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  1. #1

    Site, not instance cloud computing options?

    What are the different site cloud computing options out there? (aka, I'm not "launching" and managing instances but instead I'm just treating it as "one" server that can grow into whatever I need it to)

  2. #2
    The cloud term can be confusing and many vendors use their own definition. If you plan on having a "long term" server make sure you have a plan that does not charge per time usage like gogrid. Amazon has a decent plan but a minimum RAM purchase. Depending on what you are looking at doing, a quality VPS may take care of what you are looking for.
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  3. #3
    vps won't work. we want to go from 5 httpd servers & 1 mysql to "one" cloud server

  4. #4
    Just a small FYI. Most clouds are VPS servers. GoGrid runs Xen.
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  5. #5
    ah ok, i thought you were thinking part of server vpn thing.

    Other than gogrid, any other ones you would recommend?

  6. #6
    No, I did not mean VPN....

    I have several customers who use the Amazon cloud for short term usage. Unless you are looking into using a cloud for a specific reason, ie short term usage, I personally do not recommend using a cloud. Current cloud products tend to be a bit more expensive than Virtual Private Servers. I would instead recommend infrastructure providers that specialize in clustered virtualization.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendzipr View Post
    No, I did not mean VPN....

    I have several customers who use the Amazon cloud for short term usage. Unless you are looking into using a cloud for a specific reason, ie short term usage, I personally do not recommend using a cloud. Current cloud products tend to be a bit more expensive than Virtual Private Servers. I would instead recommend infrastructure providers that specialize in clustered virtualization.
    clustered virtualization, how does this differ from amazon?
    Kevin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrLister View Post
    What are the different site cloud computing options out there? (aka, I'm not "launching" and managing instances but instead I'm just treating it as "one" server that can grow into whatever I need it to)
    Have you considered Mosso? Assuming you are hosting websites that is.
    Kevin

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLister View Post
    vps won't work. we want to go from 5 httpd servers & 1 mysql to "one" cloud server
    Doesn't really work that way.

    The magical "cloud" is just a bunch of VPS's with a fancy billing interface.

    You can't really consolidate 6 servers into 1 "cloud" hosting account.

  10. #10
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    It sounds like the Cloud Sites platform from the Rackspace Cloud might be exactly what you are looking for. If you don't require full complete control over the web servers and MySQL server directly you can simply upload your web application and database and it will be scaled up/down across multiple physical servers, completely automated depending on traffic. You don't have to lift a finger, and from your perspective, it is all in "one" location. The entire platform is fully managed/maintained except for your specific app/website code. Might be a match made in heaven

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckeck View Post
    It sounds like the Cloud Sites platform from the Rackspace Cloud might be exactly what you are looking for. If you don't require full complete control over the web servers and MySQL server directly you can simply upload your web application and database and it will be scaled up/down across multiple physical servers, completely automated depending on traffic. You don't have to lift a finger, and from your perspective, it is all in "one" location. The entire platform is fully managed/maintained except for your specific app/website code. Might be a match made in heaven

    Rackspaces "cloud" is slicehost which is xen, just like Amazons EC2.. xen..

    what is xen? virtualization. Yes oh my god VPS's have taken off....

    There was an artical the other day about who is the biggest "cloud" company. Oddly enough i think if it was godaddy? or hostgator if they renamed their "VPS" product to a "cloud" they would be #1.. Shinanagens I tell you.. all PR/marketing crap.

  12. #12
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    yeah, well - most clouds has added new billing structures, new ways of scaling up and down, new forms of redundancy and an easier way to move stuff around.

    But ya, most are *just* xen, thats what we use as well.


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  13. #13
    But Ditlev, these new billing structures aren't anything automatic. If I want a second vps with vps.net because I am planning a big traffic purchase for 2 days, I have to manually go an login to your control panel and buy this, right?

    Ok, provisioning might be automatic, but hey I've had auto provisioning for years.

    And at rackspace, softlayer, blah blah who else, I have to do the same thing. Or I have to be a programming whiz an interface with your api's to purchase a new vps/cloud instance... and then I have to be a bit of a server whiz to get mysql running on it properly and then tell my application to use that as the db server. Or get several vps instances and create myself a cluster, or web proxy etc etc.

    It doesn't just scale on it's own. You are stuck in a box of set configurations right now still too.

    There is no magic to it. At least, not yet.

    Give me automatic clustering or transparent process migration and bare metal performance. Then we have magic

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    Give me automatic clustering or transparent process migration and bare metal performance. Then we have magic

    I don't believe in magic - do you? I believe in good transparent redundant setup's that gives you flexibility and scalability instantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    But Ditlev, these new billing structures aren't anything automatic. If I want a second vps with vps.net because I am planning a big traffic purchase for 2 days, I have to manually go an login to your control panel and buy this, right?
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    Ok, provisioning might be automatic, but hey I've had auto provisioning for years.
    If you plan to buy a lot of traffic for 2 days, say 14 days for now, then you just tell our system to add a few nodes to your server(s) from that date to that date. You only pay for the resources for those 2 days...We call it scheduled bursting, and that can be done from our admin. It's a pretty cool feature.
    Like, if you have newsletters going out every Monday, and you know you have more traffic Tuesday, then just tell our system to add an extra node Tuesday, and take it away Wednesday. Have you been able to do that for years?

    We also have (in closed beta currently) an auto scaling feature saying: "if my server reaches xx load, for yy minutes, please add zz nodes". It's a pretty simple way of autoscaling - but it is there.

    That being said, the ability to buy resources (what we call nodes) and allocate it as you wish is what is the real "magic" here.

    So, say you buy 4 nodes from us, that would give you 4 independent units of 256mb ram, 400mhz cpu and 10gb storage each - that you can bundle and unbundle as you wish.
    So you can build 1 server with the full gig, 2 servers with 512mb each, 4 servers with 256mb each...you get the idea. And you can reallocate your resources at any time. You can even move the resources from cloud to cloud, so if you'd like 2 of those 'nodes' in UK and 2 in US - just point and click...Have you been able to do that for years? Instantly?

    Ya, we do have so much more on the way that will make this even cooler, but I think what we (not only VPS.NET - but the whole cloud-movement) are doing here will eventually turn out to be quite an amazing thing!


    D
    Last edited by eming; 08-16-2009 at 03:00 AM.
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  15. #15
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    Ditlev, I think what he's saying is that whilst he can provision extra instances easily enough, it doesn't mean his application automatically scales across those extra instances.

    Load-balancing, for example - he needs to setup an additional webserver and then add that web server to the pool in the load balancer configuration. But none of it happens automatically - he has to be on the ball and have some idea of when the spikes are likely to happen, or be able to be near a computer when he finds out they're happening. What if an article you wrote a month ago gets featured on Digg whilst you're away on holiday? :p
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazmanultra View Post
    What if an article you wrote a month ago gets featured on Digg whilst you're away on holiday? :p
    thats the whole point of the autoscaling setup that we have in (private) beta now.

    If your site get Dug, and you are away - and you have enabled autoburst, you've told the VPS.NET setup to "please, if my server has xx load for yy minutes, add zz nodes". You can cap it so cost does not go nuts if you are under attack etc.

    Yes, it is in private beta - but it will be out in the coming weeks.

    I am with you guys though, that what we are doing here is nothing that will revolutionize the web hosting industry, but to say it is not "new" isn't exactly correct.

    Lot of what we are doing have been around for a long time, sure - other things could be build using excisting technologies (after all, most cloud setups are build with pretty standard components).

    So, sure, you could build scalable setups before, you could autodeploy dedicated and virtual servers, you could use storage in your setup, you may even be able to setup selfhealing measures, and you could - if you wanted - perhaps even arrange billing to be utility based. But my point is that no-one seems to had done that in one package and offer it for sub $20/month before the cloud guys went live.

    So, the new stuff might not be in terms of technology, but in a change of paradigms, ie. the way the technology is utilized and deployed.


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  17. #17
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    That sounds very exciting Ditlev. I'm very impressed with the speed at which UK2/VPS.net are moving forward with new things.

    Does VPS.net allow you to bill per hour or perhaps per day of an instance? E.g. you load up credits on your account, and then you can start and stop instances as you wish with the amount of time an instance is running being deducted from your balance every 24 hours or something? That would be a very cool feature.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazmanultra View Post
    That sounds very exciting Ditlev. I'm very impressed with the speed at which UK2/VPS.net are moving forward with new things.

    Does VPS.net allow you to bill per hour or perhaps per day of an instance? E.g. you load up credits on your account, and then you can start and stop instances as you wish with the amount of time an instance is running being deducted from your balance every 24 hours or something? That would be a very cool feature.
    thanks

    we decided against the whole hour thing. Our - UK2Group's - focus has always been mass market hosting, and our clients would be confused honestly. Hehe - I know I would.

    I mean, if we asked our clients for how many Ram hours they would need, or cpu cycle's etc - that's not how it should be presented I feel. At least not in our end of the market.

    Seriously, cloud computing should be for the mass market, thats where the benefit would be biggest. The enterprises already can afford to pay for clustering, full redundancy etc etc - the way we've tried to launch this is to bring the cloud to the masses, and make sure they can understand what's going on, and that the price is at their level.

    What we've really tried here is to simplifly the whole cloud - commoditize it if you will.

    To answer your question though, we do allow for daily servers to be setup. So you can add a server for a day, kill it again, and only pay for that day.


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendzipr View Post
    Current cloud products tend to be a bit more expensive than Virtual Private Servers
    Which is odd, as most peoples "cloud" offerings are just a VPS you rent by the hour not month ...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by othellotech View Post
    Which is odd, as most peoples "cloud" offerings are just a VPS you rent by the hour not month ...
    well, yes and no...

    A guesstimate is that the avg. openVZ or virtuozzo VPS provider oversells by 50% or more. So, every server deployed is sold at least 1.5 times. That's like putting an extra ~250 passengers in a fully packed 747 jumbo jet.

    Now, running a cloud offering is very different. For starters you are typically based on Xen, most are anyway, and that makes standard overselling a whole lot harder - and typically eliminates overselling all together.

    To make matters worse though, the offering of cloud computing dictates that clients can scale up and down as needed, and only pay for their actual usage. Typically clients have weekly or monthly 2-300% peaks in their usage levels.

    That actually turn around the business model 360', as cloud clients always expect the extra capacity to be available - but they will only pay for it when they need it. So, not only is overselling close to impossible, but clients expect spare capacity to be available for free. Ie. with cloudhosting the typical shared/VPS hosting model has been turned around from providers overselling to clients underpaying.

    Cloud providers needs to keep at least 30% surplus available for bursts - so density go from 1.5 on traditional VZ based VPS's, to .7 on cloud hosting.

    Going back to the 747, that would mean only packing the Jumbo Jet 70% full, as you should expect that the passenger numbers might grow while airborne midflight

    That will obviously have an impact on cost/prices.


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    A guesstimate is that the avg. openVZ or virtuozzo VPS provider oversells by 50% or more
    Never used the former, and long since dumped the latter, but I'm aware of a number of VPS providers utilising virtu-no-go who are stacking *hundreds* of clients on low-to-middle range hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    That actually turn around the business model 360', as cloud clients always expect the extra capacity to be available - but they will only pay for it when they need it. So, not only is overselling close to impossible, but clients expect spare capacity to be available for free
    Which we all know they're not going to get - as was proven last week @ HostingCon - RS dont even know how much of their capacity is "available" if any, SL run at least 94% utilised, which doesnt leave a massive overhead for multiple clients to burst in either processing or transfer simultaneously...

    No datacentre is going to leave a hundred of machines idle "in case" a client requires them, and even if they did, whats the solution for the client that wants 101 ? The problems are exactly the same as for the provisioning of dedicated servers - and if they're not, then you're doing your dedi's wrong :p

    I say this as a provider of clustered systems for over 8 years, VPS for over 5, dedicateds for 10 - the only thing "new" in this "paradigm" is the ability to multi-charge and oversell the hardware !

    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    with cloudhosting the typical shared/VPS hosting model has been turned around from providers overselling to clients underpaying.
    Several notable analysts checking peoples pricing and price-models simply shows that its more a shift to price-gouging of people who dont plan properly

    Hell, we cant even get more than 2/6 "cloud" providers at a round-table to even agree what a cloud is ...

    Burstable CPU on a VPS is not new - VZ has offered that since 2003, Burstable BW is not new - anyone with their own network can do that - automated failover is not new, neither is load balancing, or proxing connections or whatever.

    What "utility computing" needs is properly planned and designed applications to horizontally scale across multiple cpu's keeping state and communicating "hive-mind" with each other to obtain additional resource as needed - something the seti program has been working on/with for 10 years and is still a decade away.

    Just my tuppenth
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by othellotech View Post
    Which is odd, as most peoples "cloud" offerings are just a VPS you rent by the hour not month ...
    Yes absolutely correct but if you have a server which is online 24x7x365, cloud computing by the hour can cost you 2-4x more than a traditional VPS.
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  23. #23
    Ditlev,

    Honestly, sounds like some good features you have coming online. But that only addresses clients who need to scale up to 15 of your "nodes" and they they've filled up 1 physical server? After they've reached the max size of 15 nodes for their instance, won't they need a second instance and then they have to perform some clustering/load balancing magic?

    I have a project plan on a whiteboard in my office for 18 months of how I would build a cloud. The stumbling block has been how to scale past the physical "node"? The answer is that you need to cluster or load balance and that makes it unusable for your average consumer and leaves the "cloud" usable only for small sites (who would be better served on basic shared hosting anyways) or for developers & admins.

