Archive for January, 2009

Aptana Cloud Podcast

January 26th, 2009 Comments off

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time on the phone with Kevin Hakman, the Director of Evangelism at Aptana.  Aptana makes the popular open source web development IDE, Aptana Studio and offers a cloud service for moving your web applications out to the cloud.

We had a great discussion where we talked about Aptana Studio, Aptana Jaxer and Aptana Cloud as well as some additional topics.  On the topic of the cloud service, we discussed pricing.  Aptana is one of the lowest, if not the lowest, of all the service providers out there.

You listen to the podcast here.

Some links to some of the topics we discussed in the podcast:

Let me know what you think?  If you have any questions you would like to have asked, let me know and I will forward them on to Kevin.


Cisco Unified Computing

January 22nd, 2009 Comments off
So Cisco has decided to enter the server market. They talk about unified computing, i.e. Unified compute management. They want to be the company that provides the oversight of data, network and compute power in your network.

I really thought we would be talking about vmware in that role by now.

I’m not sure that cisco has the right background for this role. Who else might?

Amazon SHOULD be working on that, at least in the AWS space. I’m not seeing it though.

IBM can and probably will at some point. IBM just isn’t the technology leader that they were at one point.

Oracle could do it but we won’t see them here for another 5 years (based on their prior track record).

Sun? Not anymore. MS? Only for Azure?  CA?  Don’t make me laugh.

Yep, vmware really screwed the pooch on this one. Looks like Cisco has figured out a way to make themselves relevant again. And they’re stealing the thunfer of so many companies who are better positioned.

Nice. I own cisco stock. :-)


Windows 7 – LiveMesh Still Works

January 11th, 2009 Comments off

I upgraded to Windows 7 today.  All is well in the cloud.  My Live Mesh still works.  I use Live Mesh to keep all of my writings in synch.  I tend to move from machine to machine as my needs change and I like to always have the latest version of my docs available.  This way, I do.

Click on the thumbnail for a better view.

While I am happy that Live Mesh does work, I am disappointed that Microsoft chose to remove the quick launch toolbar.  That just sucks (although there is a hack to add it back).  I sent feedback that I really wanted my quick launch toolbar back.


Finally – An Amazon AWS Management Console

January 11th, 2009 Comments off

I’ve been waiting for and Amazon built AWS management console for a long time now.  Ironically, it couldn’t come at a worse time.  I’m just about finished my AWS Cloud Computing book and now I have to figure out how to work in the console.

Anyway, this is a great thing for new users.  There are so many tools out there now that experienced developers will take their time and pick a favorite.  However, for new users, it’s nice that Amazon is offering the basic experience from a trusted source (themselves).

I played with the console a little bit.  It has a nice, easy interface.  It seems a bit cluttered compared to elasticfox or cloud studio but for a pure html page, it has a decent look and feel.  Personally, to me, Amazon is not known for their design instincts.  Great technology, look and feel not so much.

The important thing is “can you do what you need to do?” Actually, you can.  In addition to a decent layout, all of the EC2 features you might be looking for are already there.  S3, cloudfront, etc are TBD but EC2 is pretty much complete.

A really nice thing is that since the console is tied to your account, there’s no need for cutting and pasting secret keys.  That drove me nuts as a newbie.  Once you get the hang of what the keys are and when you need them, it’s really not that bad.  Again, as I said above, new users will really appreciate this.

Now, I guess I’ll go figure out where in the book the console will live.  I have a chapter on the command line tools.  At first I was thinking I would drop that and replace it with the console but since the console doesn’t have S3 and SQS support yet, I guess I should add a new chapter.


Transparent Clusters in the Cloud

January 7th, 2009 Comments off

3 Leaf Systems is working on a very interesting product that they call the next generation of server virtualization. Basically, they say they can take a pool of low cost commodity hardware and create a transparent cloud cluster.

3Leaf Systems enable a “cloud computing” environment to be built from low-cost commodity servers by providing virtualization of CPU & Memory for an entire server farm. With 3Leaf technology, a group of servers can look like one big server that has one pool of CPU processing and one pool of memory that can be dynamically allocated and/or repurposed to applications as needed, without any modifications to operating systems.

This is a very cool concept and one that I will be watching very carefully. Doing this at all is slick but doing it so that it performs will be a real trick. I can see how you could make this transparent to applications. I mean, even that would take a tremendous amount of engineering but it’s doable. To make it transparent to an OS is just kind of amazing. I’m trying to picture a hyper-hypervisor. A virtual machine that would manage the resources of many computers?

The 3Leaf Systems Virtual Computing Environment™ enables the dynamic allocation of commodity server resources in a manner transparent to existing operating systems, applications, data center operations, and security paradigms.

Using virtualization techniques, enterprise data centers have resolved the problems of over-provisioning and excessive hardware and software platforms. The 3Leaf Systems’ V-8000 aggregates network and storage resources, enabling dynamic allocation of I/O bandwidth when and where it is needed to further enhance virtualization utility and manageability.

You can get some white papers on the concepts and coming products.

I’ve contacted the company and they followed up with me. As soon as I have some available bandwidth, I’m hoping to get a podcast with some of their engineers and get some details about how this works.

I could see something like this really moving cloud computing (especially private clouds) into the mainstream.


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