Virtualization, Cloud, Bare-Metal, and Tapjoy
The conversations are happening all over the place: “Should we cloud, co-lo, or host our own?” to which the answer will differ depending who you talk to. The real reason that the answer should differ shouldn’t be based on who is speaking, but what the actual business use-case is and what the appropriate consumption model should be for IT resources.
3 Right Ways to Manage IT
There are many ways to tackle IT infrastructure management in the world today. What we are finding to be the most common 3 methods are ones that you would expect:
- Bare metal deployment
- Virtualized on bare metal (on-premises/colo/managed)
- Private/Public/Hybrid cloud
Yes, that says bare metal deployment. Despite what most of the virtualization advocates will say (myself included), there are still many implementations of server infrastructure on bare metal hardware. The primary reason for that is usually the ability to wrestle every last ounce of performance from the hardware and put it as close to the application as possible.
While there is truth to the bare metal performance data in specific situations, a significant amount of data backs that virtualization can provide equal, and sometimes better performance. Workloads will drive the architectural decision, which also needs one more avenue explored.
When we look at performance, the battle is usually talking about on-premises deployments where we have the most access to performance data since it is close to the designers and administrators. Setting aside performances for a moment, the question that really needs to be raised is what about the consumption of services?
Consumption of IT resources can map against all 3 options of bare metal, virtualized, and cloud environments. Now that we have moved beyond the raw performance questions, we have to look at what a company can do to deploy, manage, and consume IT resources.
Managed Cloud – The Tapjoy Experience
Tapjoy, a mobile app marketing organization, was working with OpenStack as their original platform of choice. Gigaom has done a nice write-up here to discuss the move made by Tapjoy and the reasoning behind the changes.
Not only did they approach the question of moving from bare metal to virtualization, to cloud, but they also took the additional step which was to approach Metacloud to take over the infrastructure management and maintenance on their OpenStack platform.
Not and Either/Or Decision
One of the challenges when companies make a choice to adopt a particular platform is that some folks will take that choice and assume that this is a complete platform shift. In almost all of the situations when a new platform is brought on board, it isn’t a matter of clearing the deck of the previous technology to make room for the new one.
Tapjoy has engaged Metacloud for a big portion of their workload hosting, but is also fully embracing different bare metal and public cloud platforms such as AWS at the same time. We as consultants, vendors, media, and everything in between have to make sure to come to terms with the fact that multi-faceted solutions in technology are here to stay. The shift is coming in how we marry these technologies together.
There are great use-cases for technology with costs associated along with them. Every workload will not be identical, and the consumption of resources will drive individual designs. This is an exciting time and we are glad to see that Tapjoy shared their story with us about how they made some of their decisions.