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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing

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

Cloud API Requirements

Does a standard cloud API makes sense? I'm still of the opinion that there is too much diversity out there and that the time is not ripe yet. There are many indispensable features in Amazon EC2 that no-one else has implemented at scale or for which there is no different take. The whole EBS feature set is one example. Image sharing and publishing is another one. Elastic IPs is another example...Read more

Bid for Your Instances!

We're clearly witnessing a year-end release finale at AWS with another big release tonight: EC2 spot instance pricing. Spot instance pricing is the third pricing model introduced by Amazon after the original per-hour price (now called "on-demand"), then the "reserved" instance pricing and now a supply and demand driven "spot" pricing. As far as I know, this is the first step on a large scale...Read more

Amazon EC2 - A New Chapter Begins

Tonight Amazon made a milestone release introducing the ability to boot instances from an EBS volume and stop and start instances. In addition, just a few weeks after announcing plans to expand AWS to the Far East, today it has moved west and made a U.S. West Coast cloud available. (Does Amazon need a compass?) For the AWS view on all this see Werner's Blog as well as Jeff Barr's postings . But...Read more

Gartner Prediction Misses Today's Enterprise Cloud Action

John Foley blogs about an interesting Gartner report that gives cloud computing up to 2015 for "mainstream enterprise adoption." He describes it as "a surprisingly conservative forecast for business adoption of cloud computing services." I actually thought the timelines were quite rapid and that we're just not sure about what Gartner means by "mainstream." The Gartner report misses a lot of the...Read more

Cloud Computing Wouldn't Exist Without Open Source

I'm at OSCON this week drinking from the open source fountain that made RightScale possible. In talking to Tim O'Reilly I noticed that he hadn't realized how integral open source is to the cloud, so maybe this fact isn't as obvious as I thought. Cloud computing is all about the flexibility to launch and terminate servers on demand, or more generally, to acquire and release resources on demand...Read more

Cloud Computing vs. Grid Computing

Recently Rich Wolski ( UCSB Eucalyptus project ) and I were discussing grid computing vs. cloud computing. An observation he made makes a lot of sense to me. Since he doesn't blog, let me repeat here what he said. Grid computing has been used in environments where users make few but large allocation requests. For example, a lab may have a thousand-node cluster and users make allocations for all 1...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


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