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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud Computing’

 

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»

How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by

Creating an auto-scaling web application is an ideal use of cloud computing. Although manually scaling your infrastructure is easy in the GoGrid cloud, programmatically controlling your infrastructure to scale automatically is an even better example of the power of the cloud. This scenario–an application that can increase and decrease its server count, and therefore capacity, based on the load it’s experiencing at any given time–makes IT professionals, sysadmins, and application developers alike extremely happy. And it’s also something you can build using out-of-the-box tools in GoGrid.

We’ve divided this topic into two articles:

Part 1 (this article) – The Theory of Auto-Scaling:

  • Background: traditional vs. cloud hosting
  • Programmatically architecting a solution
  • The underlying Orchestration methodology

Part 2 – A Proof of Concept of Auto-Scaling:

  • Do-it-yourself Orchestration
  • Proof-of-concept examples

(more…) «How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)»

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

Friday, April 12th, 2013 by

In most cases, cloud computing can replace traditional data center infrastructure solutions for less money, making them an affordable alternative for maintaining and potentially improving operations in today’s unpredictable economy. However, these financial benefits are only achieved when decision-makers take the time to plan the deployments carefully and understand the fundamentals of how their organizations carry out mission-critical tasks.

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

A recent InformationWeek report highlighted how many cloud implementations are underutilized, largely because executives impulsively migrate to the hosted environments without first identifying best practices for optimizing the services. This means that many of the cloud’s potential financial opportunities are discarded, making the technology less efficient than it can be.

Several technology evangelists told InformationWeek that cloud vendors love charging less than traditional service providers, as doing so gives them the opportunity to reach new customers and introduce significant improvements to internal operations. When executives over​-provision the hosted services, however, organizations are forced to pay for unused resources, diminishing some of the cost-saving opportunities. Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent these challenges.

Ensuring the cloud delivers financial benefits
Understanding and monitoring usage is among the best ways to ensure a cloud infrastructure is able to capitalize on all of the financial perks the technology is widely known for, InformationWeek stated. Decision-makers should not simply pick a random budget and assume each month is the same. Instead, IT directors should observe how the environments are used and whether certain months or time periods require individuals to consume more resources. If a company is using fewer tools than initially expected, executives need to understand why.

In addition to consolidating all cloud services through a single provider, which may qualify for some price breaks, organizations should think about how they can use the cloud to optimize servers, according to the news source. Many cloud vendors today offer automated scaling services, which enable firms to use more infrastructure tools when they are needed and deactivate those same assets when they are not necessary. This means many solutions will no longer be running 24-hours a day, allowing businesses to reduce maintenance expenses.

(more…) «Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities»

Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by

In the past, small businesses and large enterprises both solely used on-premise data centers because they were the only real technology available for decision-makers looking to improve operations through the use of digital technologies. Today is much different, as many organizations are now migrating massive workloads to external cloud computing environments in an attempt to reduce costs, relieve internal stress and ensure individuals have access to mission-critical resources from virtually anywhere at any time.

Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Yet decision-makers are still unsure which route to take in their deployment of the “next-generation data center.” In some cases, executives will continue migrating operations to external cloud-based environments, while others will keep sensitive information on internal clouds. Others still will adopt a hybrid approach, in which both internal and external clouds are used. The question remains, which method will be the most effective for 21st century companies?

In reality, this question can only be answered when decision-makers understand how their organization works. If an enterprise is pursuing teleworking trends, which enable employees to work from anywhere, the public cloud can introduce significant benefits. Because the hosted environments are managed by a third party, they are accessible via any device from any location. This means individuals in a coffee shop down the street can access the same resources as colleagues working inside the office – if they are authorized to view the same content, that is.

Conversely, if an organization is charged with managing highly sensitive information that can cause substantial problems if released, the private cloud may be a better option. Private services are not multi-tenant environments like their public counterparts, making it less likely that confidential data will be exposed.

Still, companies often take various approaches when augmenting their data center.

(more…) «Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers»

The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 by

Public clouds are fantastic for a majority of infrastructure use cases. And interconnectivity between clouds enables myriad solutions to empower businesses to have multiple synchronized points of presence across the world. Companies can easily set up connections that traverse the public Internet as a means to transmit and potentially synchronize data between cloud data centers. But these connections need to be reliable and more often than not, private.

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

With public network connections between clouds, users are at the mercy of hops and latency. For example, data may take one route with a particular number of hops, and a second later, may follow a completely different path and take a longer or shorter amount of time based on the connection.

In terms of securing the transport, some companies rely on point-to-point VPN connections using a hardware or software solution or some combination of the two. However, these solutions are also constrained by the connection and have limited speeds.

There are some scenarios or use cases that warrant using dedicated private networking to join geographically dispersed clouds. This is where GoGrid’s CloudLink service comes into play.

GoGrid’s CloudLink is a data center interconnect product—a redundant 10 Gbps pipe that is isolated to GoGrid traffic only. CloudLink enables private network traffic between different servers in GoGrid’s US data centers. As part of our “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy” mission, we designed this service to be basic yet powerful and still meet the needs of demanding organizations. Because this is a private network, much like the private network within GoGrid’s standard cloud infrastructure, there are no bandwidth costs. You simply decide on the connection speed (10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, or 1 Gbps), configure your connection, and pay for just the dedicated connection. (more…) «The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink»