Archive for the 'Grid Computing' Category

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Virtualization and MS Hyper-V : Interview with Todd Abrams, COO of Layered Tech

Recently, Layered Technologies announced that the company became the first hosting provider to launch dedicated servers running Microsoft Windows 2008 and Hyper-V. In this exclusive interview, we talk to Mr. Todd Abrams, COO & President of the company, about the challenges and promises of virtualization technology.  Read actual article >>

HostReview: Layered Technologies’ Hyper-V dedicated server offerings are most likely meant for professionals. Nevertheless, how would you explain the benefits of LT’s Windows Server 2008 based virtualization solutions to a less tech-savvy audience?

Todd Abrams: I’ve seen a lot of people overcomplicate the concepts behind virtualization. This seems to make those of us who are less technical shy away from experimenting with the technology. But the reality is that virtualization actually simplifies installation and management of operating systems and applications.

One example of how virtualization could make life easier comes in the form of pre-packaged applications. Let’s say a business wanted to use the popular SugarCRM application. Instead of having to install an operating system, install the application, optimize both, and secure them, one could simply download a virtual machine created by a SugarCRM expert and run it instantly.

Indeed, once a server has been virtualized, it has a number of capabilities that were simply not present previously:

•Snapshots and backups
•Instantaneous provisioning of Virtual Machines
•Easy migration and upgrade paths
•Simplified management of multiple machines

Why did you choose Hyper-V? Did you initially consider similar open source technologies?

Microsoft and Layered Tech have a long-standing relationship. In addition to supporting many Microsoft operating systems and applications we are strong believers in the future of data center virtualization. From this perspective supporting Hyper-V is a necessity.

In addition to working with Microsoft, Layered Tech also has experience with supporting other major virtualization offerings from 3Tera, VMware, Xen, and Parallels.

What did being the first hosting company to implement Hyper-V involve? How long were the planning and implementation phases, and did you work with Microsoft experts on this?

Hyper-V was implemented in essentially the same manner as any new product roll out. However, Layered Tech’s extensive experience in supporting virtualized environments, including our Grid computing platform, enabled us to move much more quickly than other hosting providers.

We worked very closely with the Microsoft team in all aspects of the roll out including training, implementation and product development.

What kinds of clients are you targeting with the new Hyper-V offerings?

We believe Hyper-V will be particularly attractive for Enterprise level clients with a large investment in equipment powered by Microsoft operating systems. Hyper-V fills a gap for clients who previously found competing products either too expensive on a per VM basis, or too unsupported for serious investment.

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About: Todd Abrams, COO & President

Todd Abrams, Layered TechnologiesTodd leads the Layered Technologies team and oversees daily operations. Prior to founding Layered Technologies, he served as CEO and founder of FX-Directors Solutions, a leading technology services company in the funeral services industry. At FX Directors Solutions, Todd worked to build a solid technology and financial foundation that was acquired to form Aldor Solutions in late 2003. Previously, Todd served as Vice President of North American Operations for EDGE Technologies, a large wholesale computer component and white box system distributor. While at EDGE, Todd built the North American Operations and grew sales from $2 million to over $110 million within 2 years, while also establishing 8 U.S satellite locations. Earlier in his career, he worked for EDGE Internet Services Australia (EISA), an ISP that was publicly traded on the Australian Exchange. EISA aggressively grew in the US market by acquiring other ISP’s across North America.

NeXplore Transitions Newly Acquired ClickCaster to Grid Server from Layered Tech

Yahoo! Finance
NeXplore Leverages the Grid Layer from Layered Tech for Fast Integration, Speedy Launch and Instant Scalability

FRISCO, TX–Jun 5, 2008 — NeXplore Corp. today announced the successful transitioning of the recently acquired ClickCaster.com website to the NeXplore Grid Server. Powered by The Grid Layer hosting solution from Layered Technologies, in combination with 3Tera Inc.’s virtualization software AppLogic, the NeXplore Grid Server is the company’s Virtual Private Data Center for efficiently and cost-effectively operating and managing NeXplore’s growing portfolio of Web 2.0 products and destinations.
    
The rapid transitioning to the NeXplore Grid Server of ClickCaster.com enables NeXplore to quickly monetize and scale this popular website that provides tools for fast-and-easy audio and video podcast creation, publishing and management. Upon acquisition by NeXplore, ClickCaster.com had approximately 245,000 unique users, a number NeXplore plans to significantly grow by the end of 2008.

NeXplore currently utilizes the NeXplore Grid Server to host and manage NeXplore Search, the company’s recently launched Web 2.0 search engine optimized for a superior end-user experience, rich-media display and social network integration. NeXplore is working to integrate ClickCaster.com podcasting capability into NeXplore Search.

“The quickness, low cost and relative ease with which we were able to transition ClickCaster.com to the NeXplore Grid Server validates our decision to utilize this cutting edge hosting and application management system,” said Dion Hinchcliffe, chief technology officer for NeXplore Corporation. “The pace of innovation today is blistering. Web companies hobbled by the cost and complexity associated with traditional infrastructure — datacenter co-location, private racks and managed hosting services, etc. — are destined for extinction. The road to success in today’s dynamic Web 2.0 world — the path that NeXplore is forging — is paved with glitch-free performance, speed-to-market and instant, on-demand scalability.”  Read more at Yahoo Finance >>

For more information about NeXplore, visit www.nexplorecorporation.com >>

For more information about Layered Technologies, visit www.layeredtech.com >>

For more information about the Grid Layer, visit www.thegridlayer.com >>

               

Enterprise Cloud Computing with Layered Tech

Interview with Todd Abrams, COO, Layered Technologies

Todd Abrams, COO, Layered Technologies1. Tell me your vision of “Enterprise Cloud Computing?”

Historically, the only option available to businesses with large mission-critical applications was to distribute them across a number of dedicated servers intermixed with firewalls, switches and load balancers.  These enterprise grade solutions have a high degree of complexity, require a staff of system administrators and engineers to provision, and are extremely expensive to deploy with 100% redundancy.

Layered Technologies cloud computing offering, The Grid Layer, solves all of these problems by providing users with a powerful graphical configuration interface which lets them create entire virtual infrastructures within the Grid comprised of a wide range of devices including firewalls, load balancers and servers.  Switching, routing and monitoring are all built into the Grid as well as complete physical redundancy and RAID 1 network duplication of data across physical nodes.

We believe that cloud computing services are the next generation of infrastructure and that as more businesses learn about these offerings the huge cost reductions, inherent redundancy and extreme scalability will compel CIOs and CTOs to migrate their sprawling applications to service providers like Layered Technologies.

2. Why do you choose AppLogic OS and 3Tera?

The choice to use 3Tera’s AppLogic operating system was a simple one.  When Layered Technologies began to work with 3Tera over two years ago there were no natural competitors.  Even today the 3Tera OS is unique and still developing.  AppLogic allows service providers like Layered Technologies to deploy and support standard enterprise grade hardware and to aggregate resources to mimic much larger and more expensive supercomputing systems.

3. What kind of industries use your services?

Layered Technologies currently has a number of Web 2.0 clients like Nexplore and Woopra who utilize The Grid Layer for redundancy and scalability.  These companies rely exclusively on their online presence so their infrastructure requires 100% uptime.  We also have a wide range of enterprise customers ranging from global telecom companies, to healthcare providers, to educational institutions using The Grid Layer.

As far as Cloud or Grid computing is concerned, virtually any enterprise can take advantage of the capabilities of the Grid.  We offer services that range from individual Grid-based Virtual Private Servers to large multi-node Virtual Private Data Centers which allow clients to build and deploy their own complete hosted architectures on demand.

4. Do you have any plans to launch your services to the Japanese Market?

The Japanese market is very important to Layered Technologies.  Not only do we currently have a number of Japanese clients, we view Japan as a strategically important market with huge growth potential.  

Layered Technologies recently signed an agreement with Bit-Isle in Tokyo and as begun to deploy infrastructure in Tokyo.  We intend to make our full range of services available including The Grid Layer to any clients who require Japanese localization.

Find out more:  Layered Technologies, The Grid Layer, VPS, VPDC, Cloud Computing

Tech eUpdate: Cloud (GRID) Computing

John Pozadzides, CMO, Layered Technologies, Grid HostingInterview with John Pozadzides, VP of Product Development, Layered Technologies

1. As an introduction, could you elaborate on Layered Tech’s Cloud Computing Solution?

Layered Technologies is a global leader in the area of cloud computing.  We currently have well over 1,000 nodes (physical machines) in our Grid Layer computing platform, making us larger than almost all of our competitors combined.

   

The best way to explain the Cloud computing concept is to compare and contrast it with existing technology, so if you’ll indulge me I’m going to back up a bit and start with traditional architecture.

 

Historically, the only option available to businesses with large mission-critical applications was to distribute them across a number of dedicated servers intermixed with firewalls, switches and load balancers.  These enterprise-grade solutions have a high degree of complexity, require a staff of system administrators and engineers to provision, and are extremely expensive to deploy with 100% redundancy.

 

Layered Technologies cloud computing offering, The Grid Layer, solves all of these problems by providing users with a powerful graphical configuration interface which lets them create entire virtual infrastructures within the Grid, comprised of a wide range of devices including firewalls, load balancers and servers.  Switching, routing and monitoring are all built into the Grid as well as complete physical redundancy and RAID 1 network duplication of data across physical nodes.

 

We believe that cloud computing services are the next generation of infrastructure and that as more businesses learn about these offerings the huge cost reductions, inherent redundancy and extreme scalability will compel CIOs and CTOs to migrate their sprawling applications to service providers like Layered Technologies.

 

2. What are the salient features of your solution?

 

The Grid layer offers a number of important features simply not found in competing service offerings.  All of the following are native features of The Grid:

  • A simple Visio-like graphical configuration interface which allows anyone to configure one server, or an entire virtual data center, in minutes.
  • Complete redundancy within the system with built in monitoring and self-healing capabilities.  The Grid will restart any application running on a physical node that fails by moving it to a separate node within minutes.
  • The proven ability to scale a single client grid to well over 100 physical nodes means that even extremely large clients can obtain incredible resource density if required.  For example, a 100 node grid with quad core, dual processor nodes, each containing 1TB hard drives and 32GB of RAM would equate to 800 processor cores, 3.2TB of RAM and 100TB of storage space.

3. What differentiates your solution from that of others in this field?

 

Some of the most significant differences between Layered Tech’s Grid solution and others available in the market include:

  • Unlike providers such as Amazon and most recently Google who are offering spare computing cycles on their inventory of existing hardware, Layered Technologies is a dedicated hosting provider.  Our singular focus in this area allows us to be more responsive, flexible, and customer service oriented.
  • One of the hallmarks of The Grid Layer is the ability to run almost any application natively without the need for custom API integration or other proprietary modifications.  Amazon and Google’s cloud computing and storage offerings require strict adherence to very specific API guidelines which can require complete re-writes of applications – only to then be locked in to using their proprietary service.
  • Provisioning on true enterprise grade HP hardware means that Layered Tech’s Grid clients have access to the fastest CPUs, RAM and networking components available.  This contrasts sharply with Amazon’s offering, which they have stated runs on Celeron 1.7ghz equivalent white box machines.
  • Layered Tech’s two years of Grid leadership combined with our demonstrated ability to provision the world’s largest Grid infrastructures means we are well ahead of all competitors in terms of developing support structures, provisioning systems, and intellectual property within the organization for servicing these special clients.  Experience counts.

4. What do you consider as drivers propelling the growth of Cloud Computing?

 

Cloud computing is a new disruptive technology.  When compared to Dedicated hosting utility computing platforms are “better”, “faster” and “cheaper”.  This is not merely an improvement of existing systems in which you can only pick any two (better + faster is NOT cheaper), but an evolutionary step, which is absolutely compelling to anyone that consumes computing resources.

 

5. What according to you are the major challenges or restraints that impede further development of Cloud Computing? How are you trying to address them?

 

Problems currently impeding the growth of utility / cloud / grid computing (whatever you choose to call it) include:

 

  • As an emerging technology, it takes time for service providers to get over the learning curve. 
  • Service providers have been geared up for dedicated hosting for the last decade.  Their infrastructure, sales channels, support systems, etc. are all built to focus on legacy systems.  Disruptive technologies hurt.
  • Amazon’s offering has not done anyone favors to Cloud computing because many people who initially looked into their limited offering quickly realized existing systems would not utilize it without retooling.

6. What are the current and potential applications of Cloud Computing? Could you provide a Roadmap on when the applications would be realized?

