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June 20, 2011

Boosting I/O Speeds for Cloud Computing

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor


With traditional computing, database sharding (method of horizontal partitioning) tends to be the biggest bottleneck in any application. This problem is accentuated with cloud computing.

“One of the things you run into with the cloud is the I/O barrier,” noted Cory Isaacson, CEO and CTO at CodeFutures, during a TMCnet video interview with TMC’s CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) at Cloud Expo 2011 in New York. “The cloud I/O is much slower than you typically have with a data center, and it’s more fragile.”

CodeFutures specializes in speeding up the performance of databases in cloud computing architectures. Its solution is to take large databases, and break them into smaller databases across multiple servers that appear as a single unit to the application tier, Isaacson explained.

Isaacson said this is a reliable, scalable approach. Two copies are kept of every database, so if corruption occurs one copy at a time can be taken offline to fix. Essentially, CodeFutures is using the RAID concept to speed up cloud computing I/O, but does so across servers. Each server has its own independent discs, and nothing is shared between the servers.

The CodeFutures system may make things slightly safer because multiple servers are a bit more difficult to hack into, but otherwise has no impact – negative or positive – on security.

Customers for this type of solution span many industries. Mobile applications and online gaming apps are two of CodeFutures’ largest customer base segments. One of its largest clients is Car Town, a popular Facebook (News - Alert) game.

CodeFutures charges around $400 per month per server for its solution; with volume discounts, that is cut roughly in half. Most of its customers purchase a yearly license, which includes support and monitoring.

“We are growing very fast, and have a ton of new features to add,” Isaacson said.

For more discussion about cloud computing and the I/O barrier, watch the full video interview

Mae Kowalke is a TMCnet contributor. She is Manager of Stories at Neundorfer, Inc., a cleantech company in Northeast Ohio. She has more than 10 years experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and has a passion for new tech gadgets. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell