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Posts Tagged ‘public cloud

Virtual disk (VM) transfers in the cloud

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VM Transfer workflow

There are two sets of use cases:

  1. Within a development team
  2. Within IT

Development teams:

Developers carry between one to three VM’s on their laptops. They often transfer them to other developers/QA Engineers in their own team, or other teams for integration testing.

IT (regular file transfer, no streaming):

IT receives a VM that is packaged and ready for deployment – either developed by an in-house/contracting application development team, or buys it from an external vendor.

The VM is transferred to a staging (pre-production) fileshare from which it can be loaded on to one or more test servers.

When the app within the VM passes acceptance tests, it is transferred to a production fileshare, from which it can be loaded on to one or more production servers.

The VM can also be transferred to archival storage.

Written by paule1s

September 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Amazon EC2 announces developer toolkit for Eclipse IDE

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I received the email annoucement from Amazon ec2 earlier today:

We are excited today to introduce the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, a plug-in for the Eclipse Java IDE that makes it easier to develop, deploy, and debug Java applications on Amazon Web Services. With the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, you’ll be able to get started faster and be more productive when building AWS applications.

The initial launch of the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse is targeted at Amazon EC2 developers and provides basic management features along with tools for deploying and debugging Java web applications.

The AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, based on the Eclipse Web Tools Platform, guides Java developers through common workflows and automates tool configuration, such as setting up remote debugger connections and managing Tomcat containers. The steps to configure Tomcat servers, run applications on Amazon EC2, and debug the software remotely are now done seamlessly through the Eclipse IDE.

You can read the detailed announcement here and also download the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse.

Written by paule1s

March 25, 2009 at 8:03 pm

How credible is EC2’s competition?

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Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (ec2) is offering over 1500 AMI’s (virtual appliances). It’s recent foray into Europe highlights its aggressive pursuit of a land grab strategy. So, what has its competition in the US been up to? Every major web hosting vendor has announced a cloud initiative:

Amazon’s ec2 is nearly three years old now (Mar 2006) and competition has started appearing on the horizon just over the past year. If you look at the timescale of announcements,

  • Rackspace’s Mosso is just over a year old (Feb 2008),
  • Terremark’s cloud is nine months old (June 2008),
  • AT&T’s cloud is seven months old (Aug 2008),
  • IBM’s AMI launch on ec2 and Savvis’ cloud is three weeks old (Feb 2009).

Since ec2 was first to market, the Rackspace, AT&T and Savvis cloud offerings have a “me too” feel to them. However, unlike other vendors, Rackspace has published pricing on the Web and it appears to be very competitive with ec2. 

Unlike Amazon, Savvis and AT&T are going the buy versus build route to get fast time to market. They are initially launching their service using VMWare technology put together using Professional Services instead of following Amazon’s approach of building a proprietary infrastructure using Open Source software as its foundation. In fact, this may be the preferred route amongst the upper echelons of cloud service providers. There is optimism that providing cloud services is a growth business. I am noticing startups like Enomaly (“Build your own private elastic cloud”) and VMOps (“launch ec2 today”, aka public cloud) offering cloud infrastrcture products.

In conclusion, credible competition is emerging and there are real alternatives to ec2 available today. However, given the state of the economy, I think the market will begin to form by 2010 and should reach critical mass by 2011-2012.

VMWorld 2009 Synopsis of VMWare Product Announcements

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This synopsis is based on the blog posts of Alessandro Perilli  for Day 1 and Day 2 of VMWorld 2009

VMWare is pursuing three major initiatives:

  • Virtual Data Center OS (VDC-OS)
  • vCloud (private and public clouds along with federation across them)
  • vClient (for a desktop as a Service)

VIrtual Data Center

vSphere is the official name for the new Virtual Datacenter (OS) platform, which includes:

  • vCompute: hardware assisted virtualization and extended live migration compatibility
  • vStorage : for storage management and replication
  • vNetwork: for network management, vSphere 4.0 distributed switch and the Cisco Nexus 1000V
  • Security : VMsafe API for firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion detection/prevention and compliance, vShield Zones – the firewall virtual appliance (Blue Lane technologies)
  • Availability : for data protection and clustering
  • Scalability : for dynamic resource sizing

(As an aside, clearly someone was awake and realized that most customers will demand real Security, real Availability, real Scalability and in the midst of the prevailing vNaming zeal, paused before rushing to trademark vSecurity, vAvailability, vScalability) 😉

I am glad to see that VMWare is responding to customer feedback- vSphere ESX4 supports 8 virtual CPU’s and 256GB vRAM. This will offer databases a virtual environment which is very close to production physical hardware and enable them to run SQL applications efficiently within virtual machines

vCenter Suite is the official name for the new VirtualCenter management tools platform, which supports :

Provisioning (including thin provisioning), Configuration, Capacity Planning,  Routine Operations, Performance Measurement, Availability, Self Service Portal, Service Catalogue, Billing / Chargeback

vCenter Server for Linux (Beta) is available as a virtual appliance – this is another shining example of listening to customer feedback.

