[Beowulf] Clustering VPS servers

Chris Dagdigian dag at sonsorol.org
Thu Mar 21 09:40:11 PDT 2013


Jonathan Aquilina wrote:
> I am venturing back to the cloud side again isn't cloud just a fancy name
> for virtualized servers?

For vendors getting their margins and products destroyed by AWS and 
other public/open infrastructure clouds like rackspace/openstack/etc. 
etc. your statement is often quite true.

When you run across someone trying to sell you  a "cloud" and dig a bit 
deeper they rarely have anything to show beyond virtual servers and 
block storage. A few might have an object store to offer as well but 
that is about it. It's sad and pathetic but you see it every day.

The difference on real IaaS clouds like Amazon is incredibly stark when 
compared to the pretenders and marketers.

I think AWS has more than 30+ separate products all orchestrated by API 
calls and the web management interface. It is the real deal. The 
capability gains are impressive enough that we see people moving away 
from pure focus on cost -- it's now possible to do stuff easily on AWS 
that would be pretty darn hard to orchestrate/manage/deploy internally 
given how many useful things Amazon has grafted an API onto.

  AWS used to have a nice comprehensive overview page but I can't find 
it anymore so I'll just dump a few ...

EC2 - virtual servers on demand, via auction market or purchased up 
front in various sizes, configs and global locations
S3 - globe spanning object store holding trillions of objects
EBS - region spanning block storage
VPC - software or hardware defined VPNs that are incredibly powerful and 
customizable
Glacier - long term cold storage service
Redshift - data warehouse & analytics
EMR - hadoop as a service
RDS - managed MySQL, SQL Server or Oracle, no DBA required
SimpleDB - light no-SQL datastore
DynamoDB - fast noSQL datastore
SQS - message passing
SNS - message passing
SES - email service
SWS - workflow tools
CloudFormation - orchestration and "stack" management
Import/Export - terabyte scale data ingest and export via shipped drives 
and arrays
DirectConnect - peer directly with Amazon

.. and that is only a small and non-representative list of what they 
have running, in production, today.

On a feature by feature comparison many other cloud vendors look like 
pathetic pretenders. At most they can offer compute and block storage. 
Nobody else can come close to the array that the bigger public IaaS 
clouds are starting to push out.

Not trying to be an Amazon shill here - it's just a personal pet peeve 
of mine due to many years of seeing vendors BS to me about their "magic 
cloud" that turns out to be nothing more than a hypervisor and some 
trivial orchestration tricks.  IaaS clouds make them look like jokes.


-Chris



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