 

The nice thing about LT’s Grid is that almost any existing application will run on it.   We currently have a wide range of clients who have migrated their applications to the Grid and are enjoying the benefits of increased redundancy, improved scalability and ease of management.  Clients are currently running applications such as:

  • A major search engine
  • A development environment for one of the largest Telecoms in the world
  • A Web site monitoring service
  • Standardized enterprise SAS services.

7. Do you collaborate or wish to collaborate with other companies / universities / research institutions / companies for your work?

 

We currently work closely with 3tera, the company behind AppLogic software that helps to power our infrastructure, as well as hundreds of clients who utilize our Grid hosting services.  With that, we would be happy to enter into discussions with researchers interested in cloud computing initiatives, but we are unaware of any who are working in this field.

 

8. What additional information is available?

 

The best thing we could share would be a demonstration of the Grid’s Web based interface in action, and I’d be happy to arrange for that demonstration if there is any interest in seeing it.  Please email me at johnp@layeredtechnologies.com >>

GRID Technology : LT Interview @ Web 2.0

John P InterviewLayered Technologies‘ CMO John Pozadzides recently visited the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco and took some time out to speak with Michael Scherotter from Microsoft about LT’s GRID computing technology.

“GRID computing is a system whereby many computers are assembled together to create one large computing system with vast amounts of processor power, RAM, and storage.” states John Pozadzides. 

Check out the video below and learn more about Layered Tech’s “The Grid Layer” and you’ll see why it’s so cool!

[viddler id=e4278c42&h=370&w=437]      

LT PACT 2008 Keynote: (Forrester Research / Grid Computing)

          

James Staten, Leading IT Infrastructure Analyst, to Keynote LT PACT 2008
        
Layered Technologies’ Annual Hosting Conference in Las Vegas Features Industry Experts to Discuss Future of the Hosting Industry

                 

Plano, TX (May 07, 2008)- Layered Technologies, a leading worldwide provider of “on demand” IT infrastructure, announces today the opening day keynote speaker for the third annual LT PACT 2008 conference at Caesars Palace Resort in Las Vegas, NV from June 25-27. James Staten, Forrester Research Principal Analyst IT Infrastructure & Operations, will deliver his keynote address, Cloud / Grid Computing: A Classic Disruptive Technology on Thursday, June 26 at 8:40 a.m.

 

Industry analysts, key industry players, hosting companies and other leaders in the hosting environment will speak about the most current information in the industry. This three day conference will provide opportunities for attendees to learn industry insights, interact with the latest products in workshops, increase revenue with improved business practices and also participate in the Texas Hold’ em Tournament with $5,000 in cash prizes and no entry fee.

 

“We’re excited and honored to have James deliver the opening day keynote for LT PACT this year,” said Todd Abrams, President & COO of Layered Technologies. “James is an expert in cloud computing and his presentation has mass appeal to our customers, partners and attendees at this year’s event.”

 

Staten serves IT Infrastructure & Operations professionals. He is a leading expert on x86 servers and server infrastructure, data center futures, and application-specific infrastructure deployment trends and technologies. Staten has eight years of experience in product marketing and strategy positions for infrastructure providers, including Sun Microsystems and Azul Systems, plus four years of analyst experience and a background in high-tech journalism. Staten holds a master’s degree from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.

 

Robert ThompsonThe event will kick off on June 25 with a cocktail party featuring an open bar from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On day two, sessions with speakers will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will extend until lunch at 11:45 a.m. Sessions will resume at 1 p.m. and will go until early to late evening. On June 27, the previous day’s schedule will repeat with the addition of a dinner banquet at 7 p.m. followed by the LT PACT 2008 Hold’em Poker Tournament at 8 p.m.

 

 

A full event pass for attendees is $99 For anyone planning to only attend the social events, that cost is $75. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or would like more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Eric Hubbard at eric.hubbard@layeredtechnologies.com.

         

For additional information on Layered Technologies, please visit www.layeredtechnologies.com.

    

For additional information on LT PACT 2008 and online registration, please visit http://www.layeredtech.com/ltpact/.

