You have to hand it to the Rolling Stones. They foretold the current debate over…
Do you know what hardware your cloud hosting partner is running? If you don’t, you’re not alone. With virtualization and easy scaling, it’s easy to think that the machines behind the scene don’t matter. Unfortunately, some commodity cloud hosting companies take advantage of this misunderstanding, stressing features like software and support, without giving you any information about the hardware they use.
But ultimately, a managed private cloud runs on machines, and a hosting company is only as powerful and dependable as the equipment in its data centers. Only a company that over-invests in hardware can provide the sky-high uptime and consistent performance enterprise cloud hosting requires.
The Commodity Cloud’s Hardware Problem
The commodity cloud was designed with one purpose in mind: to provide users with computing power as cheaply as possible. Many commodity vendors are notoriously opaque about their hardware, and it’s easy to understand why. The only way to offer cloud hosting at the prices they do is by running cheap hardware as close to 100% capacity as possible.
The problem is, this approach inevitably leads to unreliability and instability. Low quality servers develop hardware faults, but continue to chug away until commodity cloud hosts gets around to replacing them. Overburdened load balancing systems introduce unpredictable latency. Performance waxes and wanes unpredictably, and when things slow to a crawl, it’s hard to tell whether you’re dealing with unusually heavy data center traffic, a noisy neighbor stealing CPU cycles, a bad server, or an incipient crash.
Some commodity cloud hosts try to make up for this by offering redundant availability. But as we’ve seen, this just shifts the dependencies elsewhere and often makes the problem worse. A bad peering point knocks out data centers that are supposed to be isolated from it. An issue in one data center disrupts an entire region. Sure, it’s possible to prepare for the worst — Netflix did — but most companies can only temporarily weather a service slowdown. For your SAP® system, server failure and hours of downtime are not acceptable.
The Symmetry Advantage
The commodity cloud has its uses, but it’s no place for mission-critical applications. In enterprise cloud services, any system failure or slowdown wastes time and money, and has the potential to lead to more serious problems that can cascade through the entire system. Symmetry offers some of the best disaster recovery planning, testing, and implementation in the industry. But more importantly, we invest in top-of-the-line hardware to avoid disasters in the first place.
We proudly partner with HP and IBM, industry leaders in running fast, dependable SAP systems. Symmetry is the only SAP HANA® certified vendor to offer a flexible cloud, from 64 gigabyte HANA solutions to 12 terabyte solutions and beyond. Whether you need a managed private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud, we provide the same scalability as commodity vendors, with a standard of performance and reliability they can’t match.
But great hardware alone isn’t enough, because even the best servers need to be serviced from time to time. With commodity vendors, you’ll need an admin constantly sifting through announcements for planned maintenance or unplanned failure, ready to manually shift processes to other servers, data centers, or regions when things go wrong.
Our managed private cloud services mean no slowdowns or panicked calls to IT. We overinvest in hardware and back it up with a fantastic team that take pre-emptive measures to prevent interruptions.
Demand More from Your Managed Cloud Provider
Enterprises demand an exceptional level of service from their partners, and your managed cloud provider should be no different. Saving money on hosting isn’t really saving money if you can’t depend on low latency, consistent resources, and ultra-high uptime.
Commodity cloud providers are content with building systems out of hardware that work reasonably well most of the time, and put the onus on you to have a backup plan when things break. While that solution might work for them, your enterprise requires a more reliable approach. That’s why we’re here.