Archive for the 'LT’s The GRID Layer' Category

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"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: LT PACT 2007 & WHIR

During Layered Technologies’ partner conference LTPACT 2007, WHIR had the opportunity to sit down with Bert Armijo, VP of Sales & Marketing from 3Tera and ask him some questions about one of the hottest topics during the event: Utility (GRID) Computing.

With 3Tera representing one of the strongest proponents of grid technology in the hosting industry, it was interesting to hear Bert discuss the virtues of utility computing, the company’s new virtual private data center joint offering with Layered Technologies and the next future project for 3Tera.  View video here: http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid271557071/bctid1119242626

benarmanjimo_ltpactvideo_jpg2.jpg 

WHIR Interview with Michael Platner / CEO of Layered Tech: http://www.thewhir.com/blogs/WHIR-TV/index.cfm/2007/6/27/LT-Pact-2007–Interview-with-Michael-Platner

While at Layered Technologies’ second annual partner event LT Pact 2007, I sat down with Michael Platner, the CEO of Layered Technologies, and got his thoughts on the event, what he hoped attendees took away from the conference, his views on grid and utility computing and his belief on why it will become the way of the future.

Designing SaaS or Web 2.0 apps? Get to market faster and scale further with Layered Technologies’ the GridLayer Enablement Program

The GridLayer Enablement Program

Layered Technologies is the SaaS / Web 2.0 enabler: recognized as an industry leader; with a large investment in utility infrastructure and a substantial and active customer base of providers. We are in the business day-to-day, actively supporting SaaS/Web2.0 companies. We provide technology that gives our clients a pay for use financial asset that is significant and transformational for their companies and investors. Our aim is to help them deliver SaaS and Web2.0 offerings to the market years ahead of the competition. 

For companies interested in porting their applications to TGL we are now offering a unique TGL Technology Enablement Program. The GridLayer Enablement Program is where the magic happens – where people, ideas and technology come together. The Enablement program gives access and advice. Your CEOs, CFO, CTO, IT Directors and Managers team up with our Engineers, Architects, and Specialists to discuss the porting of new or existing SaaS or Web2.0 application to TGL utility computing. The outcomes:

Deployment: The GridLayer is easily deployed in a highly scalable online service in under 60 days, at a fraction of the cost of a managed hosting provider. 

Reduce Risk: Completely eliminate the complexity and risk of building a multi-tenant application.

Application control: Gain complete control of your application to deliver SaaS offerings to market ahead of the competition.

The GridLayer Enablement Program will be different for each company that participates. Contact us if you are interested in porting a SaaS or Web2.0 product (or one under development) to the TGL. We can help you move your project ahead with an Enablement Road Map incorporating utility computing resources, expert technical and business planning advice.

For more information email enterprisesales@layeredtech.com or call at 469-252-3490.

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.
 

Comments by Todd Abrams, President of Layered Techs on "The Grid Layer" (TGL)

“The GridLayer” (TGL):
- is a collection of backbones which are used to hold anywhere up to 48 servers which are then used to build private Grids of  4 nodes to up to 32 nodes.
- allows for rapid deployment of utility based services and platforms with scalable CPU, memory and storage.
- allows administrators to design, edit, configure, and control multi-tier applications using the intuitive web based drag and drop editor.
- clients who provide web hosting services can use the same CPanel or DirectAdmin, just like on dedicated servers. 

Grid-based solutions empower administrators with basically the ease of flipping a light switch in order to plan, build, migrate and deploy entire internet based infrastructures.

Applications running on the TGL can scale from 1 to 32 servers without rewriting the entire application code. In the case of a down hardware node, APPLogic will automatically reprovision the appliance and IP resources to the next available node to allow for quick recovery with no human intervention.

Think of TGL being like an Electric Power Utility Company where each user pays for the different types of power they consume.  There are different classed of grids some more powerful than the others.  With TGL, customers pay for the on-demand CPU, network, server and storage capacity utilized. Plus, TGL provides clients ultimately with more flexible hosting options. 

For customers wanting more than a traditional dedicated server, they will be able to purchase the specific amount in virtual nodes on the grid.

Layered Tech & 3tera Offers the Grid Layer

With 3tera, Layered Technologies offers the GridLayer, the first grid operating system that runs and scales existing web applications. 

Hear Vladimir Miloushev, CEO of 3Tera.com, discusses the challenges in scaling online applications, and steps software developers can take to make the process easier at (MP3):

http://www.ddj.com/dept/webservices/192700287

3tera offers throught Layered Tecinologies the first grid operating system that runs and scales existing web applications :

  • Turn commodity servers into a scaleable shared grid
  • Deploy existing web applications without changing code
  • Scale each application from a fraction of a server up to the whole grid
  • Manage hundreds of servers easier than a single server today
  • Handle hardware failures automatically without losing data
  • Add or remove servers and storage without disrupting applications
  • Manage all applications, servers and storage with just a browser

Layered Tech Announces Grid Computing at Hosting Summit

Layered Technologies has invited the Hosting Industry to its 2nd annual Hosting Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. From June 20th to June 22nd, customers, partners, media and industry players will converge on Caesars Palace once again for an event that will take hosting companies and the industry to the next level.

The event, LT PACT 2007:LAS VEGAS, will provide “street” information that really works, will advise you on what others in hosting won’t tell you, and will guide you into hosting’s future. “Other hosting industry events are characterize as ‘the largest gathering of hosted services professionals in the world’, which would make LT PACT the second largest,” said Chris Murphy Director of Sales for Layered Technologies, “but LT PACT will definitely be the best in learning, in networking, and in fun.”

Attendees will:
• Experience Las Vegas: come early and stay late!
• Increase revenue with improved business practices.
• Learn industry insights while networking with industry leaders.
• Participate in the Texas Hold’em Tournament: at the 2006 event, $5,000 in cash was won in total with the final winner receiving $2,400 of the total (no entry fee).

Popular Sessions Include:
• ”Dealing with the Dark Side: Fraud Chargebacks and More!”
• ”Mitigating Top Security Threats in 2007.”
• ”Driving Revenue with Disaster Recovery Services and Data Backup”
• ”Got Game: Hosting and Gaming—The Vision and The Revenue.”
• ”Winning Partnership in Hosting: The Who, The What and The How.”
• ”Understanding Grid Computing and the Utility Hosting Model.”
• ”SaaS and Your Future.”
• ”Permission Based Messaging as Part of Your Marketing Communications.”
• ”Blogging and the Marketing Potential.”
• ”Is Your Business Web 2.0 Ready? Web 3.0 Ready?”

For more information visit: www.ltpact.com/