Archive for the 'Customer Stories' Category

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.

Announcing: FREE Server Contest Winner

Layered Tech Announces Winner of Monster Server Contest

“12 Days of Christmas in July” ends with contest winner

Plano, TX (August 28, 2007) – Layered Technologies, a leading provider of reliable, affordable, and scalable on-demand, self-managed utility hosting services, today announces the winner of their Monster Server Contest, part of their “12 Days of Christmas in July” program. Timothy Brown from Smithfield, VA has been chosen as the winner, among over 300 entries.

Brown submitted a video entitled “Yes, Nerds can Rap” that pleads to Santa on why he deserves to win the free server. Brown receives an AMD 2220 Opteron with 4GB RAM, 2 x 1000GB SATA Drives, 6000GB BW, 8IP, 100Mbps Port for 6 months from Layered Technologies.

“Timothy’s video was very creative and energetic,” said Michael Platner, CEO of Layered Technologies. “We are thrilled that we can reward Timothy for his efforts as part of our “12 Days of Christmas in July” initiative.”

With clients in over 120 countries, Layered Technologies’ custom technology solutions allow both large and small customers to rapidly deploy on-demand hosting and utility computing services, providing all the controls of colocation without the start up costs, capital investments, long term contracts and associated challenges. By partnering with Layered Technologies, companies are able to achieve ROI quickly via reduced capital investment, total cost of ownership (TCO), labor reduction, training, and floor space. Layered Technologies can have a company up and running in days versus months.

To view Timothy’s video, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTKCNs3FL-w

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

"It was suppose to be a simple, quick move"…

I thought I would leave alone for at least a while the Hostway data center migration saga.  Some time has passed and yes eventually people will forget about this incident as they have with many others (maybe not of the same magnitude) – but did everyone really think it could be successfully pulled off? 

When I heard about this incident all I could say was “WOW”. 

We have been in the infrastructure, and utility computing business for a few years and early on thought that we were extremely smart folks and could migrate 225 servers overnight, within an 8 hour window with little to no extended interuption to any of our early clients.    Boy, were we wrong!!  We had provided the clients their new IP’s, setup the new infrastrucutre, configured the racks, routers, switches and all the space, and the plan was to unplug and then plug back in at the new facility all of a 15 minute drive away.  Let’s just say that didn’t work out so well….  That 8 hours grew into an extended 48 hour workday!!

 The “WOW” response when I heard about the HostWay incident was when I read:

“The planned July 27 data center migration at ValueWeb, a Hostway company, involved moving more than 3,700 servers 270 miles, from Affinity’s Miami hosting facility to a Hostway data center in Tampa, Fla., according to Rich Miller, reporter for Data Center Knowledge, in Lawrenceville, N.J.

What were they thinking? 

These guys are not dumb guys.  I believe after merging with Affinity Internet a few months back they now have operations facilities in over 10 countries with thousands of clients and managaing thousands of servers.

But come on.  While hardware is running, and deemed to be reliable it is often left best untouched.  The old saying applies here, “if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it”.  When you power down and try to then bring back up boxes there is always going to be a % that will fail. 

I am sure they planned for this but with 3,700 servers being moved at once, I don’t see logically how they expected to deal with the consequences all at once or within the time frame they allotted or thought to be tolerable from a client’s perspective.

Anyways, I feel for Hostway and for the clients that it effected.  The 8-12 hours of planned downtime, seemingly turned into a nightmare for many clients, whose business reputation relies on their provider’s uptime and reliabitlity. 

After our experience a few years back, as I stated above, we swore that we would look, build and develop something that would never make us have to move a physical box from DC to DC ever again. **(unless a client specifically has requested a move) 

A main point we focussed on was being able to move data and applications from one server or facility to another without the requirement to migrate the underlying gear.  With the launch of our VPDC (Virtual Private Data Center) powered by Applogic we have enabled clients to do this.  In the age of SaaS companies, thousands of new applications being put online each day and uptime being an essential part of conducting daily business the expectation of anything less is sub par.

A great example of this is Albert Wu who was faced with a similar facitlity to facility migration.

“The migration turned out to be an extremely simple process, that basically involved issuing a migrate command on the old grid, instructing it to migrate the app to the new grid. The command took some time to finish executing, as it had to move quite a bit of data. But once completed, all we had to do was reconfigure the app on the new grid with new ip addresses for the app, the gateway, netmask and dns ip address, which only took a few minutes. Amazingly, we were then able to fire up our grid app on the new grid! No hardware issues to deal with what-so-ever!”

