Bret Clement, head of global communications for RightScale, says: 

As Brian Adler, senior cloud solutions architect at RightScale recently wrote in his blog entitled “20 Ways to Fine-Tune Your Cloud Environment,” cloud deployments require tune-ups.  Why? Over time cloud deployments grow organically in ways that you never plan. Sometimes you have to do things quickly to solve an immediate issue and you never go back and do it by the book – and when things are working, there’s a tendency not to mess with them.A tune-up of your cloud environment can potentially save you money and improve your performance.

Brian looked at 20 great ways organizations can fine-tune cloud environments across cost optimization, HA/DR and server utilization.
Brian offers these tips for server utilization and HA/DR.

Server Utilization

Server utilization is where you’re likely to find the greatest amount of inefficiency. Overutilized resources may generate alerts that require your attention, but you can also save money by reconfiguring underutilized resources that keep running even when they’re not necessary.

1. Size Instances Appropriately
Choose a correctly sized instance for the task at hand, perhaps via load testing. You don’t want servers to be overused, and you don’t want them to be underutilized. Put alerts in place that tell you when your instance is struggling so you can adjust your instance configuration if you need to.

2. Spread the CPU Load
If your instances have multi-core CPUs, specify CPU affinity or use irqbalanceand spread the load across the cores when your applications lend themselves to that, or when you’re running multiple processes on the same instance. You have paid for those cores, so you might as well use them.

3. Check Your Memory and Load Average
Ideally you should run at 70 to 80 percent of memory consumed. Load average should run slightly under 1.0 times the number of cores in your instance.

4. Use Monitoring and Alerts
Cloud monitoring and alerts can help you discover small problems before they become big ones. Look for trends and act on them, rather than waiting for spikes or anomalies. To save money, look for underutilization as well as overutilization.



1.  Avoid Single Points of Failure
Place one of each component, such as load balancers, application servers, and databases, in at least two zones. Replicate data across zones for HA, and back up or replicate across regions to enable failover for DR. You can use RightScale to alert you to problems and automate resolution or failover processes.
As Brian concludes, it is important for many reasons to clean up cloud deployment sprawl. In terms of server performance, you have a lot to gain.

About the Author: Bret Clement heads global communications for RightScale

Cross Posted from the RightScale Cloud Management Blog