    Plus the fact that you need network attached storage and are using virtualisation means you have less then bare metal performance.

    For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of what you guys are doing with vps.net. oh and for the record, I don't believe in magic but my clients do. To them hosting is a big black box... and they don't really care how we accomplish what we do, as long as it works well.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    I have a project plan on a whiteboard in my office for 18 months of how I would build a cloud. The stumbling block has been how to scale past the physical "node"? The answer is that you need to cluster or load balance and that makes it unusable for your average consumer and leaves the "cloud" usable only for small sites (who would be better served on basic shared hosting anyways) or for developers & admins.
    This is the problem readily encountered by most people - not everyone has the technological know how to setup MySQL clustering or a load balancing setup (and the complexities that go with SSL and load balancing etc). Getting up and running with those is far from trivial.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    Ditlev,

    Honestly, sounds like some good features you have coming online. But that only addresses clients who need to scale up to 15 of your "nodes" and they they've filled up 1 physical server? After they've reached the max size of 15 nodes for their instance, won't they need a second instance and then they have to perform some clustering/load balancing magic?

    I have a project plan on a whiteboard in my office for 18 months of how I would build a cloud. The stumbling block has been how to scale past the physical "node"? The answer is that you need to cluster or load balance and that makes it unusable for your average consumer and leaves the "cloud" usable only for small sites (who would be better served on basic shared hosting anyways) or for developers & admins.

    Plus the fact that you need network attached storage and are using virtualisation means you have less then bare metal performance.

    For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of what you guys are doing with vps.net. oh and for the record, I don't believe in magic but my clients do. To them hosting is a big black box... and they don't really care how we accomplish what we do, as long as it works well.
    yup - you are still tied to the physical hypervisor, in terms of ram/cpu anyway. In our case that maxes out at 60-120 nodes though - not 15
    So, it wouldnt be a small shared hosting like site, but a pretty beefy one. Also, most of our clients tend to split up DB's/webserver/mailserver/etc on different vm's, so that would be 1-4 x 120 nodes.

    Clients typically start with 1-2 nodes for the mysql vm, and perhaps a 3-4 node server for the frontend stuff. That allows them to burst/autoscale up to a MAX of 240 nodes...more than most of the clients in our end (SMB/SOHO segment) of the market would ever need. Some also mix it with our CDN and leave all the static/flash/mov's there, that takes a lot of load and I/O away from the server setup, and give you an even very scalable/redundant solution.

    Sure - big enterprises might not be fully able to move their solution to us. But as an example, www.UK2.net (with 120-150k unique/day) would do just fine on a setup like VPS.NET.


    D
    Last edited by eming; 08-17-2009 at 12:12 PM.
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by eming View Post
    yup - you are still tied to the physical hypervisor, in terms of ram/cpu anyway. In our case that maxes out at 60-120 nodes though - not 15
    Booo! That's just encouraging people to scale vertically rather than horizontally
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  27. #27
    Ahh sorry Ditlev, matter of of confusion on number of nodes - I was thinking 1gb ram = 1 node. VPS.net offers 256mb of ram and calls it a node... same difference!

    So yah, 60 nodes or 120 nodes... definitely getting nicer with 120 nodes but, and again, jmho; every client I know who requires this much ram (32gb) requires the beautiful performance that the beastly server beneath it delivers. And of course, we know that the hypervisor causes some latency.

    True, with CDN it can lessen the impact of that greedy hypervisor.

    But at that point honestly, I can't see the cost savings yet

    However I DO agree that you guys are building out something very cool. I DO think in a short period of time cloud offerings will bring a ton of value to the table for nearly everyone. I just think it's not yet.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    Ahh sorry Ditlev, matter of of confusion on number of nodes - I was thinking 1gb ram = 1 node. VPS.net offers 256mb of ram and calls it a node... same difference!
    yeah, we call them nodes as clients can actually setup every node as an individual server - or they can bundle the nodes into larger servers.


    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    But at that point honestly, I can't see the cost savings yet
    True, you can get cheaper vz based traditional vps's - even some XEN based on at lower cost than ours. You can also get dedicated servers cheaper than ours.
    We did not build VPS.NET to provide the absolutely cheapest option.
    Quote Originally Posted by lostmind View Post
    However I DO agree that you guys are building out something very cool. I DO think in a short period of time cloud offerings will bring a ton of value to the table for nearly everyone. I just think it's not yet.
    Thanks - we are having a great time building it for sure!



    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

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