#Computing on the cloud

I’ve been looking for a while for a way of trying to provide analytical information on my various web sites and web portals. I looked at many in the space of a month and bumped into this in the last week been having a play with it. Integrated it into virtualfront.

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From what i’ve seen so far I have been very impressed. Piwik has the capability to integrate into the web page. This then sends back information to a Piwik server either running as a separate server or on the same instance as your web server. The whole application is only 5.5Mb which is nice and light weight. It provides great multi tenancy for someone looking to use it with multiple websites and is very easily customisable to your company or brands. Check out Piwik’s live demo pointed at their forums at:

http://demo.piwik.org/

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Web based login also customisable and you can setup user accounts based on the website being monitored. Also deployable as a bitnami custom image

Just been working with some Linux instances for a customer. Not new to Linux but found this simple little guide a great help to save the grey matter for other things.

One Page Linux Manual

Will the world survive a day without Wikipedia?

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Ill tell you tomorrow…

I have now been working with cohesive FT VPN cubed for a number of months in both production and test / dev. The product brings a level of security to a cloud computing environment that allows for truly secure instance data transit.

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The product is used to provide encrypted layer 2 network between different end points. This type of networking is now more commonly in cloud architecture as an overlay network. Cohesive’s overlay network product VPN cubed uses a VPN switch to connect secure tunnels based on certificates generated by the VPN cubed manger.

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This product, and the support team behind it, I cannot speak highly enough of. This really does provide my customers with the four walls and locked door feeling of a datacentre. The product, when implemented correctly, can provide a high, and dare I say higher level of data transit protection than provided from a colocation rack in a datacentre.

The Cohesive FT VPN cubed image is available fully supported on the IBM cloud and also Amazon EC2, Elastic Hosts, Go Grid… you get the idea!

Just finished working on my first AQL Statements (Analytics Query Language). This is IBMs information extraction language for the IBM Big Insights Platform. This platform is an IBM wrapper to the open source hadoop map reduce solution. Just about to drop it onto my 20 node biginsights cluster! So what does this have to do with cloud. Workloads like this benefit from large quantities of processing power for short periods of time. To this end cloud computing can provide the perfect platform to provide cost effective hosting for cluster computing.

Some great resources

The first in a great series of tutorials

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Big data University

The end game

Working today with a partner we ran into trouble while trying to workout the software licensing costs for Cognos. after a bit of digging found the below. Enjoy…

Taken from IBM Passport Advantage web site: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/passportadvantage/licensing_for_IBM_Cloud.html

The IBM SmartCloud Enterprise offering provides a hosted infrastructure service, including hardware, operating system, and services available on a pay as you go or reserved capacity basis. There are nine virtual machine (Instance) sizes available, and three licensing options for IBM customers to use IBM software. Customers can:

Access pre-configured virtual machine Images (Images) under the pay as you go (PAYG) option.
Access Images under the bring your own license (BYOL) option.
Bring and upload IBM software Programs under the bring your own software and license (BYOSL) option.

For more information about the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise service and the PAYG option, visit IBM SmartCloud Enterprise or email david.fearne@arrowecs.co.uk.

Customers can use software licenses, acquired under IBM’s International Passport Advantage or Passport Advantage Express Agreements (collectively PA or PA Program) with the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise service. For licensing requirements under either the BYOL or BYOSL use options, select the respective tab at the top of this webpage.

IBM Passport Advantage Customers can access or upload and install IBM Programs on Instances using Program licenses obtained from IBM. See the BYOL and BYOSL tabs for more information. For software Images and Programs which are licensed by Processor Value Unit (PVU), the Table of PVUs required per Instance below lists the number of PVU Entitlements required per software Image or Program for each IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE) Instance size as of the Table publish date.

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(a.) For more information about IBM Cloud Instances, visit IBM SmartCloud Enterprise

(b.) Certain restrictions may apply; consult the BYOL or BYOSL tabs for additional licensing requirements for software Images or Programs, respectively.

Note: PVU licensing requirements per Instance are subject to change without notice.

