It’s a Trap!

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking dynamic infrastructure is all about scalability.

If it were the case that a “dynamic infrastructure” was focused solely on issues of scalability then I’d have nothing left to write. That problem, the transparent, non-disruptive scaling of applications  - in both directions – has already been solved. Modern load balancers handle such scenarios with alacrity.

Luckily, it’s not the case that dynamic infrastructure is all about scalability. In fact, that’s simply one facet in a much larger data center diamond named context-awareness.

“Fixed, flat, predictable, no-spike workloads” do not need dynamic infrastructure. That’s the claim, anyway, and it’s one I’d like to refute now before it grows into a data center axiom.

All applications in a data center benefit from a dynamic infrastructure whether they are cloud, traditional, legacy or on-premise and in many cases off-premise benefit as well (we’ll get around to how dynamic infrastructure can extend control and services to off-premise applications in a future post).

So let me sum up: a dynamic infrastructure is about adaptability. 

It is the adaptable nature of a dynamic infrastructure that gives it the agility necessary to scale up or scale down on-demand, to adjust application delivery policies in real-time to meet the specific conditions in the network, client, and application infrastructure at the time the request and response is being handled. It is the adaptable nature of a dynamic infrastructure to be programmable - to be able to be extended programmatically – to address the unique issues that arise around performance, access, security, and delivery when network, client,and application environments collide in just the right way.

The trap here is that one assumes that “fixed, flat, predictable, no-spike workload” applications are being delivered in a vacuum. That they are not delivered over the same network that is constantly under a barrage of traffic from legitimate traffic, from illegitimate traffic, from applications that are variable, bursty, and unpredictable in their resource consumption. The trap is that applications are being delivered to clients who always access the application over the same network, in the same conditions, using the same client.

The trap is to assume that dynamic infrastructure is all about scalability and not about adaptability.

Published May 11, 2010
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