Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

 

Things to Think About When Building Secure Infrastructure

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 by

Whether you’re a small, medium or enterprise company using cloud solutions, using secure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a must. A couple weeks ago I shared some survey data showing you the average security and compliance requirements from professionals in the IT industry. The results of the survey clearly shows that security is a forethought for most businesses, but just like the term “cloud”, “security” can be a bit of a buzz word if not given proper context.

When thinking about security and potentially compliance within an IT environment, there are a lot of important items to consider; some of these can be “offloaded” to your provider, but others are your own undertaking completely. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is your “customer”? – Is your customer, your end user? Or is it your internal organization? More than likely, it is both. Do these “customers” require different levels of security? If so, what are they?
  2. What level of security is “acceptable”? – This varies from company to company. Some organizations like healthcare or government must adhere to extremely strict security (and compliance) requirements, while other businesses might have more leeway when it comes to protecting their assets.
  3. Who in your organization is responsible for security? – Is there a particular team that is tasked with not only determining the security requirements, but also maintaining and auditing those requirements and activities over time?
  4. Is physical security required? – Do you need to physically audit and control your environment? Remember, while clouds are highly virtualized or abstracted, the providers are physical entities. Does your cloud environment need to be physically isolated from other cloud environments? (If so, you might want to consider a Hosted Private Cloud)
  5. Does your company have their security best practices carefully documented? – If they do, you should review it with a critical eye to ensure that it reflects changes in technologies.

To the last point above, the most important philosophy for businesses to understand is that security isn’t a destination – it is a process that takes constant iteration and innovation. Regardless what cloud provider you use (or even if you use traditional in-house infrastructure), this mentality is important to maintaining infrastructure security and compliance.

There are two core levels where security is critical: (more…) «Things to Think About When Building Secure Infrastructure»

GoGrid and GigaOM Structure 2011 Recap – Thought-Leadership in the Cloud

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by

Last week, the 4th annual GigaOM Structure conference was held in Northern California and GoGrid was part of the show in many ways not only as a sponsor but also active in a variety of panels. This was our 4th Structure conference that we attended and 3rd that we have sponsored…so I guess you can say that we have been there from the start and support the efforts of the GigaOM team. Structure is GigaOM’s “flagship conference on Cloud Computing and Internet Infrastructure” and we have seen the conference grow from a single day to this year’s two day sold-out conference.

What struck me and my colleagues most about this show is the professional and technical level of the attendees. This was not a show of cloud or IaaS “tire kickers”, these were people and businesses who knew their stuff about cloud computing and who were bringing value to the cloud (not diluting the term “cloud” like we are seeing in the mainstream media, in TV commercials and elsewhere). This was a partnership-making event. You could just feel the deals being drafted out in the hallways between sessions.

Structure2011_IaaS-panel
(image source: GigaOM)

But Structure 2011 was also an educational event, with carefully chosen speakers and panels providing thought-leadership ideas and commentary to a captive audience. I’m not going to discuss each and every session in this article, simply because GigaOM already has that covered. However, because GoGrid was an active in the event, I did want to provide a brief recap of two sessions that we were part of:

  • “Dedicated, In More Ways Than One: The IaaS Panel”
  • “The What, How and Why of Secure SaaS Delivery – GoGrid and Orange Business Services Discuss the Hosted Private Cloud as the Enabler”

The IaaS Panel was hosted by Paul Miller, Founder of Cloud of Data. On the panel with Paul was our very on John Keagy, Executive Chair and Founder of GoGrid; Chris Pinkham, Co-Founder and CEO of Nimbula; and Duke Skarda, CTO of SoftLayer. You can watch the full panel discussion in the video below.

(more…) «GoGrid and GigaOM Structure 2011 Recap – Thought-Leadership in the Cloud»

Intel’s Latest Generation Microarchitecture, Codenamed “Nehalem” to Power GoGrid Cloud

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 by

GoGrid is “suping up” its CPU architecture. Within the next few months, we will be rolling out new infrastructure using next-generation Intel microarchitecture, specifically the Nehalem 5500 line. Recently, we have been running a series of internal tests as we evaluate Intel’s new multi-core performance as enabled within these CPU chipsets.

