The blog is moving to our new website. Read all the latest news at Sonian Blog.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lessons Learned: Processing millions of messages in the cloud

Our cloud-compute powered hosted email archiving service is truly a marvel of efficiency and reliability. The system process millions of messages, and we have learned a great deal over the last eighteen months about scalability, parallel computing, and helping our customers do more with less IT budget dollars. The processing engine (see right*) indexes, encrypts and stores across an infinite pool of on-demand CPU resources. *(We jest about the mechanical engine, but if it were 1900 this is what our system would look like :) )

Cloud computing is also ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability between IT vendors and customers. The reliability of cloud computing has been a hot topic recently, partly because snafus in the cloud don't happen behind closed doors as with traditional on-premises business solutions. When a cloud compute service has a problem, everyone knows. And let's face facts: no IT (cloud or on-premise) solution is immune to problems, but cloud systems by their very nature recover more quickly and are built with true 24x7x365 design goals. Cloud-powered SaaS is the equivalent of a 24 hour news cable channel with millions of daily viewers. The iconic TV test pattern can't display for very long without losing the audience.

We look forward to the competition from on-premise vendors and their reliability claims compared to cloud-powered SaaS. As a point of reference, according to the research firm Radicati Group, companies with on-premises email-related solutions averaged from 30 to 60 minutes of unscheduled downtime and an additional 36 to 90 minutes of planned downtime per month. Hosted services provide much better up time, on average, than software/appliance based solutions.

No comments: