Archive for November 2012
Avoiding Failures in the Cloud: Part 2: Ensure scalability and availability

(Note: This is the second part of a four-part blog post. For Part 1, please click here.)

By Paul Moxon, Senior Director, Product & Solutions Marketing

Ensure scalability and availability

When your multi-tiered application architecture is located on premise, your IT department can configure routers to load-balance connections and inbound traffic across multiple instances of an application; support sticky-user sessions; enable SSL termination (i.e., handle the SSL processing in the router); and provide multiple load-balancing algorithms.

Done right, load balancing spreads the application load across multiple application instances, provides better response times for users, yields increased application availability, and even re-distributes the load over healthy application instances in the event of a failure of a single application instance. While some sessions may occasionally fail or roll back because of an instance failure, the application generally continues to operate unaffected.

Similarly, when your application is in the cloud, you can and should leverage functionality that lets you automatically scale your application according to demand, based on rules you define – such as rules that protect the application against slow response times and guarantee availability by ensuring that enough “healthy” application instances are running.

If you make sure you have this level of scalability and availability in your cloud-hosted application, the likelihood of your application failing due to an unbalanced load or traffic issue is dramatically diminished.

(For Part 3, please click here.)



A Bold Statement: The 2012 AFP Conference in Review

By Susan Feinberg, Director of Financial Services Solutions Enablement, Axway

October’s annual Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) conference had a strong, simple message for the six-thousand treasury professionals in attendance: Be bold.

The keynote speakers supported this theme. Film and television star Michael J. Fox kicked off the conference by stressing the contribution of individuals who overcome common challenges and unite to address the most difficult issues of the day. Later, former Secretary of State Robert Gates wrapped up the conference by stressing the importance of the U.S. overcoming the challenges it’s faced over the last few years.

I heard one overarching message. I saw two distinguished speakers deliver messages about the importance of making bold decisions. But I attended zero conference sessions whose content was consistent with these sentiments.

Presenters focused on risk, regulation, and compliance. They didn’t talk about how we might figure out ways to do things better despite regulatory and economic challenges. They talked about protecting reputations and preserving cash by any means necessary.

We could have discussed how to best put our resources to use, improve our economy, and create jobs. We could have speculated on innovation, automation, financial solutions, and using financial solutions to make positive contributions to the bottom line and to society.

We didn’t.

Instead, we fixated on superficial issues, like the use of mobile phones for corporate banking or how to make online banking easier to use. How could that sort of talk ever improve, on any fundamental level, the way companies manage their cash flows or interact with financial institutions?

The community could have come together and echoed the theme Fox and Gates evoked so well. Instead, the 2012 AFP conference was nothing more than a lost opportunity.

The 2013 edition of the conference will be in Las Vegas. My hope is that its attendees will take a cue from that setting, take a gamble, and try to live up to 2012’s message to be bold.