Archive for February, 2009

 

Cloud Computing and a Bunch of NO’s!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 by

Cloud Computing is the panacea of all things! It will make you rich in seconds! It will prevent hair loss, reconnect you with lost friends and family, find you a mate for life and get you a PhD in the process. With those kind of promises, what’s not to love!

NoNoNo

But seriously though, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon about touting the strengths of the Cloud. So let’s take a “negative” look at this.

  • No Stress– with the Cloud, say good-bye to those loud datacenters and worrying about the electromagnetic radiation giving you a tan. Simply fire up a web-browser, log in and instantly deploy a handful of servers in the Cloud in minutes.
  • Hang up on your Sales Rep/Just say “no” – tired of having to work through a pushy sales rep who is trying to sell you infrastructure and their grandmother’s old Volvo? Just say “buh-bye” and DIY (Do It Yourself). (I’m sure our GoGrid sales reps will beat me up over this idea…BUT, on the flipside, our sales reps CAN be a good resource for you and give you technical expertise and additional discounts not available for DIY-ers.)
  • “No Commitment” in the Cloud is a Good Thing unlike people relationships – is your significant other pushing you into a corner? Do you cringe when you hear the word “commitment”? The Cloud is something that lets you avoid that nasty “C” word. No Contracts = No Commitment & No Crap!
  • No Heavy Lifting – so, when you signed your employment application, did your HR folks, founders, owners or whomever tell you that you had to lug servers and other hardware around? Have you EVER tried to slide a 50 lb database server into a tiny rack or cage, only to find out that the rails weren’t the right type? Do you even know how heavy a back-up power diesel generator is? Guess what, Cloud servers are weightless.
  • No Cranky Datacenter Techs – “the website is down!” Have you all seen this incredibly funny video? [Note: there is some swearing and "questionable" content in the video…you have been warned.] Have you actually gone through this scenario? With the Cloud, you don’t have to deal with these types…you can just be cranky with yourself!
  • No Office required – just like not having to have a datacenter, you don’t need an office either. Do everything from your computer wherever you are.
  • No Hardware – well this is an obvious one, so much so, we registered the domain!
  • No Over-using your Carbon Credits – running your own server or even a datacenter is like chugging along in a 70′s-era gas guzzler. Save the planet now! Clouds are good in so many ways. They are greener, more efficient and better for the environment.
  • No Lost Business – if your business becomes popular, are you ready for it? If you under-bought your hardware, probably not. Just say “goodbye” to all of those eyeballs and monetary transactions as your hardware strains to keep up. Did you over-buy it all? Good job! You are eating up power you don’t even need…and your CFO is probably deducting it from your next year’s budget or, gasp, your paycheck. Scaling up and down with the Cloud makes you smart, saves you money and most importantly, keeps your customers happy!
  • No Killing Trees– tired of all of the paperwork and approvals involved in requisitioning servers? Just don’t do it any more. With the Cloud, all you need is a credit card and some lofty ideas. Pump some more oxygen into the air by going with the super easy process of click and deploy with only a credit card and some visionary thoughts in your head.
  • No Dial-up Hosting – rural IT got you down? Are you hosting with a local mom & pop who may not work if there is a blizzard or rainstorm? Make your move out of the backwoods and into the future through the hosting in the Cloud.
  • No Barriers – especially with GoGrid, you aren’t bogged down with proprietary standards or limits. You do what you want, when you want to. You have full control! “Control in the Cloud™”
  • No CapEx – buying servers is “old school” and a pain in the butt. Did you forget to request that extra NIC when you placed your order? By the way, GoGrid Cloud servers come with 2 right “out of the box,” one for public networking and one for private.
  • No Purchase Decision Risk – well, at least with GoGrid, you can try it all out on our dime! I’m not sure if I can say that about the other Cloud vendors out there. Personally, I wish I could try EVERYTHING before I buy it!
  • No Cabling – does your server environment look like this? What about this? This looks a bit better, but think about the hours that went into it (the last picture is from our datacenter, those other ones aren’t). Leave the spaghetti on your plate where it should be. Wiring is a thing of the past! It simply doesn’t exist in the Cloud!
  • No Shirt Required – heck, if you want to set up and run your Cloud infrastructure naked, I’m all for it! Do it from the privacy of your home, the bathroom or the top of a mountain somewhere.[1]
  • No Limits – well, since you are already in the Clouds, the sky is the limit. Leave the infrastructure to us and pour your ideas and dreams into your code.

