Archive for February, 2012

 

Spotify Music Apps Hack Weekend – Sponsored by GoGrid

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 by

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To celebrate the release of their API, Spotify sponsored a Hack-a-thon at SPiN Ping Pong Club in New York City from Friday February 24 until Sunday February 26. Spotify was joined by big brands like Doritos, CW, McDonald’s, Showtime, State Farm and Mountain Dew. Technology companies sponsoring the event included Facebook, Twilio, FourSquare, The Echo Nest and of course, GoGrid. GoGrid provided all the cloud servers for the event to support the developers as they created brand new apps using the Spotify API in conjunction with other API like Facebook’s Open Graph. GoGrid’s manager of cloud ecosystem, Paul Lancaster and I were on-hand to meet with developers and provide support for the event.

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50 CentOS x64 cloud servers were provisioned to the hackers by GoGrid to build their applications free of charge with root level access for maximum flexibility. Hundreds of hackers showed up to build the next great apps and were treated to live performances by Blood Orange and MNDR. While hack-a-thons tend to have attrition over time, hackers stayed throughout the night and most for the entire weekend.

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There were roughly 30 projects worked on during the weekend which ranged from an app called Museik (UI shown above) that extracts content from the internet related to the release date of a song on Spotify to a project called Orbidal by the students of the VCU Brandcenter that gathers the collective feelings of your Facebook feed and creates a playlist based on that mood on Spotify.

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What’s It Like Being a Software Engineer in Leading Cloud Infrastructure Company?

Friday, February 17th, 2012 by

According to Wikipedia, a Software Engineer is “an engineer who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, testing, and the evaluation of the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software…

Software Engineers are everywhere and in about every company out there. They are in high demand and GoGrid is no exception. We want Software Engineers! What makes working at GoGrid exciting for a Software Engineer? I asked one of our Software Engineers, Suman, a few questions about what it’s like to be a Software Engineer for GoGrid.

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What do you do at GoGrid?

I work on cloud software solutions, which, in a nutshell, means turning infrastructure into code. It’s a rapidly growing software development area with very interesting challenges. There is a long list of products with great customer interest. New use cases and requirements arise frequently that become new features or products. It’s very exciting to work in a transforming environment like this.

As a Software Engineer, I am deeply involved in all aspects of my projects. I focus equally on design and architecture, development and testing. Given my experience with Linux and large scale infrastructure automation, I like to engage closely with Systems and Network Engineers to keep up with new technologies. This helps to develop elegant, feature-rich and high-performing solutions.

What does your typical day look like?

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GoGrid Amsterdam Data Center Now Open – An Important Milestone for GoGrid & Me Personally

Monday, February 13th, 2012 by

Today is very important milestone for all of us here at GoGrid. While we have always considered ourselves an international company, with over 35% of our customers located outside the US, expanding to our first international location is an exciting step for GoGrid and marks the beginning of many great things to come. And today is that day that we are “throwing open the doors” of our new data center in Europe. I am extremely pleased to announce the general availability of our newest data center in Amsterdam, which represents the culmination of our team’s hard work and big dreams.

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Our Amsterdam data center is housed in a state-of-the-art Equinix facility which has proven to be a perfect fit for GoGrid. My team and I had a great time working with the Equinix team while we were getting things up and running. Particularly impressive is the Internet connectivity from our Amsterdam data center to the rest of Europe which makes this location the best choice for us.

When I wasn’t at the Equinix facility supervising the installation and rollout, I was also visiting our new European headquarters in Amstelveen. Just minutes from Amsterdam and our data center, Amstelveen is a prime location for GoGrid’s EMEA headquarters and is also home to major offices for companies like HP, Agilent, Cannon, and Ricoh.

While this expansion is clearly an important step for GoGrid, it is also an incredible personal accomplishment for me. When I started working at GoGrid seven years ago, I asked founder John Keagy if he could foresee an opportunity for eventual international expansion. His answer? Absolutely. You can imagine how amazing it was for me to take on the role of lead executive for this expansion and see our vision become a reality.

I’ve spent countless hours in data centers throughout my career, but being in our data center in Amsterdam in the middle of the night when we first flipped the switch to allow some initial beta customers test the environment out, and then seeing those green lights flashing away was an experience I’ll never forget.

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GoGrid at Cloud Connect 2012: Personalizing the Cloud

Monday, February 13th, 2012 by

GoGrid is one of the Platinum Sponsors of this week’s Cloud Connect 2012 conference and Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The event promises to be a memorable one for cloud newcomers as well as those of us trying to keep up with the blazing pace of cloud innovation.

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This year, we’re particularly excited to be focusing on GoGrid’s hybrid infrastructure solution, which we think combines the best of both the physical and virtual worlds. We believe that your company is unique, and your infrastructure should be, too. Stop by our booth 709 to find out what your unique “cloud fingerprint” looks like. Chances are it’s a flavor of our hybrid solution.

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Maybe you’re wondering whether to keep your dedicated servers or move to the cloud. What if you could have it all? Join one of our solutions architects as he walks through real-life examples of how hybrid hosting can improve your business’s infrastructure: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 3:35 – 3:55pm in the Cloud Solutions Theater on the Expo Floor. Here’s the presentation description: “Different businesses have different infrastructure needs. And the choices of clouds, colocation, or dedicated services can be daunting if not confusing. So why choose just one when GoGrid’s hybrid architecture (a union of the best of virtual and physical) provides options for both flexibility and growth? Physical hardware provides guaranteed, dedicated, high performance coupled with an assurance of strict data control and security, while cloud architecture scales when your business demands it. Learn the secrets of hybrid hosting and how it can improve your business’s infrastructure in this 20-minute walk-through.

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How To Optimize Your Database Backups and Text File Compression with pbzip2 and pigz

Thursday, February 9th, 2012 by

Recently, GoGrid was examining performance enhancements on several internal processes; among these enhancements was switching from standard gzip to “pigz”. Since I had never heard of this “pigz”, I was intrigued by this supposed “parallel” implementation of gzip; meaning it uses all available CPU’s/cores unlike gzip. This prompted me to ask, “I wonder if there is a parallel implementation of bzip2 as well”, and there began my endeavor.

pigz and pbzip2 are multi-threaded (SMP) implementations of their respective idol file compressors. They are both actively maintained and are fully compatible with all current bzip2 and gzip archives.

If you’re like me, you might’ve stayed away from using gzip or bzip2 due to the single-threaded aspect. If I try to compress a, let’s say, 2GB file, the system becomes rather sluggish; the reason being is that the “compression tool of choice” uses almost all of 1 core of today’s multi-core, multi-CPU systems and creates an uneven load between the cores, causing the CPU to operate very inefficiently.

In this example I have a .tar file with several databases in it, which totals 1.3GB. The system in question is a GoGrid dedicated server with 8 cores. The server’s load is around 1 and is a production database server.

Using bzip2, the file took approximately 6 minutes and 30 seconds to compress. Yikes!

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