel Xeon Processor
  • 40 Physical Servers and 80 Virtual Servers
  • Dynamic Elasticity Capability

More details about this platform and the scalability achieved can be read from the Full Disclosure report available on the TPC web site.

Summary
While a hypervisor-based cloud infrastructure  is always recognized for its flexibility, there are doubts about performance when compared with the  native operating systems tailored for the specific hardware. However, this result provids a starting point for a high-performance infrastructure on the cloud and more to come from respective vendors.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).