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Archive for the ‘GoGrid’ Category

 

Infographic: Keeping Up (and Standing Out) with Managed Services

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by

Even if you haven’t yet used managed services in your industry, you’re sure to run into one of the newer offerings that promise to do everything but butter your toast. The reality is that demand for managed services is steadily increasing across all industry verticals. Take, for example, the cloud-based managed services (telephony, conferencing, messaging, and contact centers) developed to support the emerging Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market where telephony providers are already jostling for position. Leading telecom providers like Ericsson are routinely inking managed services deals for maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure that includes both fixed and mobile networks, with the goal of “raising the quality and efficiency of [the customer’s] network.” And former infrastructure-as-a-service provider Rackspace has even announced its decision to exit the IaaS marketplace and focus on its “managed cloud” business as a way to rise above the noise—and the competition.

Why all this attention on managed services? Wikipedia defines managed services as “the practice of outsourcing day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for improving operations and cutting expenses.” Sounds good, right? I mean, what company wouldn’t want to improve operations and reduce costs? But if you take a step back to look at the current trends in managed services shown in the infographic below, it’s clear the advantages go beyond just saving money or becoming more efficient.

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With so much at stake, how can you find out if managed services could prove to be your secret sauce? The best way to start is by choosing a managed services provider that can capitalize on 4 characteristics of tomorrow’s business landscape:

1. Customization

2. Insight

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Selecting a Provider and Infrastructure for Running an In-Memory Database

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by

The need for database speed is always a given. Recently, application response time has been shown to not only provide customers with a better experience, but also directly impact the bottom line. Think about companies running mobile advertising networks that are paid for delivering an advertising impression to users swiping away at their mobile phones to flip to the next screen. If the ad doesn’t load, well, that equals lost revenue. For these customers, response time is mission-critical. A common solution for applications that require fast response times is to run the database in memory, also known as an in-memory database (IMDB). You can easily do so in the cloud; however, selecting the appropriate infrastructure and even the appropriate provider can be tricky. Depending on the provider, for example, there may be hidden charges, less-than-ideal network topologies, and in many cases, a poor selection of virtual machines.

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So how do you choose a reliable provider? And do you know what you’re looking for in terms of infrastructure? There are 3 key requirements that will help you get started:

1. Know your database memory requirements

2. Identify your cloud provider requirements

3. Understand your infrastructure requirements
(more…) «Selecting a Provider and Infrastructure for Running an In-Memory Database»

What does “any cloud” orchestration mean for telcos?

Monday, July 28th, 2014 by

Last week, GoGrid announced its “any cloud” orchestration engine service, enabling telcos to deliver complex, on-demand solutions, multi-cloud support, and data sovereignty compliance. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to our pioneering technology and unique approach.

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But don’t just take our word for it. Check out what Light Reading (the premier publication for the telecom industry) had to say in its story, “GoGrid Puts Cloud at a Touch of a Button.” As reported by Carol Wilson, the article underscores the reasons why orchestration is so attractive to telcos:

“The attraction is taking the complexity out of provisioning applications, and while GoGrid is initially focused on big data apps, this approach can support other kinds of applications as well, says Caroline Chappell, senior analyst with Heavy Reading. Telecom cloud service providers have been trying to develop this capability themselves so they can offer business customers the ability to stand up a whole range of applications in the cloud without individually engineering each one through a complex process, she says.

“Telecom cloud providers can make the provisioning process part of the service they offer, even if the application itself is run by an app partner in a third-party cloud, Chappell notes. That creates the ability for telecom cloud providers to offer a cloud-based “business in a box” type offer that doesn’t require complex provisioning of each individual service.”

Orchestration is key for telcos to quickly and easily increase the variety and number of products they offer. It also keeps them focused on what they do best: selling solutions wrapped with value-added services instead of commodity infrastructure. Click here to learn more about GoGrid’s orchestration and 1-Button Deploy™ solutions.

