Posts Tagged ‘Azure’

 

EVENT: “WIN with GoGrid & Microsoft WebsiteSpark” – A Perfect Solution for Web Professionals

Monday, March 1st, 2010 by

We are excited to announce a new event for GoGrid and WebsiteSpark which will be taking place on Tuesday, March 30 from 10am to 6pm Pacific Time in the San Francisco Bay Area. For those of you who are new to WebsiteSpark, it is a powerful program designed to help Web Designers and Developers drive new business opportunities through connections and customers around the world. I posted some detailed information about the WebsiteSpark program and how GoGrid can be your preferred hosting partner in this program.

In order to help educate you on this outstanding business opportunity that can save your startup or small business literally thousands of dollars in licensing & hosting costs, Microsoft and GoGrid have teamed up with an event called “WIN with GoGrid & Microsoft WebsiteSpark” that will be taking place on the Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus. Wondering if you should attend? Please take a look at the bullet points below to help determine if this is a good event for you:

hero_websitespark2_with_GoGrid

Are you a Web Professional…

  • Interested in free software and support to grow your web development business?
  • Who needs help getting your customers’ websites to the top of the search rankings?
  • Looking for tips and tricks to design and develop next generation web experiences?
  • Looking to make your web development business more profitable?
  • Looking to streamline the way you design, build and deploy websites?
  • Looking to mix the best of Open Source with the best of Microsoft in your customer’s websites?
  • Questions on how to deploy Microsoft infrastructure in the Cloud?
  • Learn about Windows Azure Application Lifecycle Management on GoGrid!

But wait! There’s more! All attendees of this event are entered into a drawing to win one of the following: (more…) «EVENT: “WIN with GoGrid & Microsoft WebsiteSpark” – A Perfect Solution for Web Professionals»

Cloud News: Amazon Outage Thriller, EC2 Hacking & Microsoft Acquires Opalis for Cloud Management

Friday, December 11th, 2009 by

Whoops! Missed a day there. I was busy planning out events for 2010 for GoGrid! I realize now that this is somewhat difficult writing about Cloud News every day so I’m going to start something for Fridays called “This Week in Cloud” which will have some of the bigger Cloud Computing news stories that I came across. I may still do the regular “Cloud News” if there are events or items that warrant coverage. Without further ado, here’s what I read about that got my interest:

  • Amazon’s Data Center Outage Reads Like a Thriller
    “When an Amazon Web Services data center lost power early Wednesday, the company wrote about the unfolding event with the brevity and tension of one its bestselling pot boilers.” (Source: CIO/ComputerWorld)

    • Commentary: Ok, we all know that outages happen, whether in the cloud or not. The cloud is under intense scrutiny so when there is even the most minor of hiccups, people scream and yell and pull out their SLA’s and demand immediate recourse. It’s never fun when I read about an outage since we are all birds of a feather working towards a common good. The reason I linked to this article in particular is because of the nature in which it was written…truly like a technology thriller! The funny thing is, I have been through a few outages in various companies that I have worked for and they are never fun. You are torn in many directions of trying to find out internally what is going one, and figuring out the best way to communicate with customers in a way where they won’t freak out but still understand that an “event” is being actively working on. When there is an outage, it truly does unfold organically (and hopefully not catastrophically, causing a cascade effect). Third party monitoring is important as is a good backup and disaster recovery strategy. (GoGrid recently partnered with Stratonomic who provides real-time DR solutions.)  Regardless, the Amazon Data Center outage did not last long and everyone was back on track (but hopefully thinking about making their IT infrastructure more resilient). It was nice to see that GoGrid had (and still seems to have) the highest marks on the Apparent Networks Cloud Provider Scorecard.
  • Hackers Find a Home in Amazon’s EC2 Cloud
    “Security researchers have spotted the Zeus botnet running an unauthorized command and control center on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing infrastructure. This marks the first time Amazon Web Services’ cloud infrastructure has been used for this type of illegal activity, according to Don DeBolt, director of threat research with HCL Technologies, a contractor that does security research for CA.” (Source: PCWorld)