Enough said? Just say NO to the “old way” of doing IT and YES to the Cloud! Remember, it takes fewer facial muscles to smile than it does to frown.

  1. Internet connection required – duh! []

Press Release: Appistry EAF Community Edition Available on GoGrid

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 by

This morning we announced that Appistry EAF Community Edition has been released within the GoGrid cloudcenter infrastructure. The press release can be viewed here. Full contents of the release are below.

gogrid-appistry-server.png

Appistry and GoGrid Announce Commercial Availability of Joint Cloud Computing Solution for Delivering Highly Scalable and Reliable Server Applications

Cloud Computing Infrastructure provider GoGrid and Cloud Application Platform provider Appistry announce the release of Appistry EAF Community Edition within the GoGrid cloudcenter.

San Francisco, CA February 26, 2009 — GoGrid, the Cloud Computing division of ServePath, LLC and Appistry today released new tools for developers, architects and administrators designed to ease the pain associated with developing, deploying and managing applications in the Cloud. Appistry’s Cloud application platform, named Appistry EAF, helps businesses and enterprises efficiently manage and scale their applications within the GoGrid infrastructure. With this joint solution, larger companies are able to take full advantage of the Cloud’s unique value proposition of elastic scalability, solid reliability, automated management and CapEx economies.

Appistry EAF Community Edition 3.9 is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 users. Additional EAF-enabled GoGrid images will be rolling out in the near future. Appistry EAF Community Edition allows developers, system architects and administrators to take advantage of Appistry’s Cloud application platform for free on up to five GoGrid Cloud Server instances. Appistry EAF functionality and benefits include:

  • Transparent and instant linear scalability
  • Application-level fault tolerance
  • Broad support for Cloud-enabling software components
  • Adaptive, software-based load balancing
  • Fully-distributed, fault tolerant memory cache for objects and data
  • Fine-grained, hierarchical security model
  • Efficiencies in CapEx and administrator time
  • Ease of use

(more…) «Press Release: Appistry EAF Community Edition Available on GoGrid»

“10 Obstacles to Cloud Computing” by UC Berkeley & How GoGrid Hurdles Them

Thursday, February 19th, 2009 by

By now, many in the Cloud Computing space have heard about (or even read) the University of California Electrical Engineering & Computer Science’s (EECS) study on Cloud Computing titled: “Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing.” Published on February 10th, 2009, the EECS’s paper provides a seemingly academic study of the Cloud Computing movement, attempts to explain what Cloud Computing is all about, and identifies potential opportunities as well as challenges present within the market.

The 20+ page study is authored by Michael Armbrust, Armando Fox, Rean Griffith, Anthony D. Joseph, Randy H. Katz, Andrew Konwinski, Gunho Lee, David A. Patterson, Ariel Rabkin, Ion Stoica and Matei Zaharia who all work in RAD Lab. (Interestingly, several of the companies mentioned within the study are also Founding Sponsors and/or affiliate members: Sun, Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, etc.).

There has already been plenty of discussion and analysis of this study (by James Urquhart, Krishna Sankar and has even appeared on Slashdot.org). Needless to say, I felt compelled to get my two cents in, especially from the perspective of a Cloud Computing Infrastructure vendor.