           

Layered Technologies and 3Tera to Provide 100 Grid-Servers to Woopra

Rapid Growth of Real-Time Web Analytics Service Powered by Cloud Computing Platform

Woopra > Real-Time Web Analytics ServicePlano, TX | April 2, 2008:  Layered Technologies, Inc., a leading worldwide provider of “on demand” IT infrastructure, and 3Tera, Inc., the leading innovator of grid computing technology and utility computing services for Web applications, today announce support for Woopra, the real-time Web analytics platform. The companies will provide 100 grid-based servers in order to assist Woopra as it experiences a huge market demand prior to official launch.

“We are extremely pleased that Layered Technologies has stepped up to pledge the infrastructure necessary for us to meet the growing demand for Woopra,” said Elie Khoury, CIO of Woopra. “We are also grateful for all of the public feedback and support we have been given in the past 48 hours. We vow to work as quickly as possible to make Woopra available to as many as 100,000 Web sites within the next few weeks.”

Woopra provides real-time stats delivered via a revolutionary client-server application, and includes unique features such as the ability to identify and chat real time with visitors to the monitored site. The beta version of Woopra was quietly unveiled to a select audience of 200 at WordCamp Dallas, but news rapidly spread to over 2 million as buzz began to grow.

“We are excited about the launch of Woopra and the fact that we will be hosting it on The Grid,” said Todd Abrams, COO and President of Layered Technologies. “With such high demand, we are working closely with Woopra to ensure that all of Layered Technologies’ clients can gain access to the application as quickly as possible.”

With more than 12,000 servers and nearly a decade of experience, Layered Technologies has developed an expertise in data center operations. Using 3Tera’s award-winning AppLogic OS, Layered Technologies is able to provide grid computing solutions by harnessing the power of their data centers and making it available on-demand – processing power, bandwidth, and storage capacity. 3Tera’s AppLogic Grid OS allows a customer to package their entire application into a single self-contained logical entity. The packaged system can be scaled from a fraction of a CPU to hundreds of machines without any code modification.

“The instant growth of Woopra is a perfect example of how grid solutions provide new capabilities for growth,” said Peter Nickolov, President and CTO of 3Tera. “Scaling an online application, such as Woopra, can be enormously challenging. Being able to quickly deploy and operate on a highly available and scalable utility computing platform offers a unique business solution. Partnering with Layered Technologies has allowed us to deliver true utility computing solutions and help hundreds of companies scale their application with the growing demand.”

3Tera’s AppLogic grid operating system is the first commercial platform designed specifically to enable true utility computing. The system converts commodity servers into scalable grids on which users can visually deploy, operate and scale transactional Web applications without any modification of code. With the ability to run on any grid anywhere in the world, the disposable infrastructure technology found in the heart of the AppLogic system packages applications with the definition of the infrastructure required to run them into self-contained and portable entities. As a result, applications become completely separated from the hardware infrastructure traditionally needed to run them, allowing users to remotely manage their applications through a Web browser and provision resources as needed.

For more information on Layered Technologies, please visit www.layeredtechnologies.com.  For more information on 3Tera, please visit www.3tera.com.  For more information on Woopra, please visit www.woopra.com.

FORBES: Computing In The Cloud (Layered Tech)

Tiny Firms Offer Big Computing Services
(FORBES Magazine,
Andy Greenberg, 03.26.08)

Dave Durkee believes in the “Big Switch.” Like tech pundit Nick Carr, who coined that term in his recent book of the same name, Durkee, the CEO of utility computing company Enki, argues that information technology will eventually move out of corporations’ server rooms and into massive, shared facilities, where servers and storage can be hosted more efficiently and piped out to customers. Instead of investing in expensive IT infrastructure, companies will take advantage of computing as a utility, paying their IT bills the same way they pay for water and electricity. 

[A] start-up, Plano, Texas-based Layered Technologies, rents out customized servers by the month to about 4,500 clients. The company hosts a grid of servers that it divides up and rents to clients in packages designed especially to satisfy their hardware needs. Clients can choose to add hardware or subtract machines, like an extra server or storage device, in seconds. Layered Technologies completed its first round of publicly announced funding in mid-March. 