    • Commentary: I don’t want to turn this into an AWS bashing, that is not my intent (even though they are a direct competitor to GoGrid). But this news (old by internet news speed standards) is important to look at. Hackers are an inquisitive (yet destructive) bunch. Recently, I heard about how some hackers created a service (called AutoWhaler) to pull account details from phishing sites. Now if that isn’t innovation, I don’t know what is! Seriously though, hackers can cause a variety of damage to infrastructures that are not protected and actively monitored. The problem is, they are so innovative (or perhaps “creative” is a better word), that it is often difficult to prevent or plan for intrusions within one’s infrastructure. Obviously this and other examples simply prove that while Cloud Computing can help many, we still have a ways to go. On the flipside, this same type of invasion could well have happened within a server farm of physical servers. It’s just the Cloud has the spotlight now.
  • Microsoft buys Opalis to strengthen cloud management capabilities
    “Moving to strengthen its management tools related to virtual environments, Microsoft Friday said that it has purchased IT process automation vendor Opalis for an undisclosed sum. Microsoft said the acquisition, which had been rumored for nearly two months, adds to its System Center portfolio needed tools that can manage highly automated and scalable virtual environments. The tools complement Microsoft’s strategy to stretch its management tools across on-premises environments and the cloud.” (source: NetworkWorld) (more…) «Cloud News: Amazon Outage Thriller, EC2 Hacking & Microsoft Acquires Opalis for Cloud Management»

Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 by

More news raining from the Cloud:

  • Microsoft Azure, Server teams form new cloud division
    “In a much anticipated move, Microsoft announced the combination of the Windows Azure group with the Windows Server and Solutions group into a new organization, titled the Server and Cloud Division. The new division, headed by Senior Vice President Amitabh Srivastava, will be a part of the Servers and Tools Business, headed by Bob Muglia.” (source: cnet – the Wisdom of Clouds)

    • Commentary: As always, James Urquhart breaks the news on his great blog, the Wisdom of Clouds. While it seems that this announcement has been some time in the making, it is good to see it materialize. It only makes sense to me that Microsoft blend the Server/Cloud environments. It’s important that synergies exist from the get-go since many of the features can be leveraged cross-departmentally and should be views as a “single solution.” I’ve mentioned this numerous times before but this is why we at GoGrid developed Cloud Connect which is a Hybrid Hosting solution of physical and cloud servers all connected via private dedicated physical connections. Buried in James’ article is the mention that CTO Ray Ozzie is no longer in charge of the Azure team which signifies Microsoft’s move toward making Azure an important part of their business offerings.
  • Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Others Form Cloud Computing Group
    “A group of companies is starting up an Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council in hopes of removing barriers to enterprise use of hosted cloud computing. Initial members include companies that offer hosted cloud computing as well as enterprises that use such services, including Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, AT&T, BT, EMC, Deutsche Bank, Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, CA, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telecom Italia and Telstra. Two industry organizations, Distributed Management Task Force and the IT Service Management Forum, are also involved. The TM Forum, an industry association that helps information and communications companies create profitable services, came up with the idea of the council.” (source: PCWorld)

    • Commentary: It’s great to see so many big names joining together to form a “Council.” My only fear is that egos within each of the organizations will come into play as each company tries to promote their own agenda. I can only hope that this (and other similar organizations that have been set up) will actually do something constructive with their efforts. Working on avoiding “vendor lock-in” and “standards-based solutions” is great and all, but these are overly hyped buzz-words that have been discussed throughout 2009 (and back some). Perhaps by throwing some big names behind a council will help to mitigate the fear that so many enterprises have about the cloud (e.g., security, reliability, compliance, standards, etc.) Time will tell if this new organization will produce any effects or results whatsoever. I’m a bit skeptical myself.
  • Top 5 cloud computing predictions for 2010
    “Cloud computing standards and major cloud computing outages top Linthicum’s list. Evidently it’s a requirement that all of those in the cloud computing world must chime in with their cloud computing predictions for 2010, so here are mine…” (source: InfoWorld)

    • Commentary: Oh boy, I’m already behind on my predictions. Guess I need to start on that really soon! David’s Linthicum’s top 5 is a pretty sensical list actually, although numbers 4 and 5 might indirectly go hand-in-hand. Hint, if you are thinking about a successful new-business to start, do a cloud computing startup since you will be snapped up by a large player once you are mildly successful. Well, that is a dramatic oversimplification of #’s 4 and 5. Read through his list though as they are distinct and good thoughts.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions»

Cloud News: Multiple Faces of Cloud on Windows Azure, Real-World Cloud Case Study & State Cloud Service Providers

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 by

It’s still cold in San Francisco. No snow today but there are a few “clouds” (sorry). Posts and articles I saw today:

