Last week, I participated in a webinar with GoGrid’s partner, Appistry, that was titled: “Unlock the Power of Scalable, Agile Cloud Platforms.” To quote: “Cloud computing has grown from a little-known buzz word into one of the hottest topics in IT today. View this On-Demand Webinar to learn how to get started with this exciting new technology. More importantly, learn about the best practices for enabling your applications to scale and truly harness the power of cloud computing.”
Sam Charrington (Vice President of Product Management & Marketing at Appistry) and I (Michael Sheehan – Technology Evangelist of GoGrid) discussed not only what the Cloud currently looks like (especially as related to Cloud Infrastructure and Cloud Platforms) but also showed a demo of how the Appistry/GoGrid solution works through a live demo of the product.
Shown below is the Webinar in its entirety (complete with plenty of audio mishaps, dropped calls and scratchy voices).
Also, there were several questions related to GoGrid asked during the webinar that were quickly answered or not answered at all. I wanted to provide some responses to those questions within this post. (Note: not all questions that were asked have been answered.) So without further ado…
Q: What is GoGrid’s role in this partnership?
A: GoGrid provides the Cloud Infrastructure on which the Appistry Platform runs. Customers who wish to dynamically scale their application code and deploy across multiple cloud servers use Appistry to manage these dynamics and the application code is deployed and scaled across GoGrid servers within the GoGrid infrastructure.
Q: The “turn off the lights” option isn’t currently available on GoGrid without deleting the server, will it be available soon?
A: When you create a Windows or Linux Cloud Server on GoGrid, you are essentially reserving the infrastructure for use. This is true for RAM/CPU and Hard drive space. Because the storage is PERSISTENT within GoGrid, meaning, if you shut off an instance, your data as it is stored within that server is maintained, you are charged for that storage (just not for bandwidth). To this end and in order to maintain the data and machine integrity, you are charged for even those servers in a “stopped” state. However, we are looking as ways to “park” unused clouds. We expect to announce something in 2009.
Q: Does GoGrid charge for incoming bandwidth?
A: No, all inbound bandwidth is free of charge.
Q: Can I run VPNs on GoGrid?
A: Yes, you can configure VPNs on GoGrid. GoGrid also provides both public and private Network interfaces so that you can put Cloud servers on a private network (e.g., your database servers).
Q: Is GoGrid available internationally?
A: Yes, GoGrid is available to users world-wide and our global coverage including additional POPs (Points of Presence) will continue to expand over the coming years.
Q: Does the Cloud support database heavy applications?
A: Yes. GoGrid has several customers who use GoGrid for relatively heavy transactional environments. Also, GoGrid recently announced “Cloud Connect” which allows for the building of hybrid infrastructure between managed, dedicated servers and dynamically scaling web servers in the Cloud.
Q: Do you think Cloud Computing can present a reliable solution for a massively multi-user website, for live, multi-casting over the web, especially considering the virtualization and real-time CPU time issues?
A: Yes. Cloud Computing, in general, is robust enough to allow for large-scalable dynamic web content to be broadcast. GoGrid has many companies providing rich, dynamic, high-volume content delivery. And now, with Cloud Connect, the ability to provide data-intensive, high-CPU solutions are even more tangible.
Q: Can Cloud Computing be used as a disaster recovery option?
A: Yes, in fact this is a great use of the Cloud. If your full infrastructure is hosted in the Cloud, setting up a reliable failover is fairly straight forward. Similarly, full infrastructures can be mirrored within GoGrid to support dynamic failovers.
Q: What are other customers doing for security within the Cloud?
A: Apart from the Windows or Linux software-based firewalls, users can freely install other security software in their Clouds on GoGrid. Since all servers are enabled with Root or Administrator access, users can implement complex routings (e.g., using IPtables) or even through restricting traffic to and from various Cloud servers. Some GoGrid users have even deployed stand-alone Cloud servers in conjunction with the free f5 Load Balancers to create intricate infrastructures that are robust in terms of security.
Q: How interoperable are the vendor offerings?
A: GoGrid is committed to furthering interoperability between Cloud vendors and is an active member in various Cloud Computing Standards and Interoperability forums. Portability between Clouds is something that we understand is critical to providing seamless transactions across Public Clouds. Furthering open standards and compliance is critical to the success of Cloud Computing. For example, GoGrid’s API is based on many standards found in other Cloud API’s in the market.
Q: Does GoGrid support Oracle databases?
A: We have customers who have deployed Oracle databases across various ServePath products. Since Oracle DB’s traditionally have fairly high requirements, I would recommend using a “Cloud Connect” scenario.
Both GoGrid and Appistry are extremely excited about our new Partnership. If you have more questions or want to discuss the partnership (or how to sign up) in greater detail, please visit the Appistry partner page on the GoGrid site.
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