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In what way does cloud hardware matter?
2019-02-02T15:49:06.438Z2 February 2019

In what way does cloud hardware matter?

We are assured that the hardware in the cloud no longer plays a special role, but is it really so?

Standard iron copes well with the task

On the basis of large reserves of mass-class hardware, modern cloud service providers create an environment for computing as a commercial service. This approach is called overscaling. It allows them to use virtualized storage media, a network and computing resources that are deployed on demand according to special rules applied at the time of their allocation.

But how does this affect reliability? Providers do not expect that the hardware will never or very rarely fail, instead they foresee equipment breakdowns and cope with them in such a way that they in any way or at a minimum affect the services provided to customers. In other words, with this approach, the provider does not spend all the money to achieve the desired remaining percentage of fault tolerance. Instead, he buys inexpensive equipment and forms systems with high density of iron from it, as a result of which he can save on infrastructure scale due to the reduced area and reduced requirements for cooling and electricity. These savings are then reflected in the prices offered to the buyer.

It turns out that a large cloud provider is able to provide the same, if not higher, reliability, like those who deploy more expensive infrastructure. At the same time, he has more opportunities to configure his systems, he can add the functionality required in a multi-tenant hyper-scaled cloud environment, and remove all unnecessary.

Does hardware class matter?

The question remains: when buying cloud services, does it make any difference what equipment is used there? Taking into account the fact that the cloud provider offers services, solutions and applications, the formal answer is no. But looking at cloud providers offering the richest set of corporate services, it becomes obvious that the basis of this menu of services is hyper-scaled hardware.

In itself, the equipment of corporate customers does not care, but it is precisely it that is responsible for the reliable operation of applications at a price that these customers are willing to pay. And this already gives the question of the choice of iron great importance.



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