“Utility computing is one of those disruptive technologies that larger players won’t be interested in until it gets big,” says Carr. “That means smaller players can serve the first adopters. The challenge will be when the IBMs, the HPs, and the Suns start to come in to dominate the market.” But don’t count out the little guys, insists Layered’s chief marketing officer, John Pozadzides. Layered’s customers want more than cheap, generic computing power, he contends. As a smaller firm, Layered can customize and scale the resources it rents to every customer, Pozadzides says, whether it’s a start-up search engine or a software-as-service sales and inventory company. 

A different sort of player hoping to squeeze into the utility computing space is 3tera, in Aliso Viejo, Calif. 3tera offers a program that helps utility computing companies divvy up their hardware resources among their customers. Both Enki and Layered use 3tera’s program, known as AppLogic, to create the virtual data centers that they host for their clients; the software lets their customers expand or contract the resources they need in seconds, literally by dragging and dropping components on a computer screen.  “Today, if you want to add a new server, many sets of hands are involved,” says Bert Armijo, 3tera’s vice president of product management. “If you have the ability to instantly provision what you need, that’s when it really becomes a utility.” 3tera, which predicts it will become profitable in the first half of 2008, is a start-up worth watching, says Forrester Research analyst James Staten. The company’s “arms dealer” strategy, he says, will allow it to profit no matter who eventually comes to dominate utility computing. 

As for the other small fry, Staten says, it is too early to pick out potential winners as the industry evolves. But he’s confident that by the time larger customers start to look at utility computing as an attractive option, [smaller companies] may have grown into a real competitor.  “This is classic disruptive innovation, where the mainstream dismisses the product and small companies have time to create a real differentiated value,” says Staten. “When this technology becomes really robust five to seven years from now, the doubters may not be able to compete anymore.”  Read more >>

Layered Tech Preps LT PACT 2008

Article by Justin Lee, theWHIR.com

January 29, 2007 — (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — Conferences and exhibitions play a significant role in the hosting industry, helping companies to broaden their market reach and potentially draw in new customers and partners.  But like some other areas of the industry, the market has become saturated with dozens of conferences and exhibitions being held each year, including giants like HostingCon and ISPCON, a challenge for the operators of smaller events. 

LT PACT 2008 Hosting EventFor two years, utility hosting services provider Layered Technologies has worked to distinguish LT PACT event as an important consideration among hosting related events.  Though it is held by a hosting company, LT PACT is not strictly self-serving, but is designed to benefit its attendees and the presenting companies within the context of the environment of Layered Tech’s customers and partners, says president and COO Todd Abrams.

“It’s not directly a sales objective for Layered Tech,” says Abrams. “It’s really about broadening the overall knowledge base of the people there, as well as experts of the industry that our clients and partners don’t really get to talk with.”

Returning to Las Vegas, Nevada’s Caesars Palace Resort from June 25 to 27, LT PACT 2008 will offer presentations from industry analysts, key industry players, Web hosts and other leaders, discussing issues that are pertinent to the industry.  The conference, now in its third year, will provide attendees with further industry insights, the ability to interact with new products in workshops and ways to boost their revenue with improved business practices.  Read on >>

Learn more about LT PACT 2008 >>

LT PACT 2008

        

What is "The Grid"?

Geoff Pennington, Layered TechThe Grid is a collection of commodity servers that provide a fully functional virtual computing environment.  In this environment, you can use resources which are collected in a pool by AppLogic, to deploy various applications, each containing an unlimited number of appliances.   

How can it help me? 

The Grid offers full control over your entire environment from anywhere in the world on any PC, and can be done from a SINGLE PC.  There’s no need for multiple admins to control your infrastructure.   The Grid also offers on-demand scalability for both you and/or your end user.  You can, on the fly, scale an appliance or application to utilize more resources for your client or you can add another node to your Grid for more overall resources.   

Another feature is the super high redundancy.  With the automatic failover you have no fear of your application experiencing prolonged downtime due to hardware failure.  Any time a server fails the simultaneous appliance that is running elsewhere on the grid is started up to take its place.    

Lastly, let’s not forget about the snapshot feature.  With this, you can simply build a single application, snapshot it, and deploy it for each and every client if you want to, so you only build a setup once and it’s instantly ready for deploy 100 times over.   

Is it right for me? (Yes or No answers) 

  • Are you familiar with Virtualization and creating virtual environments? 
  • Are your 100% Linux based? 
  • Are you 100% comfortable in a dedicated Linux box? 
  • Is your largest file you want to host on the grid smaller than 1TB? 
  • Have you done any of the demos from 3Tera, or attended Grid U?   
  • Do you have a solution budget of $1500+/mo? 