  • Windows Azure and the many faces of cloud
    “One of the reasons it’s so difficult to satisfactorily define cloud computing is that people have many different needs and expectations from a cloud platform. To start a conversation about cloud — especially one that seeks to evaluate the relative merits of competing cloud platforms — without first identifying what needs are being met is to invite misunderstanding and confusion. So before I come to my analysis of Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform and the hidden danger lurking there for many ISVs looking to embark on a SaaS strategy, I’m going to segment cloud computing into several important but separate categories.” (source: ZDNet)

    • Commentary: This article is an extremely good analysis of Windows Azure and details a series of use cases for companies evaluating Azure as a solution including: “Short-term, overflow or burst capacity to supplement on-premise assets, Cloud-based services and applications that extend on-premise assets with new capabilities, Interim hosting as part of a cloud migration strategy, and, Cloud-based services and applications that replace and supersede on-premise assets.” One way to use Azure and GoGrid together is outlined in this post (with a demo video) where we demonstrate how the GoGrid cloud can be used seamlessly building, deploying and testing applications for Windows Azure.
  • Gartner “Cloud Computing in the Real World” Panel Features Appistry Customer Next Century
    “This year cloud computing is front-and-center at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit in Las Vegas, NV. One of the many interesting items on the agenda this year was today’s no-BS enterprise cloud end-user panel, organized by analysts David Cearley and Gene Phifer, along with the OMG/SOA Consortium. The focus of the panel is on real-world, enterprise-grade cloud computing deployments.” (source: Appistry blog)

    • Commentary: Appistry has been a long-time partner of GoGrid’s. We have a RHEL image that has Appistry already baked into it. It’s nice to get Sam’s analysis (in the form of a case study, albeit from our competitor) of the practical applications of moving physical infrastructure into the cloud. Sam points out how there is a lot of “fluff” around the promotion of Cloud Computing and that actual case studies are the way to cut through the hype. The study talks about how with physical infrastructure costing $80k and consuming 8-14 days of processing time, the same process could be achieved within 12 hours and only costing $130 per run. The same could be done on any Infrastructure-based Cloud with dramatic time and cost savings. It was also nice to see the GoGrid Cloud Pyramid in the graphic.
  • Government Technologist: States As Cloud Service Providers
    “As state CIOs devise cloud computing strategies, they must assess whether their teams can provide services with the same skill and efficiency as commercial providers. Some state CIOs are evaluating cloud computing as the way to provide IT services to state agencies and other groups of users, including local governments and schools. It makes sense for states to go this route, but there’s a right way and a wrong way.” (source: InformationWeek)

    • Commentary: Author John Foley brings up some interesting points here. Do States and Education go with Private or Public Clouds? Or is there a happy medium? It seems that while some items must remain under strict “state” control, others could easily be offloaded to a public cloud. State budgets are in the red now, so plopping down multi-millions of dollars to built their own private cloud is probably not something that tax-payers could swallow very easily. The right strategy I would think is to do a cost-benefit analysis on a gradual move of non-critical/data-sensitive IT infrastructure to a public cloud. The problem here though is that “gradual” is an extremely subjective term. For me, gradual would be over a quarter or two. For state/government, “gradual” means 1-2 years or more. There are many efficiencies to be gained as well as considerable cost saving (that could be invested elsewhere…education perhaps?). One way or another, I agree with Foley in that governments should offload some of the risks and costs onto public cloud providers when implementing their IT strategies.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Multiple Faces of Cloud on Windows Azure, Real-World Cloud Case Study & State Cloud Service Providers»

Rapidly Develop, Test & Deploy Windows Azure Applications using the GoGrid Cloud

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 by

goGrid_azure_Lifecycle_3Just in time for the Microsoft PDC 2009, GoGrid is excited to showcase an integrated solution for Windows Azure™ developers, using the GoGrid Cloud for seamlessly building and deploying applications for Windows Azure. Our solution interoperates with the existing GoGrid infrastructure and includes preconfigured development environments which allows developers to build applications and publish them to Windows Azure.

GoGrid’s VP of Engineering, Paul Lappas, narrates the video below demonstrating the interoperability between GoGrid Cloud Infrastructure and the Windows Azure Platform:

GoGrid provides infrastructure services in the cloud allowing customers to rapidly deploy load-balanced and hybrid servers without purchasing costly hardware.

With the release of the Windows Azure™ platform, GoGrid wanted to extend its services and enable its customers to develop, test, deploy, and back up Windows Azure applications efficiently and cost-effectively.

The Windows Azure Application Lifecycle Management Service interoperates with the existing GoGrid infrastructure. With this pairing, Windows Developers enjoy a variety of advantages. For example:

(more…) «Rapidly Develop, Test & Deploy Windows Azure Applications using the GoGrid Cloud»