Data Bank - Home
November 30, 2021

Overwhelming Application Issues Answered by Asking the Right Questions

Anxieties Keep IT Up at Night

A great application is like a top quarterback in the NFL. The performance stats will be off the charts—but only if there’s a solid supporting infrastructure, i.e., talented blockers on the offensive line.

Just like head coaches with top quarterbacks, IT teams with great applications often worry about performance, availability, and costs. These anxieties are often created by a misalignment between applications and their supporting infrastructures. Finding the right balance to keep costs under control while making sure applications meet end-user needs often proves elusive.

The First Step to Align Applications and Infrastructures

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of application issues you need to address, you’re not alone. The first step in aligning your workloads to the right infrastructure is to examine your application. The right data center partner can help you work through the key questions so you can find the answers you need:

  • What is the role of the application workload in your business?
  • Is the workload mission-critical to business operations?
  • How mature is the application within the development lifecycle?
  • What challenges are faced by your application—cost, performance, scalability, security, compliance?
  • What are the disaster recovery requirements?
  • Does the application integrate with other applications running in different infrastructures?
  • Is the application portable to another infrastructure environment
  • Who manages and maintains the application?

If you already considered these questions and are leaning toward a particular environment, be sure to examine and validate your reasons. The benefits that a particular environment delivers today may not hold up over the long term.

For example, if you already operate your infrastructure on a public cloud platform and use an auto-scaling service like Kubernetes, consider your peak requirements for CPU, RAM, and storage IOPS. You can then check with a private cloud provider to see what they charge to handle those requirements. If you use steady-configured resources, a colocation data center provider can advise which resources would function cost-effectively in a private cloud or on dedicated bare-metal servers.

Prioritizing Cost vs. Performance Factors

By answering the key application questions, you can assess the priority of cost control vs. the ability to quickly scale up and down as spikes in activity occur and then dissipate. You can also evaluate the balance of the cost against user-response times and the amount of downtime you can afford.

The maturity of your application is another factor. Early in the lifecycle, when first building an application, IT determines the infrastructure costs to support the minimum viable product of the application. If the application is built in the cloud, the cost will be low at first because there isn’t any demand for the application, and it requires a small amount of compute resources.

Then, when the application matures and the demand rises, you can model the costs over a longer time period. This gives you a better idea of which components belong in a data center and which components belong in the cloud.

Also Consider Your Infrastructure Management Capabilities

In addition to asking questions about your application, consider how you manage your infrastructure environments. Do you have internal resources to handle the task? Are you already working with a managed service partner, or are you looking for a new partner?

The infrastructures you select for your application may be influenced by who has access to manage the environments and if they can do so effectively. Sometimes you have the flexibility to manage an environment yourself; in other cases, you are limited to working with the hosting provider, whether it’s a public cloud, private cloud, or colocation data center. Finding a partner that gives you multiple options enables you to more easily create a hybrid IT environment, which is usually the best option.

For additional information on aligning applications to the right infrastructure, check out our white paper, How to Align Your Applications to the Optimal Infrastructure Environments. By adjusting your paradigm and asking the right questions, who knows? You just might give your quarterback…that is, your application…the supporting infrastructure it needs for off-the-charts performance.