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AWS

Amazon's Elastic Block Store Explained

Now that Amazon's Elastic Block Store is live I thought it'd be helpful to explain all the ins and outs as well as how to use them. The official information about EBS is found on the AWS site. I've written about the significance of EBS before and I'll follow up with a post about some new use cases it enables . The Basics EBS starts out really simple. You create a volume from 1GB to 1TB in size...Read more

Amazon EC2 Reaches Next Level with Persistent Storage Volumes

The Amazon folks have gone public today with the next EC2 feature: persistent storage. The official information is found in Jeff Barr's blog entry and in Matt's forum post . Calling persistent storage a feature is an understatement - it revolutionizes EC2 and enables usage patterns that any big-iron SAN user would die for. The Basics What does this persistent storage look like? We've been testing...Read more

RightAws Release 1.7.0, Including ActiveSDB Alpha

We released a new version of our Ruby library gem for accessing AWS Services, including EC2, S3, SQS, and SDB: RightAws 1.7.0 is now available on RubyForge . This version includes enhancements of the EC2 interface to support elastic IP addresses, selectable kernels, and availability zones. It also contains the first alpha release of ActiveSDB, which is a new ActiveResource-like interface for...Read more

RightScale for Amazon EC2 Elastic IP Address & Availability Zones

The cloud is accelerating past terrestrial hosting! Today, Amazon unveiled some major upgrades to its service: Elastic IP addresses, Availability Zones, and selectable kernels. The first two are particularly important because they not only eliminate one of the remaining deficiencies of the service, but provide better functionality than what is currently available in common hosting services...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

Amazon's Communication is Improving

One of the most often heard complaints about Amazon Web Services is the lack of communication about service status and issues. The community has been pretty vocal about this and the company is committed to improving. So it was nice to see the following response to a minor incident the other day posted on the forum : Following up with more information about this morning's event. At 1:31am PST, a...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

Deploying Many Rails Sites onto Amazon EC2

One of our customers is deploying many Rails sites onto EC2 - more precisely, many instances of virtually the same site. Basically it has a Rails application and tweaks it for each individual site it sets up. EC2 is a wonderful deployment platform for this type of business because there is little friction in adding customers, since it takes just one button press to get more servers. The overall...Read more

Setting Up Sites on EC2 with RightScale

The key to a successful site setup on Amazon EC2 are scalability and redundancy. RightScale makes this easy by providing ServerTemplates and multi-server deployments. To get started, let's take the simplest case: a single-server setup. We have a free Rails all-in-one ServerTemplate that is excellent not just to play around with, but also to use as development server, staging server, or even as...Read more

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