If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, The Grid is probably not a viable solution for you at this time.  Some of the questions do revolve around your knowledge of how to use the product, which can be compensated with help from other consulting companies, but I write this to see if you can handle the grid in a 100% self managed environment, which is what we provide.  

*Note: VOIP is not a solution that can run comfortably on The Grid* 

Terminology You Need to Know 

  • Virtual Private Datacenter (VPDC) is an array of standard servers and storage devices that have been turned into a scalable computing resource you can use to meet the demands of your application. 
  • Appliance = Web server, or Database server, or Monitoring device, or Load balancer, or Firewall.   
  • Application = A cluster of 2 web servers, 1 database, 1 monitoring device, and a firewall all running interconnected with each other.    

I know the grid is right for me, but which one do I pick???  

Below I am going to list each of Layered Technologies’ packages, then offer some categories you might fit into.  The thing to keep in mind:  If you fit 4 examples of the Gold package and 1 example of Platinum package, you NEED the Platinum package.  There is really no way around it.  The examples are based off of the hardware of each grid.  You can’t make Gold pretend to be Platinum.  It just doesn’t work that way.   

Bronze (Starting at $996 monthly fee) >>

  • You are a start-up company who has a few clients who need hosting space. (500 or less)
  • You are starting a SAAS company and you have LITTLE or no need for live production as of yet.
  • You want to develop your Web 2.0 website and test it with friends, but have no intention of running it live on the net for the world.
  • You need to run a small internal network for your small business which is going to store company databases, maybe run the company website, etc. 

Silver (Starting at $1696 monthly fee) >>

  • You have a SAAS company that needs little to moderate coverage out to the world.  Live production in ½ scale.
  • Your hosting company needs to host 1000 or less clients on small setups and no high resource demands.
  • You are ready to start live production of your Web 2.0 site, and at this time you can’t afford anything higher, but have every intention of upgrading.
  • Your business has grown outside the resources provided in a bronze grid, and simply adding more nodes is no longer price effective. 

Gold (Starting at $2496 monthly fee) >>

  • You want to go full steam on a Web 2.0 site, and your files do not exceed the limitations of a single Gold node (4GB RAM, and 750GB HD space)
  • You want to host a vast number of clients of all sizes on a single interface (2000-5000)
  • You want to provide your SAAS products to a large portion of the internet world;  Provided you fit within the resource bound of the Gold, you can simply live off an expanded Gold Grid for a SAAS offering.   

Platinum (Starting at $3996 monthly fee) >>

  • You have a massive infrastructure that needs to be controlled from a single point of administration.
  • You have a file larger than 750GB that must be hosted on your Grid.
  • You need more than 4GB RAM to deliver to a single appliance (i.e. web server or database) 

Note:  If you’re just wanting to “test the waters”, you might want to consider our Developer Core ($499) or Developer Lite ($349) packages as a place to get acquainted with The Grid.

If you’re still not sure, just let me know, and we can discuss best solution that fits your specific needs. 

Upgrading a VPDC Finally, the last topic to cover is… Once you’re in a VPDC, how do you grow?  Well here are the two options: 

Adding Nodes:  If you’re comfortable in your current VPDC and your appliances don’t need any more resources than a node has to offer, then you can simply add another node to your current VPDC.  You would do this simply by emailing sales@layeredtech.com and requesting the addition.  Your node price will be ¼ the monthly cost of your base 4 node purchase.  Just send the email and accept the fee, and we will take care of the rest.  

Upgrading to another VPDC:  If your appliances need more resources than a node can offer -or its’ more price effective to move to the next grid level, as opposed to just adding more nodes then the process is a bit more complex, but not too bad:  First you would place the order for the new package.  (I would recommend at least 1 week prior to your renew date to ensure minimal overlap, but time to get it up and migrated over.) Once the new grid is up, you would just use AppLogic to migrate the data and applications over to the new Grid, then you can submit the cancellation request at least 2 days prior to your renew date.   

I hope this answers all your questions, but if not, feel free to post here or contact any of us directly. 

Take care everyone. ~ Geoff Pennington, LT Sales