|By JP Morgenthal||
|October 24, 2014 08:00 PM EDT||
Regardless if you’ve migrated multiple applications or this is your first migration to a public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) you will want to run a small proof-of-concept to make sure that the basic elements of data flow operate as expected and your components will run in the IaaS environment. This week I spent some time experimenting with the three top IaaS offerings: Amazon AWS, Google Compute Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The architecture was relatively simple: three docker containers, one hosting a LAMP—Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP—stack running WordPress, one hosting Postfix mail server forwarding all mail, and one hosting CVS. The results of the testing were informative.
Google only offers a limited number of Linux versions by default, one of them is not Ubuntu, so I was forced to use Red Hat Enterprise. Luckily, the only thing that had to change was how to install Docker. Once Docker was installed, I created an Ubuntu layer and I was able to run my container builds. Google clearly had the best network performance of all three vendors. This was clear in how quickly the containers were able to pull from the various repositories. However, the issues of deploying these containers in this environment were soon apparent. The LAMP stack included a Secure Shell (SSH) interface that the host machine would not allow me to bind my Docker container to. This problem could not be overcome without significant rework and was required to finish the install. I put that aside and continued onto the Postfix container. That’s when it got real frustrating as I learned I could not bind the container to port 25 (SMTP). That’s right folks, the Gmail people don’t want you using their platform to build a mail server, go figure.
There’s a reason why AWS is the leader in cloud services, their user interface was the most elegant for building out the server environment that I designed. Moreover, their t1.micro edition was perfect for doing the early testing work without incurring a lot of charges and when I was done I was able to create a snapshot of that server and use it as the formation of an m3.medium. I selected the Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit EBS-backed machine image to start with, which greatly reduced the amount of data that Docker had to pull in order to formulate the base images. Since I already hosted my existing WordPress and CVS repository on Amazon, I set up an Elastic IP and just moved the association back and forth to test against jpmorgenthal.com, this greatly reduced the headache of setting up WordPress and Postfix since they required the domain name.
Of note, I was having a heck of a time getting my Postfix container running. I could connect to the server using localhost, but could not connect from my home development machine. I removed all firewalls and confirmed that the security rules allowed port 25. I checked the issue on the Interwebs and found others having the same issue. There was a common belief that AWS was block port 25. In truth they are not, but I did find out they limit outbound port 25 calls in an attempt to make sure that customers don’t shoot themselves in the foot and get identified as spammers. The real issue was that Comcast blocks outbound port 25, which I discovered by connecting through another t1.micro instance telnet session that worked fine. The bigger issue here is what is the responsibility of the cloud service provider to protect the credibility of the whole as AWS is doing with outbound email? Is it really they are trying to protect their clients or is it that they have an outbound SMTP mailing service that they want customers to use?
Total cost for using a mix of t1.micro and m3.medium with 15 GB EBS with Elastic IP and multiple snapshots over a period of 9 hours was a whopping $1.65
Microsoft, like Google, has excellent network performance and the performance of their smallest class of virtual servers also completed the process of building the LAMP container in a reasonable amount of time. Their portal interface was very intuitive for creating the Ubuntu server and they offered the option of using a password in addition to a x.509 certificate, which was a handy option that was not offered with Google or AWS. As with Amazon, once the containers were instantiated they performed well and were accessible across all ports that were exposed on the network interface.
Where Azure falls short today is in their networking. They do not have an Elastic IP service like Amazon, which made it very difficult to switch between the current server and the test environment. This would not bode well for dev/test scenarios where it would be useful to have a single DNS entry for the testing scripts and then just point that entry at the current test environment. It seems, based on some limited web searching, that customers really want dynamic IP addressing on Azure and Microsoft has not responded to this requirement.
Some quick notes on Docker. I found that the most success I had was when starting with a Dockerfile and doing my own builds to bootstrap an environment. This way facilitates that all the necessary ports that need to be exposed are set up appropriately and its easier to inject a foreground script that will keep the container alive after it is started. This latter point is key. A daemon-ized container requires that something be continually running in the foreground to keep the container alive. This can be done with a while..do script command handed to /bin/sh, but it’s far more effective to use the startup script that ensures all the necessary services have started and then goes into a wait loop. Also, if you do changes to your container once its started e.g. via SSH, remember to commit the changes when you exit the session or you will be repeating those steps the next time you run the container.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 7, 2016 07:00 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 709
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 326
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 354
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 344
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 540
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 6, 2016 11:00 AM EST Reads: 120
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 6, 2016 11:00 AM EST
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 6, 2016 09:00 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 6, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 331
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 774
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 406
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 839
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 923
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 717
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,135
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,201
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 798
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
Jan. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 774
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Jan. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,258