Tag Archive for 'Cloud Computing'

Layered Tech Brings 3Tera’s AppLogic for Windows to the Grid

Plano, TX – Layered Technologies, Inc. (Layered Tech), a leading worldwide provider of on-demand IT infrastructure, today announced that it is the first hosting company to give enterprise customers the option of transferring their Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows OS) environment to an AppLogic-based cloud computing solution. Layered Tech will use 3Tera’s AppLogic™ 2.4 to enable customers to run their Windows OS platform in a virtual computing environment, which means customers will have the same high-availability as their dedicated physical servers but with far more scalability, all for a fraction of the cost. Learn more >>

Virtualization creates profound cost savings for the Windows OS environment for several reasons, including that customers:

>> No longer have to buy and maintain hardware including servers, load balancers and SANs.

>> Save money because virtualization enables them to reduce the complexity of their operating environment by consolidating multiple physical servers onto a handful of virtual machines.

>> Save time when setting up new servers because virtualization software’s templating and snapshot capabilities can replicate entire OS and application set-ups in 10% of the time it takes with physical dedicated servers.

>> Eliminates the cost and complexity of maintaining and installing their OS because The Grid Layer® solution from Layered Tech means that management of virtual machines is handled by Layered Tech data center employees.

“In the current economic conditions where everyone is looking to spend less but still achieve their business objectives and profitability, Layered Tech is presenting customers with a particularly compelling opportunity to significantly cut costs by consolidating their Windows OS server operations onto our virtualization platform,” said Jack Finlayson, CEO of Layered Tech. “By bringing Windows OS onto The Grid Layer, we are literally creating a market that didn’t have a place before. To achieve virtualization’s high-availability, scalability and replication in a physical server environment would cost customers millions, yet with Layered Tech their cost is a tiny fraction of that.”

In conjunction with its new Windows OS/virtualization offering, Layered Tech has launched an Early Adopter Program (Request info) so that existing customers can transfer some of their Windows OS servers to Layered Tech’s grid to evaluate cost saving opportunities, as well as operational and performance improvements that come with Layered Tech’s virtualization solutions.

“We’re very excited to bring this offering to the market because our customers have been asking for Windows OS virtualization support, and now we’re making that possible by being the first to provide AppLogic 2.4,” said Layered Tech Chief Marketing Officer John Pozadzides. “Even in this tough economy we still have many customers who need to rapidly scale their computing capabilities because they’re experiencing explosive growth, are bringing on new customers or even that they’re expanding R&D. Having their Windows OS servers on a virtualization platform means they can consolidate servers with Layered Tech and have the scalability and redundancy they need, all while still operating within a fairly lean IT budget.”

In addition to the Windows OS environment, Layered Tech continues to offer The Grid Layer to enterprises and companies that use other operating systems, such as Linux and Unix. Customers of Layered Tech’s Grid Layer, including those operating on Windows OS, are now available to take advantage of its DEFCON managed services, enabling enterprises to scale the level of data center and server management that best fits their individual needs. 

To learn more, visit www.layeredtech.com or www.thegridlayer.com >>

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 >>

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 >>