Conclusions and Lessons Learned
The Cloud Really Does Work
As can be seen from Table 1, the Cloud performs as advertised. Using this case study cloud application with 9 worker roles, 225,000 Monte Carlo simulations were performed in a little over 16 minutes, compared to the Excel spreadsheet which took over 20 hours to perform. In test cases, the Windows Azure cloud performed in a linear fashion, with each worker role taking between 3:15 and 3:25 to execute 5000 simulations with random variables. The limit on the trial version was a total of twenty (20) instances, but this can be greatly expanded depending on the subscription plan.
Applications Require a Sizeable Rewrite for the Cloud
Given that almost every migration scenario is different, and this case study only migrated to one cloud platform – a PaaS type, the underlying cloud architecture will dictate that other cloud vendor platforms will require applications to be rewritten to some degree. Golden states; “once they find out how difficult it is to move an application to an external cloud, their enthusiasm dwindles.” (Golden, 2009).
Cloud Platforms are Changing and are Immature
During the timeframe of the migration, from March through May of 2011, the Windows Azure SDK changed from version 1.3 to 1.4. Also, the Windows Azure management portal changed and that made the deployment section of the books as well as the online documentation obsolete. These changes made it difficult for the author building a Windows Azure project for the first time.
Note: This article is condensed from a DACS Technical Report entitled “Cloud Computing in the Goverment”, which can be downloaded for free from: https://csiac.org/csiac-report/cloud-computing-in-the-government/.
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