open source Archives - AWS Managed Services by Anchor

OpenStack – the open cloud

By | Cloud Computing | No Comments

No one likes vendor lock-in. It’s an artificial limitation on technology, designed to benefit the vendor, not the customer. The restrictions may seem insignificant on day one, when the technology may appear to be the best option currently available. But the world keeps spinning and technology keeps evolving, until you’re stuck with a platform that cannot appropriately adapt to suit your new situation without considerable expense. The big, proprietary public cloud vendors of today didn’t invent vendor lock-in, but they certainly know how to work it to their advantage. Cloud Computing isn’t owned by anyone. Companies locked into a proprietary cloud service lose the flexibility  needed to make good business decisions; making vendor lock-in a real threat to your competitive advantage. What might put you ahead one day can hold you back the…

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Why OpenStack matters

By | Cloud Computing | 2 Comments

I’m excited about OpenStack. “But you’re a cloud computing nerd anyway,” you say. “Why should we care?” I’ve worked in a few cloud businesses over the years in both London and Sydney, watching cloud computing evolve from niche technology to mainstream buzzword. So, yes I can get disproportionally excited about things that may seem boringly technical and nerdy to others. You’re probably not that interested in the capabilities of an Intel 12 core Xeon E5-2697v2 CPU, for example. But I think OpenStack is different, and something all businesses should be aware of, because it’s going to change the way you manage your business data and hosting. This open source cloud platform is on the cusp of disrupting the cosy, established world of the proprietary cloud providers, just as they themselves…

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LCA day 4 – On freedom

By | Technical | No Comments

It goes without saying that Linuxconf is all about free software, as in both beer and/or speech. A number of today’s talks focused on freedom, in the context of access to data and code, and the freedom to use software (and hardware) the way you see fit. We actually had two great keynote talks on freedom, I’d like to step back to yesterday’s talk by Karen Sandler (you can see the talk for yourself on on youtube, which I’d highly recommended). Karen was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that means she could suddenly die at any time. Thankfully there are treatments available, one of which is a pacemaker. Being the person she is, she immediately asked “what software does it run?”. Long story short, the manufacturer ended up…

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By | Technical | 2 Comments

You can’t walk two metres down the street without someone going on about how cool and hip “The Cloud” is these days, being able to spin up hundreds of identical Linux VMs easily. Tools to build and configure lots of identical systems or VMs are plentiful. But what if there is no “standard build” or even anything close, with different hardware, networking, software, distro, services, firewalls etc. every time, but you don’t want to spend all your time doing custom server builds and configuration? Being a provider that specialises in customised hosting solutions, not only do most of our server builds have custom requirements, but we also have to configure lots of our own internal systems to deal with the eccentricities of each new server that we bring up. We…

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The Automation Waltz

By | Technical | One Comment

When you have a bunch of machines involved in a process, you need to ensure that various stages in this process have executed. If the target host is unavailable, you want a guarantee that the job will execute when the host becomes available again.  This is well beyond the capabilities of ssh in a for-loop. In trying to solve this problem, we had assessed tools like mcollective, but came to the conclusion that they were inappropriate for our environment.  mcollective in particular was removed from consideration as it was designed for a more homogeneous environment than the one here at Anchor. When we realised we needed a different solution, a few of us gathered around a whiteboard and started enumerating our requirements.  The result was Orchestra, which we’re releasing today under the BSD License….

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