We continue to focus of how we can provide offerings to our clients that allow them to focus on their business, and not worry about the underlying infrastructure, where it is located, is it up or down, is there a bad drive etc.  Our clients need to be able to provision additional resources on the fly when their applications calls for it, be able to shift and server data and applications to and from mutliple geographic points while not having to worrying about migrating anything physically.  We are making the hardware agnostic, and providing a scalable platform where migrations and growth are only a few short keystrokes away.

I expect to see many more players pushing hard in the marketplace – bringing many new virtualization and utility offerings into the market this year. Ifour competitors do not I believe they will be falling short of clients expectations and requirements.

The dedicated server landscape is changing and everyone involved needs to innovate, adopt and grow.

All good things to come….

VIDEO: Yes, Nerds Can Rap

In response to Layered Tech’s Summer Santa Sale and our “Win a FREE Server Contest” (see details below), one of LT’s valued customers, Timothy Brown, created the following video for us. Check it out!

youtubetimjpg.jpg 

View video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTKCNs3FL-w 

“Here’s a little freestyle nerdcore for you guys.” by Timothy Brown

Song Lyrics:  timb here, kickin’ it a little freestyle, hah hah, let’s rap!  Santa needs to know what we seek!  But we be wantin’ bandwidth cause’ we’re geeks!  1500 GB, yo that’s weak!   We be needin’ megabytes, ya hear me speak?  10 Mbit+ for the max peak!   Yea, Yea, Yea!I like big butts and also free servers!   My homies at LT know I deserve this.   Chris, Cheri, Todd and the rest.   You be gettin’ down cause you’re the best.   I be rappin’ nerdcore without protest.   Wearin’ swag from the ’06 fest.   [ Timothy Brown ] 

He is now entered into LT’s July Contest (Win a FREE Server).  Are your creative juices flowing?  If yes, send us your wish list, pics, video, lyrics, poems and more to: summersanta@layeredtech.com  

Summer Santa Sale (Insane Specials) and Monster Contest (Win a FREE Server)  Learn more >> http://www.layeredtech.com/promotions/12-days-Christmas.php  

Back Story: mobileStorm Inc.

A recent McKinsey survey shows that 63% of enterprise CIOs plan to adopt at least one Software as a Service (SaaS) app in 2007. IDC estimates the SaaS market’s compound annual growth rate to be 20% between now and 2010. Credit Suisse’s projections are even more optimistic: 36% annual growth between 2006 and 2011. We enable companies to thrive in this sector. Here is one story – mobileStorm IncTM.

Layered Technologies, was chosen by mobileStorm Inc. of Hollywood, CA. to enable its Digital Marketing focused SaaS offerings. mobileStorm currently provides a range of hosted messaging solutions designed for organizations ranging from small businesses to Global 2000 enterprises to quickly, easily and reliably create, deliver and analyze successful Digital Marketing campaigns. They are thought leaders in Digital Marketing, the practice of marketing services, products, and other items using digital tools and techniques. The company’s on-demand products and services currently enable organizations to think outside of the inbox to maximize email, sms, voice, fax and/or direct mail marketing efforts. Since their founding 8 years ago they have delivered 1 billion + messages and have executed 500,000 campaigns for a roster of highly visible clients such as Qantas Airways, MGM Grand, Palms Casinos, Carl’s Jr., Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Crobar Nightclubs. mobileStorm is now leading the revolution in SaaS Digital Marketing – highly scalable communications technology backed by utility computing environments that enable automated marketing platforms. Their technology vision is to use
The GridLayer Virtual Private Datacenters to remove the heavy lifting of system administration, networking, and load balancing techniques and deploy a new generation of feature rich SaaS Digital Marketing offerings that reach more people, build brands, and drive sales.

Companies like mobileStorm can rapidly deploy new innovative on-demand hosting and utility computing services providing all the controls of collocation without the start up costs, the commitments, and the challenges. The GridLayer is so efficient, that for the first time SaaS and Web 2.0 companies can scale to profitability without requiring large investments in infrastructure and IT operations. This is the core of the disruptive technology – the revolutionary advance! Virtual Private Datacenters allows for a huge leap forward in the ability to build new applications and implement new SaaS and Web 2.0 systems – where real value is created.

