Report: A checklist for stacking up IaaS providers

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A checklist for stacking up IaaS providers by Janakiram MSV:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the fastest growing segment of the cloud services market. According to Gigaom Research, the current worldwide cloud market is growing by 126.5 percent year over year, driven by 119 percent growth in SaaS and 122 percent growth in IaaS.
Irrespective of the workload type, the key building blocks of infrastructure are compute, storage, networking, and database. This report focuses on identifying a set of common features for each of the building blocks and comparing them with the equivalent services offered by key players of the IaaS industry. The scope of this report is limited to public clouds and it doesn’t compare private cloud providers offering IaaS.
This report doesn’t attempt to compare the price and performance of the cloud service providers. The IaaS players are dropping their prices so frequently that the captured snapshot would be obsolete by the time this report is published. Since each workload, use case, and scenario differs from customer to customer, providing the technical benchmarking information is not practical. It’s best to pilot your app on several clouds and see what actual performance you get.
To read the full report click here.

You can now automatically recover instances for Amazon EC2

In yet another sign that the big cloud players of Google, Amazon and Microsoft have moved on from just storage price cuts are in the midst of a feature war, Amazon laid out the details of a new auto recovery tool for Amazon EC2, the company explained in a blog post on Monday.

The tool claims to make it possible for EC2 instances to automatically spin up when internal system checks discover that something is hampering those instances. These problems could include a “loss of network connectivity, loss of system power, software issues on the physical host, and hardware issues on the physical host,” the blog post states.

Now, when a hardware issue impedes one of your EC2 instances, you can automatically reboot that instance, which should contain all the necessary configuration details like the instance ID and the IP address. The new instance can also be rebooted onto new hardware if the situation warrants.

Amazon auto recovery

Amazon auto recovery

The auto recovery feature is currently only available to users running the C3, C4, M3, R3, and T2 instance types in the AWS US East region, but [company]Amazon[/company] plans to “make it available in other regions as quickly as possible.” Users can set parameters and alerts in CloudWatch to enable auto recovery. There is no extra charge for auto recovery but regular charges for CloudWatch apply.

Currently, it doesn’t seem like [company]Microsoft[/company]’s Azure has a similar feature. I asked Microsoft and will update this post if I hear back.

[company]Google[/company] Cloud has Live Migration, which means it doesn’t require auto recovery, according to Scalr founder Sebastian Stadil. However, he sees Amazon’s auto recovery being useful to remedy potential software issues.

“Advanced cloud users have been tying their monitoring to fault recovery for a while now, using either homegrown software or off the shelf software like Scalr/RightScale, and they can now use Amazon as an additional choice,” he wrote in an email.

Barb Darrow contributed to this report.

Update on Friday, Jan 23:
A Microsoft spokesperson sent me this blog post:
[blockquote person=”Microsoft” attribution=”Microsoft”]In addition to platform updates, Microsoft Azure service healing occurs automatically when Microsoft Azure detects problematic nodes and moves these virtual machines (VMs) to new nodes. When this occurs, you lose connectivity to VM during the service healing process and after the service healing process is completed, when you connect to VM, you will likely find an event log entry indicating VM restart/shutdown (either gracefully or unexpected).[/blockquote]

Windows Azure Infrastructure Services moves into GA

Today Microsoft announced the general availability of its IaaS offering. This follows last week’s announcement from Amazon, who has reduced the price of Windows Server VMs in anticipation of the Microsoft announcement. Bill Hilf, GM for Windows Azure emphasized on the availability of PaaS and IaaS under one roof in his blog post. Here are some of his observations.

Rackspace readies OpenStack for prime time

The big hosting provider that, along with NASA, launched the open-source cloud infrastructure project two years ago, will start beta testing the software, running tens of thousands of computing instances as opposed to the hundreds under test now, said John Engates, Rackspace’s CTO.

Nimbula, Citrix clouds vow Amazon-style computing

If you didn’t think that Amazon was the king of cloud, just look at what other cloud companies announced Monday. Even paragons of the private cloud world are trying to cloak themselves in the glow cast by Amazon, which is squarely in public cloud realm.

Red Hat attacks cloud-app gap

Red Hat says its new POSIX-compliant virtual storage appliance will make it easier for IT shops to move legacy Unix applications to Amazon’s public cloud. The scale-out NAS appliance, based on Gluster technology, also replaces Centos with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Amazon brings single sign-on to AWS management

Another day, another Amazon web service: This time, Amazon is making it easier for authorized business users to manage their Amazon Web Services infrastructure after signing on — once — to their corporate network. That sign-on will give them access to AWS Management Console.

AWS offers free Windows on EC2 (kind of)

Amazon will let customers run micro-instances of Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 for free on its EC2 service starting now, according to a new post to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog. Such try-before-you-buy tactics have helped Amazon win converts to its cloud platform.