Tag Archive for 'Utility Computing'

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 >>

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