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Cloud Management Blog

Cloud Management Best Practices

Cluster Monitoring with Stacked Graphs and Heat Maps

Just in time to demo at the RightScale User Conference, we started a private beta of two new cluster monitoring features: stacked graphs and heat maps. We've been using them for a while internally and they've been invaluable to quickly determine the cause of issues. The idea behind these types of graphs is not new, but what we've been able to do is automate the back-end machinery that lets you...Read more

RightScale ServerTemplate Showdown

Package your favorite software as a ServerTemplate or simply contribute your best ServerTemplate to the cloud community to demonstrate your expertise and win an iPad! Having recently introduced publishing to our full user base we’re now having a contest to recognize the most valuable ServerTemplates published into the RightScale Library. We will pick a Most Innovative, Most Useful, and Most...Read more

Benchmarking Load Balancers in the Cloud

Load balancing is one of the technologies that virtually all our customers are using within EC2, and there is an increasing set of options available for doing it. We've been giving advice to our customers for years on what we've seen work but we finally decided to spend some time and do a real A-B benchmark comparison of a number of solutions. The result is a white paper Load Balancing in the...Read more

RightScale ServerTemplates Explained

One of the distinguishing features of RightScale is that from day one we've focused on automating the configuration management of servers. The reason is simple: you can't get the benefits of the cloud if you have to spend a lot of manual time configuring each launched server. The cloud itself only solves part of the problem: calling EC2's runInstances API is just the beginning of a rather complex...Read more

Top Cloud API Sins

Here is a short list of the top poor design decisions that I've seen in cloud APIs. Let me rephrase that: Here's a short list of the top API features that got in our way or simply didn't work for us. There may well be other use cases where these features make sense. Listing of resources without the details, e.g., a list-servers call that doesn't return all the details for each server. This makes...Read more

Enterprise-Class Software Available in the Cloud with RightScale

More and more enterprise-class software vendors are making their software available in the cloud and doing it through RightScale. Over the past two weeks the IBM DB2 team made DB2 Express-C v9.7 available, SpringSource published Hyperic HQ , and CohesiveFT published VPN-Cubed, all on the RightScale platform. Publishing software to the cloud is still a somewhat mysterious activity. While almost...Read more

The Skinny on Cloud Lock-In

The topic of cloud lock-in is getting quite some attention as of late, and it definitely needs to be a primary concern for anyone planning to move business critical applications to the cloud. (And who isn't planning on that these days?) Given all the different layers of cloud computing the conversation can quickly get more confusing than anything else. At Cloud Connect a few weeks ago the lock-in...Read more

Amazon Launches EC2 Console

Ever since AWS pre-announced that it was developing its own web-based console for EC2, we've been asked how it compares with RightScale. Now that it's released we can actually make an informed comparison. The one-sentence summary is that the current EC2 console is a control panel that gives you access to all EC2 functions, while RightScale is a complete management platform to design, deploy, and...Read more

Tracking Changes to Your Deployment

I'm sure you've had this experience: Your site worked great yesterday, and now it's acting up. Something's clearly broken. "Who changed what when !?!?" [expletive deleted] Of course many of our users have turned to us for help in those situations and we're listening (oh, and we have shouted the above words ourselves). Yesterday we released part one of the answer, which is to track changes to a...Read more

Setting Up a Fault-Tolerant Site with Amazon's Availability Zones

Amazon's Availability Zones are a fabulous new feature that allows users to assign instances to locations that are fault-tolerant from one another yet that have high bandwidth between each other. I wish I could have done something like that as easily when I was responsible for operations at Citrix Online and we had five datacenters worldwide. As I'll explain in this post, what Amazon actually...Read more

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