An increasing number of distributed data-driven applications are moving into shared public clouds. By sharing resources and operating at scale, public clouds promise higher utilization and lower costs than private clusters. To achieve high utilization, however, cloud providers inevitably allocate virtual machine instances non-contiguously, i.e., instances of a given application may end up in physically distant machines in the cloud. This allocation strategy can lead to large differences in average latency between instances. For a large class of applications, this difference can result in significant performance degradation, unless care is taken in how application components are mapped to instances.