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Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

 

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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HBase Made Simple

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by

GoGrid has just released its 1-Button Deploy™ of HBase, available to all customers in the US-West-1 data center. This technology makes it easy to deploy either a development or production HBase cluster on GoGrid’s high-performance infrastructure. GoGrid’s 1-Button Deploy™ technology combines the capabilities of one of the leading NoSQL databases with our expertise in building high-performance Cloud Servers.

HBase is a scalable, high-performance, open-source database. HBase is often called the Hadoop distributed database – it leverages the Hadoop framework but adds several capabilities such as real-time queries and the ability to organize data into a table-like structure. GoGrid’s 1-Button Deploy™ of HBase takes advantage of our SSD and Raw Disk Cloud Servers while making it easy to deploy a fully configured cluster. GoGrid deploys the latest Hortonworks’ distribution of HBase on Hadoop 2.0. If you’ve ever tried to deploy HBase or Hadoop yourself, you know it can be challenging. GoGrid’s 1-button Deploy™ does all the heavy lifting and applies all the recommended configurations to ensure a smooth path to deployment.

Why GoGrid Cloud Servers?

SSD Cloud Servers have several high-performance characteristics. They all come with attached SSD storage and large available RAM for the high I/O uses common to HBase. The Name Nodes benefit from the large RAM options available on SSD Cloud Servers and the Data Nodes use our Raw Disk Cloud Servers, which are configured as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks). This is the recommended disk configuration for Data Nodes, and GoGrid is one of the first providers to offer this configuration in a Cloud Server. Both SSD and Raw Disk Cloud Servers use a redundant 10-Gbps public and private network to ensure you have the maximum bandwidth to transfer your data. Plus, the cloud makes it easy to add more Data Nodes to your cluster as needed. You can use GoGrid’s 1-Button Deploy™ to provision either a 5-server development cluster or an 11-server production cluster with Firewall Service enabled.

Development Environments

The smallest recommended size for a development cluster is 5 servers. Although it’s possible to run HBase on a single server, you won’t be able to test failover or how data is replicated across nodes. You’ll most likely have a small database so you won’t need as much RAM, but will still benefit from SSD storage and a fast network. The Data Nodes use Raw Disk Cloud Servers and are configured with a replication factor of 3.

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The 12 Days of Cloudiness

Thursday, December 13th, 2012 by

Happy Holidays to all of our friends, family and followers!

On the 1st day of Cloudiness, GoGrid gave to me,
Cloud infrastructure made easy.

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On the 2nd day of Cloudiness, GoGrid gave to me,
Public and private VLANs,
and cloud infrastructure made easy.

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On the 3rd day of Cloudiness, GoGrid gave to me,
Infinite cloud storage,
Public and private VLANs,
and cloud infrastructure made easy.

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On the 4th day of Cloudiness, GoGrid gave to me,
Secure hardware firewalls,
Infinite cloud storage,
Public and private VLANs,
and cloud infrastructure made easy.

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Create a Basho Riak Cluster on GoGrid

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by

Basho is a GoGrid partner and responsible for the open-source Riak project. If you are not familiar with Riak, it is a well regarded open-source distributed database. It was built off of the Dynamo concept so it is often compared to Cassandra and Amazon Dynamo DB.

Riak is used as a fast, fault-tolerant distributed database. Companies like Mozilla use it for storing and analyzing beta testing results. Mozilla needed a solution to help improve the user experience and that would allow them to store large amounts of data very quickly. Another example of a company using Riak is Bump which uses Riak to scale and manage massive amounts of data sent between it’s millions of users. Riak is used to store elements of past user conversations so that communication history is readily accessible to users.

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Basho Riak version 1.1.4 is now available as a GoGrid Community Server Image (CGSI). You can find it when you launch a virtual machine and search for “Riak”. This image is available in all our data centers. This CGSI contains the open source version so support is only available via the community site and will not have all the features present in the Enterprise version. However, you can use this image to either run a proof of concept (POC) of Riak to see if it will meet your needs or to run a small cluster. These will run on GoGrid’s high performance VMs which have been shown to have significant performance advantages over other cloud implementations.

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Why is GoGrid faster?

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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)»