Six Cloud Usage Patterns

Jeff Barr

Let’s now examine some common cloud usage patterns. Armed with this information, you should be in a good position to decide whether your application or workload is a good fit for AWS. Although all these patterns essentially represent usage over time, there are a number of important nuances. In the cases below, “usage” generally represents a combination of common cloud resources—servers, storage, and band-width.

1. Constant usage over time

Common for internal applications where there’s little variation in usage or load from day to day or hour to hour.

2. Cyclic internal load

characteristic for batch or data processing applications run on a predictable cycle, such as close of business for the day or month; the load, both in time and expected resource consumption, is highly predictable.

3. Cyclic external load

Often applies to web sites that serve a particular market demand; sites related to entertainment and sporting events often fit this pattern.

4. Spiked internal load

typical in environments where researchers or analysts can submit large-scale, one-time jobs for processing; the demand is usually unpredictable.

5. Spiked external load

Seen on the Web when an unknown site suddenly becomes popular, often for a very short time

6. Steady growth over time

Usually for a mature application or web site; as additional users are added, growth and resources track accordingly.