Infographic: Big Data or Big Confusion? The Key is Open Data Services

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by

When folks refer to “Big Data” these days, what is everyone really talking about? For several years now, Big Data has been THE buzzword used in conjunction with just about every technology issue imaginable. The reality, however, is that Big Data isn’t an abstract concept. Whether you like it or not, you’re already inundated with Big Data. How you source it, what insights you derive from it, and how quickly you act on it will play a major role in determining the course—and success—of your company. To help you get started understanding the key Big Data trends, take a look at this infographic: “60-Second Guide to Big Data and the Cloud.”

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Handling the increased volume, variety, and velocity—the “3V/s”—of data (shown in the center of the infographic) requires a fundamental shift in the makeup of the platform required to capture, store, and analyze the data. A platform that’s capable of handling and capitalizing on Big Data successfully requires a mix of structured data-handling relational databases, unstructured data-handling NoSQL databases, caching solutions, and map reducing Hadoop-style tools.

As the need for new technologies to handle the “3V/s” of Big Data has grown, open source solutions have become the catalysts for innovation, generating a steady launch of new, relevant products to tackle Big Data challenges. Thanks to the skyrocketing pace of innovation in specialized databases and applications, businesses can now choose from a variety of proprietary and open source solutions, depending on the database type and their specific database requirements.

Given the wide variety of new and complex solutions, however, it’s no surprise that a recent survey of IT professionals showed that more than 55% of Big Data projects fail to achieve their goals. The most significant challenge cited was a lack of understanding of and the ability to pilot the range of technologies on the market. This challenge systematically pushes companies toward a limited set of proprietary platforms that often reduce the choice down to a single technology. Perpetuating the tendency to seek one cure-all technology solution is no longer a realistic strategy. No single technology such as a database can solve every problem, especially when it comes to Big Data. Even if such a unique solution could serve multiple needs, successful companies are always trialing new solutions in the quest to perpetually innovate and thereby achieve (or maintain) a competitive edge.

Open Data Services and Big Data go hand-in-hand

(more…) «Infographic: Big Data or Big Confusion? The Key is Open Data Services»

Architecting for High Availability in the Cloud

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by

An introduction to multi-cloud distributed application architecture

In this blog, we’ll explore how to architect a highly available (HA) distributed application in the cloud. For those new to the concept of high availability, I’m referring to the availability of the application cluster as well as the ability to failover or scale as needed. The ability to failover or scale out horizontally to meet demand ensures the application is highly available. Examples of applications that benefit from HA architectures are databases applications, file-sharing networks, social applications, health monitoring applications, and eCommerce websites. So, where do you start? The easiest way to understand the concepts is simply to walk through the 3 steps of a web application setup in the cloud.

Step 1: Setting up a distributed, fault-tolerant web application architecture

In general, the application architecture can be pretty simple: perhaps just a load-balanced web front end running on multiple servers and maybe a NoSQL database like Cassandra. When you’re developing, you can get away with a single server, but once you move into production you’ll want to snapshot your web front end and spread the application across multiple servers. This approach lets you balance traffic and scale out the web front end as needed. In GoGrid, you can do this for free using our Dynamic Load Balancers. Point and click to provision the servers as needed, and then point the load balancer(s) to those servers. The process is simple, so setting up a load-balanced web front end should only take a few minutes. Any data captured or used by the servers will of course be stored in the Cassandra cluster, which is already designed to be HA.

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Deploying the Cassandra cluster. In GoGrid, you can use our 1-Button Deploy™ technology to set up the Cassandra cluster in about 10 minutes. This will provision the cluster for your database. Cassandra is built to be HA so if one server fails, the load is distributed across the cluster and your application isn’t impacted. Below is a sample Cassandra cluster. A minimal deployment has 3 nodes to ensure HA and the cluster is connected via the private VLAN. It’s a good idea to firewall the database servers and eliminate connectivity to the public VLAN. With our production 1-Button Deploy™ solution, the cluster is configured to include a firewall on-demand (for free). In another blog post I’ll discuss how to secure the entire environment: setting up firewalls around your database and your web application as well as working with IDS and IPS monitoring tools and DDoS mitigation services. For the moment, however, your database and web application clusters would look something like this:

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