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Archive for 2011

 

GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – What Are the Barriers to Cloud Computing? (Part 7)

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by

In April, we started a blog series called the “GoGrid Cloud Survey Report” where we highlighted findings from over 500 IT professionals, developers and CTOs. This series covered the industry’s perspective on everything from “What is Cloud Computing?” to “How do you use Cloud Computing?” and “What Operating Systems do you use in the Cloud?”. Today’s article marks the final installment to the GoGrid Cloud Survey Report, but we saved the most intriguing question for last…

What are the biggest barriers to deploying the cloud?

Yes, cloud computing has been one of the hottest technology trends in recent years, but it’s also been met with controversy. Many companies have yet to make the switch to cloud computing, and we wanted to know what our 500 IT professionals thought were the biggest barriers to deploying infrastructure in the cloud.

And can we really call “cloud computing” a trend? Analysts say that the addressable market for Infrastructure as a Service is estimated to be $1.8 billion. And this is part of a Global IT Market of $2.5 trillion. But barriers aside, cloud infrastructure has proven potential to drive companies to success via a re-optimization of resources and re-allocation of IT spend.

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Let’s look at each of these categories a bit more closely: (more…) «GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – What Are the Barriers to Cloud Computing? (Part 7)»

How to Set Up a Gluster File System within the GoGrid Cloud (Part 1)

Friday, August 19th, 2011 by

In this blog post series, I want to take a closer look at a storage technology called Gluster File System, and how it can be set up (this article), connected to (article #2) and expand storage (article #3). This is the first blog post of the series and I will review what GlusterFS is, why you would consider using it, and how to deploy it using the GoGrid GlusterFS Partner GSI.

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GoGrid offers a great storage solution called Cloud Storage. But what if you want to deploy your own storage so that you can directly control performance and redundancy? What software would you use to provide this? The simple answer is Gluster. It is a powerful software-based storage solution that offers a centralized controlled storage pool management system that is very easy to use.

There are many different ways to take advantage of the GlusterFS storage solution. (Note: in the descriptions below a “brick” is a GoGrid Virtual Server.)

1. Distributed Volumes:

“Distributed volumes distribute files throughout the bricks in the volume. You can use distributed volumes where the requirement is to scale storage and the redundancy is either not important or is provided by other hardware/software layers.” – Gluster.org

(more…) «How to Set Up a Gluster File System within the GoGrid Cloud (Part 1)»

GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – Operating Systems in the Cloud (Part 6)

Monday, August 1st, 2011 by

When most people hear the phrase “operating system in the cloud” they usually think of a really cool client-side, Web-based desktop like EyeOS or CloudMe or even Chromium OS. Perhaps that is the future of client operating systems, but when cloud infrastructure providers talk about operating systems, they are making reference to which OS your cloud infrastructure will run on. And, it’s not always limited to just one in many cases.

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At GoGrid, we provide a variety of operating systems including:

  • Windows Server
  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Debian
  • CentOS

Operating systems in the cloud are very important because they are what your applications and infrastructure are built upon. Whether you’re using the cloud to deploy test & development environments, act as your data center or run your company’s business critical applications, the operating system plays a vital role in cloud infrastructure.

Most IT professionals are pretty passionate about what operating system they prefer. For instance, search for “Windows vs. Linux” on Google – over 109 million results have some sort of opinion on the topic. But, since actions speak louder than words, we wanted to determine which operating system was used more by the IT industry.

(more…) «GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – Operating Systems in the Cloud (Part 6)»

How Cloud Computing has Transformed my Data Center!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by

Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of cloud computing. I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand how the cloud has enabled thousands of companies worldwide get started without having to spend large amounts of CapEx or commit to long term OpEx contracts just to realize an idea or launch a product without any notion of whether it will be a bust or the next big thing.

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I started working at GoGrid’s originating company ServePath in 2005 where our main product lines were dedicated servers and collocation services. ServePath was a pioneer in dedicated managed servers at a time when private networks and load balancing on shared network infrastructure were not yet productized.

John Keagy, GoGrid’s Founder & CEO (now Executive Chairman), was always pushing the boundaries within the four walls of our data center with his motto, “complex infrastructure made easy.” It was with this vision that GoGrid was developed and became a very successful provider of Infrastructure as a Service. However it’s also because of that same vision the GoGrid Ops team has spent countless hours at a whiteboard figuring out how to support “complex infrastructure made easy”.