IBM Cloud is available through IBM.com/cloud. This is the landing page for all IBM’s cloud service offerings both public, private and virtual private. Today we are going to take a look at depolying an instance from the IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise which we will refer to as SCE. SCE is IBM’s IaaS offering and can be used to provision instances based on a pre-defined list of images. imageWe are Login to the SCE control panel by selecting Cloud portal login. If you don’t have an account send me an email at david.fearne@arrowecs.co.uk. The IBM cloud as I posted below is not an EC2 or GoGrid type of cloud the IBM cloud is managed and charged in a more traditional method using the IBM reseller channel. This has its pro’s and its cons as you might imagine but the main reason for this is that unlike the other cloud providers mentioned above, IBM has rules of operation that do not allow them to host certain business types such as gambling or pornography. This also enables the traditional IBM business partner value add model. The video below is a brief introduction to getting started with the IBM SCE Cloud.

Introduction to getting started with the IBM SCE Cloud.

This video has been cut down but total deployment length is 20mins. come back soon to see how we implement overlay networks to provide global private network, load balancing and high availability.

Getting up and running with a useful cloud service has never been so simple

Bitnami (odd name but great service) have gone to the trouble of creating a large number of pre-built either packages or entire images that can be deployed as or to common Linux operating systems or Windows. The packages include Ruby on Rails, LAMP and WAMP, WordPress, Joumla and many others. The very variety and speed at which you can deploy a fully working website, blog or application makes them very attractive to people looking to deploy web services quickly and with little or no further customisation. I have experimented with a few packages now and run the very blog you are reading this post from on a bitnami WordPress package on Linux. with a few teaks…

BitNami Stacks

BitNami Stacks make it incredibly easy to deploy your favorite open source software. BitNami Stacks include an open source application and all of the other software necessary to run it, such as Apache, MySQL, PHP or Ruby. All you need to do is select your deployment format of choice (Native Installer, Virtual Machine Image or Cloud Image) and either run the installation wizard or start the image. In just minutes, your new application will be ready to run. All Native Installers for the Stacks have been packaged using BitRock’s multiplatform installer.
There are other ways of using BitNami. If you choose to install a BitNami Stack natively on your system, you can download a base Stack and then use BitNami Modules for the added benefit of being able to install several applications on top of a single infrastructure stack. Learn more about BitNami modules. We also offer VMWare images and Cloud Images for most Linux-based stacks as a download option.

BitNami Application Stacks

SugarCRM Redmine Alfresco JasperServer
WordPress Drupal Joomla OSQA
Coppermine Photo Gallery DokuWiki Moodle eZ Publish
Gallery Mantis MediaWiki ocPortal

IBM cloud comes in 4 different options 3 to buy as components and one as previously mentioned for use as an on demand solution. I would like to focus this post on the three options available to the so called cloud builders. The companies whom deem it beneficial to adopt an on premise solution. These fall into two categories. Cloud Service Providers and cloud users. Cloud users are defined as companies whom see that aligning business process with IT service delivery is going to make good ROI. Working in this way can considerably up utilization of available compute power. By turning IT into a cost center for an organization and not just a black hole of money can get some CFO’s giddy with delight. But it is critical then to provide services that meet business requirements. The whole thing falls down as soon as someone mentions the word cross charge! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Provide a solution billed by a temporal metric and you are truly onto a winner.
Cloud Service Providers or CSP’s are ISV or traditional ISP’s looking to take advantage of new markets for their businesses. To this end IBM has a solution that provides a proven platform (proven in that in forms the core of their cloud offerings) to host in the case of ISV’s their application and via a simple to use portal deploy scale and manage the application very much like a sales force.com approach or to become an IaaS or PaaS providers such as IBM SCE or Amazon EC2 this os more aimed at the ISP’s looking to diversify and enable new revenue streams

IBM has officially launched its enterprise public cloud computing finally named IBM Smart Enterprise Cloud or in true IBM style SCE. The cloud has everything we have come to expect from a public cloud targeted at true enterprise deployment. It isn’t currently available with merely a credit card and some time but does provide both on demand and reserved instances. Firewall capabilities if not as user friendly as EC2. Where this solution really does shine especially for those looking to deploy it as a production system is opional phone based support for your cloud environment. This is critical in making mass cloud adoption business as usual for SME’s as these are the clients who will make sure the economies of cloud computing stack up. Getting an enterprise customer to buy 1000 instances is all well and good but get 1000 customers with 5-10 instances each and you have just hit the cloud computing jackpot! Cloud from day one was designed with volume in mind its the business model all the major cloud providers ROI calculations are based on and making the transition as painless as possible is critical. Well done IBM it will now just be a case of keeping it up…

Check back soon as I will be postings so getting started guides on the IBM Smart Enterprise Cloud and also their Smart Cloud Desktop solutions