Cloud Adoption Framework – Planning

The third phase in the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is Planning. During this phase the topics covered are:

  • Digital Estate
  • Initial Organization Alignment
  • Skills Readiness Plan
  • Cloud Adoption Plan

There are three assets used to track the output of this phase that are critical to use.

ResourceDescription
Cloud journey trackerIdentify your cloud adoption path based on the needs of your business.
Strategy and plan templateDocument decisions, as you execute your cloud adoption strategy and plan.
Cloud adoption plan generatorStandardize processes by deploying a backlog to Azure Boards using a template.

The first two of these were introduced in the previous phases but the cloud adoption plan generator is new to the planning phase. This uses Azure DevOps to build a backlog of items that will align your cloud adoption efforts to a standardized process. The use of this asset is covered in more detail in the slide deck and the notes section of the slides.  

Extra Content and verbose slides

As always there is a ton of additional content in the notes sections of most slides to help prep you in using the deck. The content of the slides is quite verbose, far more verbose than what I would typically build. I prefer to use slides as guide for a conversation to keep myself on course as well as the audience. I tend to go deep when answering questions and usually encourage questions live during a presentation so I can end up down a rabbit hole and the slides are a great tool to get the presentation back on topic and to ensure I cover all the material. So, feel free to reduce the content of the slides if it works better for you. Typically, I would have someone attend a couple of presentations along with me when presenting this content, so they got a feel for the content and the flow of the presentations as well as get more knowledge of the subject before doing it themselves since we don’t have that opportunity I have included more content so that anyone can feel comfortable presenting this content after reviewing the slides a few times.

Comparing Cloud Compute Services

Comparing Cloud Compute Services.

Jason Read at CloudHarmony does a great job sorting through all of the different cloud computer offerings by vendors and then compares their performance in a like-to-like benchmark.  This is no small task and most reports I have read comparing cloud compute do not do a good enough job of comparing similar services when conducting their performance tests.  You can obtain a copy of the full report from here which is 100+ pages long.

Below are some the test results along with my own comments as well.

Compute Service Provider 
Web Server ComparisonSmall Web ServerMedium Web ServerLarge Web Server
Amazon EC2 (Instance Types Explained)c3.large + t2.mediumc3.xlargec3.2xlarge
DigitalOcean (Types Explained)4 GB / 2 Cores8 GB / 4 Cores16 GB / 8 Cores
Google Compute Engine (Types Explained)n1-highcpu-2n1-highcpu-4n1-highcpu-8
Microsoft Azure (Tiers Explained)Medium (A2)Large (A3)Extra Large (A4)
Rackspace (Types Explained)Performance 1 2GBPerformance 1 4GBPerformance 1 8GB
SoftLayer (Types Explained)2 GB / 2 Cores4 GB / 4 Cores8 GB / 8 Cores
Database Server ComparisonSmall Database ServerMedium Database ServerLarge Database Server
Amazon EC2c3.xlargec3.2xlargec3.4xlarge
DigitalOcean8 GB / 4 Cores16 GB / 8 Cores48 GB / 16 Cores
Google Compute Enginen1-standard-4n1-standard-8n1-standard-16
Microsoft AzureLarge (A3)Extra Large (A4)A9
RackspacePerformance 2 15GBPerformance 2 30GBPerformance 2 60GB
SoftLayer8 GB / 4 Cores16 GB / 8 Cores32 GB / 16 Cores

Test Results

CPU Performance Results

In the web server test Amazon EC2 was a little better than the rest of the competition.  And in the database server test Rackspace was slightly better until the testing of large database servers where Azure’s new A9 server won out.

Also included in this test was CPU variability.  In these multi-tenant, shared resource environments the performance over time can be a risk to a customers if that is the case this test should be taken into consideration as well as the other variable tests included in the report.  For this test the lower the score the better, ideally you want the same performance over the life of the service.

In both tests Amazon had the best overall score across all server types.  The changing CPU types as testing across different server types should be considered when looking at these two scores as well.

Disk Performance Testing

In these tests Amazon EC2 and Rackspace were consistently faster and more reliable.  Since they are SSD based storage they should be faster and more consistent than the other services.  DigitalOcean is also SSD based but their performance was not on par with the other SSD based services and also had the highest rate of variability.  SoftLayer is not SSD based but their overall disk performance and consistency were very good.  This could be from using SSD caching but no matter how they are doing it the performance speaks for itself.  Microsoft Azure and Google do not offer SSD storage which is reflected in their testing.

 Web Server Tests

 

Memory Performance

In these test they conduct them only on the database servers and because of Azure’s older hardware based on AMD CPU and MOBO they did not perform well until the large database server test where they are using the newer Intel Sandy Bridge based platform.  Amazon and Google both perform well through all testing and outperformed the others.  Newer hardware is always going to win in these types of tests and that is reflected here.

External and Internal Network Performance

Network testing is always subjective and by testing cloud service providers networking throughput it just adds to the complexity of the configuration as some add additional ways to improve performance through different setups.  Amazon, Google and Rackspace seem to provide higher throughput then Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean and Softlayer.  Also throughput by some vendors is limited depending on the size of the compute instance your purchase.

They also cover the value of each provider in their report which ultimately should be the deciding factor in choosing which cloud computing provider to use for your solution. After all there is no need to overspend on a service if you can accomplish everything you need with a cheaper solution.

You can download the full report here.