In the six-plus years of building out our data centers and revamping them to support the constant growth of our cloud computing platform, one thing has stayed constant: power density continues to increase. When we first filled up our flagship San Francisco facility, we had power capacity to spare. As the growth of our dedicated server service became even more compelling over collocation, we started seeing an uptick in our power utilization per rack; power density was increasing from 2-3 kilowatts per rack up to 4-5 kilowatts per rack – that is when we first realized that power could become our limiting factor in our data center if this trend continued. In 2007 when GoGrid was being developed, we were asked to build out the infrastructure to support 7 – 10 kilowatts per rack, a 250% – 500% increase in power density per rack! At 2-3 kilowatts per rack, imagine you’re sitting in a small office with a space heater and you turn it on full blast, it can get a bit warm, however you can stay in the room and continue to work. When we were tasked to build racks at 7- 10 kilowatts, it was like adding 25 space heaters in the same size room; unless you make some changes to your cooling system and redesign your rack layout, you are going to feel the heat real fast. As you can imagine, not only did this create a challenge in regards to supporting that much power, cooling that much power became quite a challenge as well. But we have overcome these challenges and continue to grow.

You may be wondering how much is GoGrid’s power bill with that type of power density, and whether it is even economically scalable. Without breaking out the spreadsheets, I can assure you that one of the many benefits of cloud computing is power saving. You see, in the past, 20 servers could be supported by a dedicated server rack drawing 2 – 3 kilowatts of power, but now we can support over 2,000 virtual (multi-tenant) servers with the same rack drawing 7-10- kilowatts of power! Feel free to call me a bit of a geek, but it’s that type of efficiency that excites me to work at one of the world’s leading infrastructure as service companies.

There have been and will continue to be many challenges that the Ops Team will face as we transform our datacenters to support GoGrid’s cloud infrastructure, stories that I will be happy to share both the challenges and the benefits in future postings. For now, I hope I have given you a bit of insight into GoGrid and the power benefits that come with cloud computing.

GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – The Importance of Private Clouds (Part 5)

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by

As you may recall, at the beginning of 2011 we polled over 500 CTOs, developers and IT professionals asking them about various aspects of cloud computing. Questions included: What is cloud computing and how do you use it?, What security measures do you require in the cloud? and many more. The data from this cloud survey report provides a good idea of the current cloud computing landscape and upcoming trends as we race towards 2012.

Continuing on in the series, we wanted to know what IT professionals thought of cloud computing’s latest innovation: the private cloud. Private clouds have quickly become the topic of much conversation in the industry because they offer core public cloud technology but within a single-tenant environment. Before we jump into the results of our question, What aspects of the private cloud are most important to your organization?, it is important to have a clear understanding of what private clouds are.

What are private clouds?

There are quite a few ways how private clouds differ from public cloud offerings but I won’t go into all of the differences within this post. As I mentioned above, there is the idea of tenancy. To broadly generalize, public clouds are multi-tenant and private clouds are single-tenant. To expand on this concept a bit more, public clouds provide shared resources for consumption by multiple companies or organizations within the same server cluster. However, these resources are dedicated and fully isolated to those users in that networking, storage, RAM and CPU units are allocated to those users. This is very different than traditional shared hosting or VPS’s (Virtual Private Servers) – shared or VPS environments can, at times, suffer from over-allocation of resources or degraded performance if one user on a particular “machine” is “hogging” those resources. Public clouds effectively isolate those resources so that customers don’t experience usage hogs.

Private clouds are essentially public clouds but in an environment dedicated to one company, thus “single-tenant.” That does not mean though, that a private cloud cannot host multiple departments or business units from that single organization. Basically, a private cloud dedicates all of the resources to a single company or corporation and serves just that organization. The computer, storage and networking resources are most likely either owned by that organization, hosted by that organization or running exclusively for that organization but managed by another vendor (see GoGrid’s Hosted Private Cloud).

Private clouds frequently come at a higher cost than traditional public clouds mainly because public clouds give you economies of scale via larger infrastructure installations. Some companies may prefer operating in a non-shared environment due the higher amounts of control that they have on the infrastructure and the hardware or due to compliance or regulatory concerns.

(more…) «GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – The Importance of Private Clouds (Part 5)»