Peder Ulander, vice president of product marketing for cloud and open source solutions at Citrix, sees a trend among enterprise IT organizations to deliver not only infrastructure but also complete services on demand to make users more efficient and happier and IT more predictable and secure. Citrix created CloudStack, an open source IaaS platform that RightScale supports. In a session at last month’s RightScale Compute conference, Ulander talked about the philosophy and practice of delivering IT as a service (ITaaS).
If your organization maintains a traditional in-house data center, your local users probably get great performance, but what about your branch offices or your remote users, and what about users with mobile devices? Quality of experience is the real measure of how you’re performing, according to Ephraim Baron, director of enterprise cloud solutions at Equinix, and Jeff Dickey, senior vice president of cloud solutions at Redapt. At RightScale Compute last month, the two presented a session on how to improve cloud performance while reducing costs by leveraging the resources of a global data center provider.
One of the first steps that many organizations take when they begin thinking outside the data center is to convert physical servers to virtual machines. An array of Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) tools can help systems administrators inspect a physical server’s filesystems; package up the operating system, the applications, and the data; and create a virtual machine image for a virtualized environment to replace the physical server.
Systems administrators who have lived through this conversion process often ask us whether RightScale offers any virtual-to-cloud tools that similarly forklift servers from a virtualized environment to a cloud. We don’t, and a better question is what the business benefits of such a tool would be.
If you’ve read my previous articles on using RightScale to manage Windows Azure cloud infrastructure, you’ve made sense of your Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) and you’ve automated your development and test environment deployments using Windows Azure virtual machines and RightScale, but that’s not the last step in the process of successfully rolling out ongoing updates. In this third and final article, I’ll show you how to leverage the cloud to perform environment and configuration-level testing so you can stay ahead of the curve with the latest releases of the technologies you depend on.
Jarrett Appleby, COO for CoreSite, provided a different perspective than the usual view of the cloud at last month’s RightScale Compute conference. CoreSite is in the data center business, and Appleby said that from there, you get to see IT trends from the inside out. (For more on recent IT trends, check out the RightScale State of the Cloud Report 2013, which includes data and analysis on cloud adoption by enterprises in a dozen industries.)
In a session at RightScale Compute last month, Amazon Web Services Solutions Architect Miles Ward talked about architecting in high availability and fault tolerance using AWS and RightScale. He noted that fault tolerance can result from faults in facilities, hardware, networking, code, and people, and defined fault tolerance as the ability of a system to continue operating properly, though perhaps at a degraded level, if one or more components fail. But fault tolerance has to be automated, and that automation has to be tested, so you know to what extent and under what conditions you really are fault tolerant.
The cloud provides organizations with scalable resources on demand, but how does a company leverage the cloud to handle explosive growth? That was the issue facing The Resumator, which offers a cloud-based SaaS platform for collecting resumes and managing organizations’ hiring processes. In 2011 the company migrated its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and chose RightScale cloud management. Within a year, due in part to both the Obama and Romney campaigns’ tapping the company to manage their hiring, business exploded. Since last fall the company has handled more than 1.1 million resumes. With such rapid growth, The Resumator’s challenge has been to stay a step ahead of its customers’ demands.
At RightScale Compute last month, Evan Anderson, a technical lead on the Google Compute Engine (GCE) team, gave an introduction to the Google Cloud Platform, the company’s flagship cloud computing offering, and talked about how the RightScale cloud management platform complements GCE’s functionality.
If you travel enough, it’s only a matter of time. You’re facing a tight connection and when your first leg gets delayed it only gets tighter. Then you’re sprinting to your connecting gate, only to watch as they close the doors and push back from the gate without you.
On my way back from OpenStack Summit 2013 in Portland, where I spoke on Techniques for Managing your OpenStack Cloud, I had this exact experience. I knew it instantly — I was stranded. Of course, I’d missed flights in the past, I’d been delayed, you name it. But this time the flight I missed was the last one out for the night, with no other connecting flights to anywhere close to my destination.
My first reaction was “the infrastructure failed me.” I had done everything right, from booking my tickets to arriving on time and making it through security. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough, since forces beyond my control impeded my ability to travel successfully.
I’ve already introduced our RightScale State of the Cloud 2013 industry survey and talked about how the results show that the greater the level of maturity an organization has with cloud, the more benefits it gets from it. Another interesting finding is the link between DevOps and the cloud.