Archive for January, 2009

 

New Windows Server 2003 & 2008 Images Added to GoGrid

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by

Yesterday we released some new Windows Operating System images to the GoGrid Image repository. What is notable here is that GoGrid has extended our Windows Server breadth in the Cloud and we are the first to market with the ability to instantiate Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 cloud servers with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express, Standard and Workgroup editions. Also added is support for FastCGI.

win2k8_wisp

The following Windows Server images were added:

Windows Server 2008

“In Cloud We Trust?” ReadWriteWeb Asks & My 2 Cents

Monday, January 26th, 2009 by

readwriteweb_logo Today, Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb posted the question, “Do you trust the cloud?” to FriendFeed and wrote about her findings in the article “In Cloud We Trust?” The problem is, I believe the question itself was too vague. But this “finger to the air to test the wind direction” did spark quite a bit of discussion and further made me realize that the public in general doesn’t fully yet understand the full spectrum of Cloud Computing (and this was even within a social media/tech-savvy audience).

As is evident from the 90+ comments that popped up within 18 hours of posting the question, people have a lot to say about the subject. The important thing to consider here is the lack of granularity of the question and the range of responses. To really ask and analyze the question better, one must fine-tune it more to the detailed components of what makes up Cloud Computing, namely: Cloud Applications, Cloud Platforms, Cloud Aggregators, Cloud Extenders and Cloud Infrastructure. My guess is, most people responding to the question don’t truly understand the differences between these layers in the Cloud. Perhaps better, more focused questions would have been:

  • “Do you trust Cloud Applications like Flickr, Facebook and Gmail?”
  • “Do you trust Google or others with your critical data?”
  • “Do you see yourself using the Cloud as your primary or ancillary IT strategy?”

New_Cloud_Pyramid

It seemed to me that the common thread within the FriendFeed responses was that of FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The question itself is phrased with an inherent FUD factor which can quickly skew the resulting answers. However, I do think that this question is important from a consumer standpoint, that of the everyday user of Gmail or Evernote or DropBox, for example. The biggest commonality that I saw from reading through all of the comments was that of “backups.” My read is that people are concerned that their data will be lost in some way, either by a company pulling the plug or a hard-drive crashing or just not being able to physically “touch” it.

From a consumer standpoint, this article is appropriate. As the amount of data that consumers produce in the form of emails or photos for example, continues to grow almost exponentially, they are realizing that storing this un-replaceable data in a single location is risky. Many back up this priceless data on external hard-drives or CDs/DVDs. Some seem to be venturing to the “Cloud” as a secondary redundancy, by using Cloud Storage to solve this.

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Presentation: Challenges Embracing Cloud Storage

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 by

Yesterday, GoGrid’s VP of Technology Strategy, Randy Bias, gave a presentation titled “Managing Storage in the Cloud” which discusses some of the challenges facing companies looking to using Cloud Storage as a storage solution. Highlights include:

  • Cloud Computing Overview
  • Why Storage in the Cloud?
  • Storage Today
  • Management Challenges
  • Future/Vision

The presentation was at the SNIA Winter Symposium ’09 in San Jose, CA.

For those who missed it, we have included the presentation below:

Direct link to Randy’s presentation: “Managing Storage in the Cloud“.

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GoGrid Releases API Specification to the Cloud Computing Community Under Creative Commons License

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 by

creative_commons_logo Today GoGrid did something big, significantly smaller than the 2009 Obama Inauguration of course, but significant enough within the Cloud Computing community to warrant some attention. Today we released our GoGrid cloudcenter Application Programming Interface (API) specification under a Creative Commons license. This is particularly important to developers, system integrators, IT professionals and other companies as it allows them to openly copy, modify, distribute and republish our Cloud Computing API.

The Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 license, under which the GoGrid cloudcenter API now falls, allows for the ability to:

  • Share, distribute, display and perform the work
  • Make derivative works

The GoGrid cloudcenter API re-use must, however, fall under the following Share Alike licensing conditions:

  • There must be full attribution to GoGrid, author and licensor
  • There is no implied endorsement by GoGrid of any works derived from the API usage or rework
  • After any transformation, alteration or building upon this work, any distribution must be under the same, a similar or a compatible license
  • You must make it clear to others about the terms of this license. The best way to do this is by linking to the GoGrid Wiki API page (link below)
  • Any of the conditions mentioned previously can be waived with permission from GoGrid

Details on the GoGrid cloudcenter OpenSpec API license can be found within the GoGrid site and is specific to the API only. All content provided on the Wiki in the API “namespace” is covered by this Share Alike license, specifically under this URL: http://wiki.gogrid.com/wiki/index.php/API. Note however, this license applies only to content provided within the namespace plus any pages constrained by the URL plus a colon (“:”). For example:

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Building a House in the Cloud – Cloudcenters vs. Infrastructure Web Services

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 by

Last week, my colleague Randy Bias, introduced the concept of the “cloudcenter” and it has gotten some good commentary, traction and feedback. Most basically put, a cloudcenter (e.g., GoGrid) is a “datacenter in the Cloud” with features, systems, processes and functionality that sysadmins and IT Operations folks are accustomed to. But I feel that the concept needs to be explored a bit more as well as from some different angles.

cloudcenter-diagram

I attended a technology meetup on Tuesday night in San Francisco where GoGrid is a sponsor. People were packed elbow-to-elbow in the space and I had lots of time to talk about GoGrid and our vision of Cloud Computing to many. A few times, I was asked the common questions “How do you compare to Amazon EC2?” as well as “Are you a competitor to Amazon Web Services (AWS)?” To those people who asked, I gave the following answer (probably not as well articulated though):

Both Amazon and GoGrid are Cloud Infrastructure or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. We both reside within the bottom layer of the Cloud Pyramid, a term I coined last year to help explain Cloud Computing in an “over simplified” way. Both of our companies do essentially the same thing: providing elastic and dynamically scalable computing resources and infrastructure that is consumed on a self-service basis billed by usage. But how this infrastructure is provided is nuanced differently.

This broad definition warrants further explanation. First, my answer to the “competition” question. Personally, I don’t view AWS exactly as a competitor. They have provided incredible space validation as well as attracted new users to the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. In fact, I would almost go as far as to categorize them as a “soft partner.” Here are a few reasons why I think this:

  • we share the same generalized space of Cloud Computing,
  • we offer similar feature-sets and functionality within the Cloud, and,
  • we are driving towards a common goal of moving IT infrastructure into a “greener,” more cost-effective and much more efficient environment.

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