Archive for the ‘API’ Category

 

“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.

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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’s Randy Bias & Michael Sheehan Cloud Computing Podcast (Overcast Show #6)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 by

overcast_podcast Last week, Randy Bias, VP of Technology Strategy and I participated in a podcast on Cloud Computing called “Overcast: Conversations on Cloud Computing“, hosted by James Urquhart and Geva Perry. The Overcast podcast series discusses various aspects of the Cloud Computing Industry and related technologies. Previous guests included Lew Tucker (Sun Microsystems), Greg Ness (Infoblox) and John Willis (a leading cloud computing blogger), among others. The podcast, “Overcast Show#6: Feb 5, 2009 – with Randy Bias and Michael Sheehan, GoGrid” is a little less than an hour in length and covers many of the following topics:

  • Distinction and clarifications around the terms “Cloudcenter” and “Infrastructure Web Services” as they existing within the Cloud Infrastructure layer. (More reading on cloudcenters can be found here and here.)
  • Understanding GoGrid’s approach to standards and interoperability, especially as they relate to datacenter and infrastructure standards
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers such as Google App Engine and how Cloud Infrastructure (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and GoGrid fits in
  • Discussion around how we recently put our GoGrid API under a Creative Commons license as well as our efforts to involve other cloud providers and vendors, such as Flexiscale, RightScale and Eucalyptus, in building open standards from the ground up (more info here)
  • How GoGrid is working with Puppet and Chef technologies to automate system administration and configuration management
  • Using GoGrid’s Cloud Connect offering to “cloudburst” and create hybrid infrastructure topologies using the dynamic scalability of Cloud Web Servers and the robust, high I/O throughput of dedicated backend servers
  • …and much more…

We encourage you to listen to this podcast to gain some insight on our thought leadership, concepts and ideas around Cloud Computing, GoGrid and the hosting industry in general. This (and all) podcasts are available in a variety of formats:

  • Download Overcast Podcast #6 as an MP3 File
  • Subscribe to Overcast in iTunes (Note: this link will attempt to launch iTunes.)
  • Play from this site (click on the graphic below)

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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:

(more…) «GoGrid Releases API Specification to the Cloud Computing Community Under Creative Commons License»

Cloudcenters are Datacenters in the Sky

Thursday, January 8th, 2009 by

Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) is not the only way to build scalable Cloud Infrastructures.  There are two emerging methodologies for constructing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) AKA “Cloud Infrastructure Services”.  The first is what we call “cloudcenters”, which are essentially datacenters in the sky.  The second is what we call an “Infrastructure Web Service”.  GoGrid was one of the pioneers for cloudcenters, while AWS largely created the second model.

New_Cloud_PyramidUnderstanding IaaS means looking closely at these two approaches.  Clearly the notion of cloudcenters embodied by AWS competitors such as ourselves, FlexiScale, ElasticHosts, AppNexus, and others is important.  My colleague, Michael Sheehan, will go into more depth on how we think this distinction modifies his earlier Cloud Pyramid (right) in a follow-on blog posting to this one.

Infrastructure Cloud Models

Understanding these two approaches is important because it directly affects your selection of a Cloud Infrastructure provider.  These two models highlight a difference in core infrastructure and in target markets. Cloudcenters provide a direct equivalent to traditional datacenters and hence are usually more desirable for IT staff, systems operators, and other datacenter savvy folks.  Infrastructure Web Services on the other hand are more analogous to Service-Oriented-Architectures (SOA), require significant programming skills, and are much more comfortable for software developers.

Infrastructure Web Services

I’m going to assume for this article that you are somewhat familiar with Amazon Web Services (AWS), but I’ll briefly re-cap.  AWS provides a number of different ‘Web Services’ that can be consumed individually or put together to support different kinds of applications, usually a batch processing or web application of some kind.  These services include: (more…) «Cloudcenters are Datacenters in the Sky»