Nehalem & GoGrid

I spent some time with Telemachus Luu, GoGrid’s Director of Business Strategy, and a senior-level GoGrid cloud architect in order to better understand what this means to GoGrid and its customers. I won’t bore you with overly technical details, if you do have any technical questions about the Nehalem processor or how GoGrid will be using it, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

There are three main items that were outlined to me, specifically:

  1. Increased Memory Bandwidth – For GoGrid users who have larger Virtual Machines that are processing a great deal of data (e.g., financial analysis or large database queries), those users will see a definite benefit with better memory handling.
  2. HyperThreading – By utilizing HyperThreading, GoGrid is able to provide a better ratio of CPU processing elements (in the form of cores or threads) to our customers. This means that under heavy VM CPU loads, the scheduling latency improves.
  3. Extended Paging Tables (EPT) – By using Extended Paging Tables and architecting appropriately, some of the critical memory management work that would have been done in the software layer can now be largely performed within the hardware itself.

However, in my discussions, I also picked up some other interesting tech tidbits that make a lot of sense. For example, there is a definite advantage of using the HT/Virtual Cores of the Nehalem processor versus just throwing in other older chipsets. You can, for example, get 30% “more” out of a virtualized core that uses only 5% more silicon than you can by simply adding more physical CPUs. Also, you can pack more cores (physical and virtual) within a server using the Nehalem than you could with the previous generation Intel chipsets.

(more…) «Intel’s Latest Generation Microarchitecture, Codenamed “Nehalem” to Power GoGrid Cloud»

Vote for GoGrid in the 2009 Webware 100!

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 by

C|net and Webware have announced their list of user-submitted nominations for the 2009 Webware 100. Of the numerous nominations, GoGrid was then later selected by the Webware editors as one of the final 100 in the list. This is a “People’s Choice” type of award around the best Web 2.0 applications and services. More information about the Webware 100 can be found here.

To jump right to the voting for GoGrid, under the Infrastructure & Storage category, please click here or click the logo below.

webware100-09_vote_l

There are 10 categories that users can vote on, as well as an 11th category where the Webware editors select an additional winner. The categories are:

  • Audio and music: Music streaming and download, podcasting, audio book services, recommendation systems.
  • Browsing: Tools to access online content, including browsers, start pages, RSS readers, widgets, and runtime engines
  • Commerce: Retail, auctions, marketplaces, travel, event tickets, and real estate
  • Communications: E-mail, chat, voice
  • Infrastructure and storage: Web app platforms and tools; online storage and synchronization products
  • Location-based services: Mapping, friend finders, business locators, geographic services (new category for 2009)
  • Photo and video: Photo storage, sharing, and editing; video storage, playback, streaming, editing, and animation
  • Productivity: Tools for work and organization
  • Search and reference: Data and ways to find it; search tools and knowledge repositories like wikis
  • Social and publishing: Social networking, shared online environments, content management, blogging, and micro-blogging
  • Editors’ awards: To be announced, but these will include awards for up-and-coming products, design, innovative use of technology, and so on.

GoGrid was nominated under the “Infrastructure and storage” category and we couldn’t be happier. We have been providing Infrastructure “in the Cloud” since our launch at the beginning of 2008. Others have already “seen the light” as evidenced by our Linux World 2008 Product Excellence Award of BEST OF SHOW.”

(more…) «Vote for GoGrid in the 2009 Webware 100!»

Measuring the Performance of Clouds – GoGrid

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 by

Raditha Dissanayake posted a blog entry comparing Amazon EC2 and GoGrid performance. Unfortunately, we think Raditha did not use the most rigorous methodology possible for doing his comparison. It would be inappropriate for GoGrid to performance test Amazon’s EC2. In fact, their Customer Agreement may actually make such activity questionable, but IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).

Let’s take a more rigorous look at GoGrid disk subsystem performance.

Framing the Issue

As a start the entire issue is a LOT more complex than can potentially be covered here. Today’s disks, hard drive controllers, and operating systems have many different kinds of caching mechanisms. In addition, virtualization systems like Xen can impact results in unexpected ways. For example, did you know that Xen can be deployed in two major manners?

Either ‘paravirtualized’ or ‘hardware virtualized’. The two different models almost certainly impact any testing methodology. And yes, you guessed it, Amazon and GoGrid don’t configure Xen in the same way. Amazon uses paravirtualization and GoGrid uses hardware virtualization. Beyond this public information neither Amazon nor GoGrid provide significant details about their infrastructure considering it, rightfully so, proprietary intellectual property.

Without a deep understanding of all of the issues it’s difficult to do a test much less a proper comparison.

(more…) «Measuring the Performance of Clouds – GoGrid»