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Cloud Management Blog

Cloud Management Best Practices

Cloud Management Best Practices

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

DNS, Elastic IPs (EIP) and How Things Fit When Upgrading a Server

Amazon's new Elastic IP (EIP) addresses allow users to allocate an IP address and assign it to an instance of their choice. What's really cool is that each IP address can be reassigned to a different instance when needed. For example, if the first one failed or if a new one is supposed to take its place. Before going into an example, let's review how the Elastic IPs work: You can allocate up to 5...Read more

Top Reasons Amazon EC2 Instances Disappear

The fact that Amazon says up-front that computers fail seems to be the number one concern and criticism of EC2, especially from people who have not used it extensively. I don't actually spend much time thinking about that because in our experience it's not something to worry about. It's essential to take into account when designing a system; whenever we set something up on a machine we...Read more

More Rails on Amazon EC2 with RightScale

We've had a number of users getting going with our Rails-all-in-one ServerTemplate , and from the questions we've received it's clearly time to cover some more advanced topics. Database Backups The template does include automatic database backups but you need to provide the necessary information to enable them. Edit the template before launching the server and fill in the `DB_MYSQLDUMP_BUCKET`, `...Read more

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