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Get Your Game On in the Cloud

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 by

Do you play mobile games on your smartphone or tablet? What about on your computer? And do you still put in a CD or DVD to play them? Or do you download an app to play? Have you ever tried an online game within Facebook? And what about on your game console? As bandwidth has increased and technology has evolved, more and more of these gaming experiences are being served from the cloud. Online gaming has transcended physical media like CDs, DVDs, and installed applications and moved to virtual environments based on Flash, HTML5, or other streamed or in-browser technologies.

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According to investment bank Digi-Capital, mobile games account for 42 percent of all new game investments. If money trails are any indication of success, we should watch to see where the banks are investing. In December 2012, Forbes reported that US video game sales dropped 25 percent in the month of October 2012, falling from $1 billion to $775.5 million. Conversely, general spending on mobile and social games rose 7 percent to $7.24 billion in 2011…and that was a few years ago!

Just take a look at some of the games listed in this .NET article, “The top 10 HTML5 games of 2012.” It’s very impressive that the underlying technology is completely browser-based and that these games are absolutely interactive and full-featured. Just for fun, I decided to see how many of these HTML5 games are cloud-hosted. (Remember though, because HTML5 is in-browser code, it doesn’t matter that much if it is cloud or traditionally hosted.) Here’s what I discovered:

  • “A Grain of Truth” – shared hosting
  • “Dune 2 Online” – colocation
  • “Cut the Rope” – cloud/dedicated/custom hosting
  • “Hex GL” – shared/dedicated hosting
  • “Lux Ahoy” – cloud/dedicated hosting
  • “D.E.M.O.” – cloud hosting
  • “BananaBread” – telco hosting
  • “Save the Day” – cloud hosting
  • “Bombermine” – shared hosting
  • “BrowserQuest” – ISP/VPS/Web hosting

As you can see, there’s quite a mixture of hosting provider types, ranging from shared to large-scale ISP/telco to cloud. The physical requirements for these types of HTML5 games rely mainly on the end user and the capabilities of the specific device. However, if any of these HTML5 games were to take off in popularity, the game owner would need to scale its infrastructure to handle the increased demand.

(more…) «Get Your Game On in the Cloud»

How Software Defined Networking Delivers Next-Generation Success

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 by

Software defined networking (SDN) is today where the cloud was a few years ago, and their paths are quite similar. As cloud providers innovate, they incorporate new, cutting-edge technology to let users do more with their architectures and enable solutions that were previously impossible. Just as the cloud moved people away from physical boxes and bare metal devices, SDN is allowing developers and architects to divorce themselves from proprietary hardware appliances like load balancers and firewalls.

So, what are the similarities between SDN and cloud? How about abstraction or the movement from physical to virtual?

To get a bit more scientific, I jumped over to Google Trends (which looks at search term volume over time) and did a search for “cloud,” “SDN,” “cloud computing,” and “software defined networking.”

cloud-sdn-trends

The results shown here make it pretty obvious that “cloud” continues to grow and overshadow the other terms. Removing “cloud” shows “SDN” making the same upward trajectory as “cloud” does in the graphic below. (Because people have been shortening the term “cloud computing” to simply “cloud,” it’s logical that the term’s search volume is decreasing.)

snd-cloud-comp-software-defined-network-trends

(more…) «How Software Defined Networking Delivers Next-Generation Success»

James Gosling to Speak on Innovation at GoGrid Cloud Meetup on 5/22

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 by

GoGrid, BEAR Data Solutions, NetApp, and ScaleArc have an exciting cloud meetup planned for next week (Wednesday, May 22, 2013) in San Francisco. In addition to intelligent conversation, free food and drink, and demos from a variety of companies whose products make cloud computing even better, we also have a fantastic featured speaker – James Gosling. (Register for the GoGrid Cloud Meetup here.)

img-bio-headshot-james

Known affectionately as the “Father of Java,” one of the most popular and widely used programming languages in the world, James Gosling is currently the Chief Software Architect at Liquid Robotics (a GoGrid customer). He frequently shares his thoughts on creativity and innovation with everyone from university students to technology thought leaders, and is particularly interested in what makes a good idea successful. His impressive list of accomplishments and credentials include a BSc in computer science from the University of Calgary as well as a PhD in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University. He was a Sun Fellow at Sun Microsystems where he was a lead engineer and did the original design of Java as well as implemented Java’s original compiler and virtual machine. In 2002, he was awarded The Economist Innovation Award, and in 2007, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honors.