Customer Story: LT's (TGL) chosen by Tuyu.com (Social Networking Portal)

Frisco, Texas (PRWEB) March 15, 2007 — Layered Technologies’ on-demand “The GridLayer” hosting service including infrastructure, bandwidth, 24/7 support, and the 3tera AppLogic Grid operating system has been selected by Tuyu.com to enable its new Social Networking platform.

Click for the complete release. To get the Back-Story on the release we spoke to Nick Temple, System Architect for Tuyu.com.

What exactly is Utility Computing? 
Utility computing is a business model in which computer resources are provided on an on-demand and pay-per-use basis. Customers do not invest in owning (peak need) resources, but are only billed on a monthly usage basis. The GridLayer (TGL) powered by Layered Technologies, as a utility computing provider, can spread the customers’ variance in resource needs so that utilization of the resources can be optimized. This is similar to the usage and distribution of common household and commercial utilities such as electricity and gas, hence the name Utility Computing.  As the Utility Computing service is based on usage, computing resources are metered and the user charged accordingly.

This is particularly valuable for emerging Web 2.0 companies delivering Software as a Service (SaaS), IPTV, VoIP, virtualization, social networking, mashups and other applications that require potentially extensive scalability to adapt to surges in user demand and market conditions.
 

TGL powered by 3tera’s AppLogic Grid OS 
The needs of these Web2.0 companies can be subtle and profound. For example, extensive demands can originate from two different sites operating in a single portal. Layered Technologies, along with our with our partner 3tera, take a highly architected approach by creating hosting infrastructures to meet their need for on-demand access to on-demand processing power, RAM, bandwidth capacity, storage space, and other capabilities.

TGL and AppLogic eliminate the need for code modification. Because initial code remains viable through rapid ramp-up, savings are realized.

“TGL is not difficult to use. It is actually very easy – almost transparent. You architect the capability to have virtually unlimited servers. This opportunity has not been on most people’s radar. Most web developers assume they will run on ‘one box’. Most PHP developers assume ‘one box’ as well. Developers have to think in an almost ‘Java-esque’ modality – assuming that the system will be distributed and there are unlimited resources,” comments Nick Temple.
 

One layer of abstraction solves a lot of challenges
“The AppLogic operating system takes a group of physical servers, combines them into what looks like a mainframe, and then partitions that back out.  So you are developing on top of a grid operating system,” says Nick Temple.

The underlying operating system handles all types of functionality. For example, it keeps a duplicate full image of all your data, which provides redundancy against failure. 

It allows your applications to run on a highly available network environment. Load balancing is done with standard open source software running inside the GRID. This results in significant savings because it enables the leverage of well know open source applications.

This isn’t your older brother’s .COM bomb
Building a Web2.0 venture that can handle millions of visitors is now possible. Financial and technical risk is reduced.

“We now have the capacity to start at a relatively low-level technical infrastructure and then add resources as we grow. We can ramp-up in a matter of days versus weeks or months. It makes our business model possible very attractive,” says Nick Temple. 

Follow the money
When you are a team in one location it is relatively simple to put a few boxes in. But when you go to production you can encounter problems from untested hardware and software. This can be expensive. With TGL you really do not have that. You are going to production on the same environment that you developed.

“We are in the business of providing social networking sites. We are not in the business of managing infrastructure. Infrastructure is a time and resource sink hole. It is also a capital sinkhole, especially during our current start-up phase.  When we are ready to turn the switch we will be able to host on as many servers as required, “explains Nick Temple.

Build Killer Applications with TGL Appliances
Tu/yu.com is using TGL to build Grid resources and for the APPLogic virtualization layer. There is another level they will pursue later in the game. TGL has within it the appliance concept. Appliances will give them the ability to add more capability for plug-in-services as they evolve. Tu/yu.com is getting a system that will enable quick response to market challenges and opportunities.

Working with Layered Technologies
“I found Layered Technologies to be wonderful to work with. I am personally looking forward to advancing the project and doing even more with the Appliance concept,” says Nick Temple. 

Follow-up questions
If you are involved with the managing or funding of any company with a significant internet presence or a Web2.0 company – either in the starting phase or down the road – we can help by providing an alternative sketch of your technology infrastructure. Contact us for this service. We of course welcome your comments to this blog.