EECS_banner

From an academic standpoint, this document definitely has some legs. It is complete with carefully thought out scenarios, examples and even formulae, as well as graphs and tables. Some of the points that are brought up even got me scratching my head (e.g., using flash memory to help by “adding another relatively fast layer to the classic memory hierarchy”). Even the case analysis of a DDoS attack from a cost perspective of those initiating an attack to those warding off an attack on a Cloud was interesting to ponder. I commend these group of authors on undertaking such a grand task of not only writing by committee but also overlaying a very business school vs. mathematics and computer sciences approach to the writing and analysis.

Unfortunately, however, as I read through the document, I started scrawling madly in the margins with commentary that is somewhat contrary to what was written within the study.

(more…) «“10 Obstacles to Cloud Computing” by UC Berkeley & How GoGrid Hurdles Them»

New Larger RAM Instances Now Available on GoGrid

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 by

GoGrid_win2k8_4GB_ram Last week, we quietly released some new larger GoGrid Cloud server instances. Today we are making that announcement a bit louder. What does this mean to you? Well, your GoGrid cloudcenter just got a bit broader and more powerful. For a year now, we have been offering 0.5, 1 and 2 Gigabyte RAM options in both Windows and Linux, now we have 4 and 8 GB RAM instances available. These larger instances, available on all 64-bit operating systems, allow for new types of higher-end environments to be spun up using all of the characteristics of Cloud Computing.

The lower size RAM instances (0.5, 1 & 2 GB) are perfect for a web front-end, where either Apache or IIS are running. For extremely high-performance and high I/O instances, we have been offering Cloud Connect as a way to create a dedicated hybrid infrastructure where Cloud Web Servers running on GoGrid can be linked via private dedicated network connections to dedicated and managed servers within the ServePath network.

With the new 4 and 8 GB RAM options, you can now set up a infrastructure with a robust set of high-performance application servers within the Cloud. These types of high RAM instances are perfect for users who want to take advantage of the increased RAM, CPU cores and persistent storage, especially when used in conjunction with specific applications (e.g., Microsoft SQL server or other Enterprise applications) that require more larger amounts of resources like RAM or CPU.

The 4 GB RAM server images can be deployed via the GoGrid web portal and API. The 8 GB RAM server images currently may only be deployed via the GoGrid API. I recommend reading the API section of the GoGrid wiki in order to fully understand how to deploy 8 GB RAM instances.

The 4 and 8 GB RAM images, available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1, CentOS 5.1, and Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 64-bit operating systems bring a new level of performance to the GoGrid line. 4 GB Cloud Servers have 3 CPU Cores and 8 GB have 6 CPU Cores, ensuring dedicated CPU allocations and high performance.

All GoGrid Cloud Servers come with persistent storage. The new larger RAM allocations announced today, are delivered with increased persistent storage: 4 GB Cloud Servers have 240 GB of hard drive space and 8 GB have 480 GB of storage allocated at boot time. Additional storage can be added using GoGrid’s dynamically scalable Cloud Storage offering which includes a 10 GB free allotment to start with. Each 1 GB thereafter costs $0.15/GB/month.

(more…) «New Larger RAM Instances Now Available on GoGrid»

GoGrid Performance Improvement for Linux Customers – Action Required

Friday, February 13th, 2009 by

In our efforts to continually improve the GoGrid platform, we have released a new kernel patch for our 64-bit Linux customers which can dramatically improve performance.

NOTE: This update only applies to GoGrid customers. Users of other Linux distributions OUTSIDE of GoGrid should NOT apply this patch.

This kernel patch is relatively trivial to install and under some circumstances will dramatically improve disk drive performance.

To install the kernel patch, log into any 64-bit Linux (RHEL or CentOS) server in your GoGrid cloud that was instantiated before 2/12/09.

From the command line, enter the following command on your 64-bit Linux server:

rm ˆf pviofix.sh ; wget ftp://ftp.gogrid.com/pviofix.sh && bash pviofix.sh

(more…) «GoGrid Performance Improvement for Linux Customers – Action Required»