James’s company, Liquid Robotics, is an early adopter of cloud computing and its technology gathers all types of oceanic data via a wave-powered, autonomous marine robot, the Wave Glider®.

About the GoGrid Cloud Meetup

We hope you can join us and the other hosts at this meetup celebrating innovation in the cloud. The agenda is designed to let you to chat, mingle, and learn about a variety of cloud computing topics.

(more…) «James Gosling to Speak on Innovation at GoGrid Cloud Meetup on 5/22»

Advertising in the Cloud

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 by

If you’re an online advertising company, you know how important it is to have infrastructure that performs and is resilient, reliable, and available globally. You want to spend your time optimizing your ad delivery across the world, developing your delivery platform, and not on worrying about whether your infrastructure can deliver your content quickly and accurately.

We get advertising. We all click on an online ad or read the messaging or watch the videos. We have customers that are pushing the technology envelope to deliver their advertising to end users. And many of our advertising customers have complex cloud infrastructure powering their platforms.

Advertising in the Cloud - Ad Network architecture

From Big Data architectures to Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to multi-data-center deployments, our solutions are carefully designed to meet the unique needs of advertising providers. And although you could do it all yourself in our global cloud, we view ourselves as your partner. Our Solutions Architects are available to help you identify the best services we provide for crafting your advertising delivery platform. Remember: You need to design your infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, and we believe you shouldn’t go at it alone.

Download Gartner’s “The Future of the Mobile Cloud”  for free which discusses how mobile and cloud are experiencing explosive growth! [download]

Three Advertising Leaders

The network architecture charts above are actual representations of 3 of our advertising customers, specifically Brilig (Merkel), Excite Digital Media, and Martini Media. The case studies below discuss the unique challenges each of them faced and how we worked together to develop powerful cloud solutions.

(more…) «Advertising in the Cloud»

How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by

Security and infrastructure don’t always go hand in hand. In fact, many non-adopters of cloud computing have cited the lack of good security as one of the primary reasons they are not wholeheartedly embracing the cloud and all its glory. In some ways, these naysayers are correct: You shouldn’t deploy a cloud or frankly any type of infrastructure without some type of security, whether it’s software-based controls or a hardware device. At GoGrid, it is this desire to overcome security concerns that compelled us to release our free (that’s right FREE) Firewall Service.

When we developed our Firewall Service, we wanted to do more than simply offer a set of blocking rules or a hardware device. We wanted our solution to be centrally managed, easy to use and configure, fully featured, integrated across all our data centers, reliable, programmatically controlled, highly available, flexible, elastic, self-healing…whew! And did I mention, free? As we did for our new Dynamic Load Balancers, we embraced the concepts of software-defined networking (SDN) when architecting our Firewall Service.

Our research showed that for small environments, software-based firewalls (like IPtables or a Windows Firewall) worked just fine, provided the infrastructure didn’t need to scale. Similarly, hardware-based firewalls were great for enterprise-grade installations (but remember, if you get one hardware device, you typically need another one ready as a failover). We wanted to do it better. You can read more about the theory behind our cloud Firewall Service in this article.

As with my previous How To articles, there are 3 easy steps in the Firewall Service setup:

1. Create a Security Group
2. Define
a Policy
3. Add
a Connection

GoGrid’s Firewall Service is distributed and global. That means that once it’s configured, it automatically synchronizes across all our data centers. If you have multiple web servers in multiple GoGrid data centers, you simply define the Security Groups and Policies, connect the servers, and you’re done. Any future policy changes are automatically synchronized to the connected servers. Simple, right? Let’s see how to set up the Firewall Service. (more…) «How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service»