The following modules have been announced for the vCenter Server :

vCenter Server Heartbeat, a hot-standby technology OEM’d from Neverfail Group

vCenter Server Linked Mode, a new technology that allows the same object inventory to be shared across tens and hundreds of vCenter hosts. It incorporates a  basic and advanced Search

Host Profiles feature, which verifies and enforces the compliance of new ESX hosts configuration as soon as they are included in the vCenter inventory


vCloud encompasses  an architecture, tools (vCenter Suite and vSphere) and API’s

to provide management and federation built on open industry standards so that the corporate private cloud can seamlessly integrate with external clouds out there.

vCenter Suite and vSphere are designed not to distinguish between internals and externals cloud infrastructures.

VM migration within the vCloud

A customer using vSphere 4.0 can install the vCloud plug-in for vCenter, log on the cloud service provider he has a contract with and simply drag his production virtual machine inside the cloud infrastructure that appears within the vCenter GUI. The VM will be automatically migrated inside the cloud without further intervention.

However, it is interesting to note that VMWare does not support a similar capability to perform a live migration between private or public data centers using VMotion yet.


VMWare has announced a partnership with Intel deliver the VMware Client Virtualization Platform. which utilizes Intel Core2 and Centrino 2 processors with Intel vPro technology. It will enable users to run virtualized client environments on desktop or notebook PCs, and work online or offline while IT administrators manage these environments securely from a central location.

The vClient technologies to be delivered in 2009 will include enhancements for thin clients management (HD video, Flash, 3D graphics) and the client hypervisor. VMware View will manage VDI thin clients and client hypervisor instances on corporate desktops and laptops.

In addition to managing VDI thin clients,

VMWare intends to centrally manage any kind of corporate client, including LAN and WAN clients, thick and thin clients. VMware is developing with Teradici the PC over IP (PCoIP) protocol. PCoIP is going to leverage the hardware acceleration that a local client on a LAN or a WAN can provide.

Mobile Virtualization

VMWare demonstrated a mobile hypervisor

The VMware hypervisor is running inside a Nokia N800 device, and boots a Windows CE 6.0 virtual machine side by side with a Google Android virtual machine. Each VM takes less than 40MBs . The touchscreen capabilities of the N800, leveraged by Android, are still there.

Written by paule1s

February 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Oracle releases virtual appliances (AMI’s) on Amazon’s EC2

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Oracle Corporation has delivered a set of free Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), to make it easy for customers to get started deploying Oracle solutions on Amazon EC2. The following appliances are built on Oracle Enterprise Linux Release 5 Update 2 as the base OS:

Oracle Secure Backup

For on-premise Oracle installations, AWS offers a dependable and secure off-site backup location through the Cloud Backup module, which is a part of Oracle Secure Backup – a tape backup management solution. It provides customers the flexibility to back up data to either tape or the Cloud.


Oracle customers can now license Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Enterprise Manager to run in the AWS cloud computing environment. Oracle customers can also use their existing software licenses on Amazon EC2 with no additional license fees.

Written by paule1s

February 17, 2009 at 4:15 am

How To Build Virtual Appliances

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 Ubuntu JeOS

VMWare Studio


rPath rBuilder


RightImages provide ready-to-go base operating systems with core cloud software.

ServerTemplates also allow you to designate any number of scripts that you want to run at boot time, upon demand, or when an event is triggered.

RightScripts allow you to specify packages that you want to install before a script is executed and even allow you to upload and attach files directly to scripts.

Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

Written by paule1s

February 16, 2009 at 8:46 am

IBM releases virtual appliances (AMI’s) on Amazon’s EC2

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IBM has begun offering IBM DB2, IBM Informix, IBM WebSphere sMash, IBM Lotus Web Content Management, and IBM WebSphere Portal Server AMI‘s on’s EC2.

IBM is providing several “Development” AMIs at no additional fee beyond Amazon EC2 charges for developers building commercial IBM-based applications.

AWS will also roll out pay-as-you-go pricing for the “Production” Amazon EC2 running IBM service, enabling you to purchase these services by the hour.

The groundbreaking development is that IBM has rationalized their licensing so the customers can use their existing licenses for virtual appliances

For customers that already have existing IBM licenses, you are now eligible to bring them to Amazon EC2 starting today. IBM has created a Processor Value Unit (PVU) conversion table that makes it easy to determine how your existing licenses apply to the various EC2 instance types.

Update : An interesting analysis of this announcement at

Written by paule1s

February 12, 2009 at 8:36 am