If you need the reliability of dedicated hosting and the scalability of the cloud, RackConnect® enables you to connect your dedicated servers to our fully managed cloud, giving you the performance of traditional hosting plus increased security with single-tenant Cloud Networks. Mix and match public cloud, private cloud, and dedicated servers to create your ideal environment. Enterprise businesses trust their mission-critical applications on highly available and high-performing traditional hosted infrastructure, using products such as high-speed SAN storage, single-tenant virtualization, and high-capacity load balancers. RackConnect can enhance this infrastructure with rapidly elastic cloud compute and storage resources, enabling you to flex your capacity at a moment's notice, reacting to unexpected spikes on demand or to seasonal business trends.
Rackspace CTO John Engates explains new features and functionality that enable you to connect your datacenter and Rackspace environments using powerful RackConnect technology more securely and easily than ever. Customers with smaller dedicated hosting footprints can realize cost savings by shifting certain components of their application to a cloud platform, such as the web or application tier.
If you're using Cloud Servers, RackConnect enables you to add a custom-built, high-performance database or app server to provide a more secure, single-tenant backend for your app. And with the addition of the Brocade ADX as a connected device, the entry point to RackConnect-capable hardware has expanded. Connect to Rackspace with an encrypted VPN tunnel to link the Rackspace Cloud to your data center or existing IT infrastructure. Our high-capacity network delivers fast throughput for Cloud Servers, Cloud Files, and RackConnect. The use cases below show you the true flexibility of the RackConnect solution, from simple configurations to true enterprise scale. An encrypted VPN tunnel creates a secure connection between your existing data center or IT infrastructure and the Rackspace Cloud. Hardware-based, dedicated load balancer and dedicated firewall, to distribute traffic across both dedicated servers and Cloud Servers. Print PDFAmazon Web Services announces a new product, Amazon ElastiCache – which is basically using Memcached server – a scalable distributed in-memory cache server for cloud hosting services such as Amazon EC2.
ElastiCache feature set resembles more closely to the more developed version of Memcached called Membase – minus the Membase clustering, replication and virtual node support ? Unfortunately, looks like you can only pair Amazon ElastiCache instances with Amazon EC2 and not with non-EC2 web servers hosted outside of Amazon AWS’s network as explained in their FAQ.
Amazon ElastiCache allows you to control access to your Cache Clusters through Cache Security Groups.
To allow network access to your Cache Cluster, create a Cache Security Group and link the desired EC2 security groups (which in turn specify the EC2 instances allowed) to it. Please note that IP-range based access control is currently not enabled for Cache Clusters. Revisiting the vCider SDN Solution Prior to Cisco Acquisition : I never really got a chance to know what vCider brought to the menu of network industry disruption  prior to their recent acquisition by Cisco. My two cent overview from what I remember vCiders technology being was a completely software delivered solution. Big vendors can sit back and let the smaller companies innovate with creative network applications that take advantage of OpenFlow enabled devices, or they can build them themselves.
I enjoyed going back and reading the posts and documentation from vCider, so I thought I would post some of the content that I found interesting. The vCider content is all viewable from web caches, nothing secretive, so if there is a post I didn’t put up that you were interested in reading you can find the cache.
A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a private network that you control and manage but that a least partially runs outside your enterprise data center, typically on one or more public cloud platforms such as Amazon EC2 or Rackspace.
A VPC enables you to securely connect whatever cloud or on-premises systems you like in a fast private network. Most IaaS providers offer some kind of VPC or VPN solution so that the provider’s resources can access on-premises systems.
Increasingly, cloud applications are deployed across more than one IaaS provider to avoid service outages and to support disaster recovery. Finally, the vCider VPC offers fine-grained control over cloud cloaking exclusion rules for packet filtering. Simply stated, a virtual network is a network that you control, that runs on one that you don’t control.
In addition, to secure communications between nodes within the VPC, all traffic must be encrypted. Finally, the vNet is the means by which the VPC isolates the cloud resources from the public internet. The virtual network built in the public cloud can be seamlessly attached to a corporate data center and LAN through the vCider Virtual Gateway. The Gateway is a system on the virtual network that also has access to the physical network in the corporate data center.
Cloud Cloaking is a security technique by which systems running in the public cloud are rendered invisible to the public Internet. A host-based firewall that you load on your cloud systems can provide many important functions.
Cloud cloaking locks down the systems from all external access; the virtual network lets you build network topologies and steer traffic flows exactly where you want them. OpenVPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution that lets you connect a client and server over an encrypted tunnel. Beyond the performance limitations of OpenVPN, vCider additionally provides gateway functions and cloud cloaking technology to support cross provider Virtual Private Clouds.
Subscribers have access to the vCider Configuration Console where they can create new virtual networks, connect them to their enterprise network and cloak them to become their own VPC.
The Management Console reports node (system) status and availability, as well as a variety of network statistics including total throughput and packets per second for each node. As compared with the native network interface packets experience very little additional delay. Our Cassandra performance benchmarks indicate that throughput between vCider nodes is nearly identical to that of native network interfaces. I first wrote about OpenFlow and Software Defined Networks a while back and there has been a lot of progress since then. The vision of ONF is not only that the networks be interoperable, but that they also be inter-controllable. I’m going to spend some time in the OpenFlow Lab at Interop this week so I’ll be able to see first hand what is actually going on here. With the OpenFlow buzz  machine dialed up to 11, it was nice to read this interviewwith Kyle Forster, the co-founder of BigSwitch. Look, if we’re using OpenFlow controllers and switches to do stuff that switches do today, this is going to commoditize switching. It will be interesting to watch which vendors choose which path. The path they take could very well shape the industry for years to come.
In light of recent IaaS provider outages, it is easy to understand that organizations are hesitant to move critical infrastructure into the cloud. In this article, we will show how we can accomplish rapid failover of cloud resources, even across provider network boundaries. For our example, we bring up two servers, one in the Amazon EC2 cloud, the other in the Rackspace data center. In addition, we use vCider’s virtual network technology to construct a single network – a virtual layer 2 broadcast domain – on which to connect the two servers as well as agateway that will be placed into the enterprise network.
Finally, we use Linux-HA’s Heartbeat to configure automatic address failover between those servers in the cloud, in case one of them should disappear. After bringing up two Ubuntu servers, one in the Amazon EC2 cloud and one at Rackspace, we now construct our virtual network. Go to the download page to pick up our installation package and follow the instructions there. We can see here that virtual IP addresses have been assigned to each node, which can already start to send and receive packets using those addresses. Our floating IP address will be managed by Linux-HA’s Heartbeat, a well established and trusted solution for high-availability clusters with server and IP address failover. This allows us to configure Hertbeat by referring to the cluster nodes via easy to remember server names.
Note that we are listing both our cluster nodes by name and refer to the IP address of the other node, as well as ‘vcider0?, the name of the vCider network device. On the second node, the Amazon EC2 server, create an exact copy of this file, except that the ‘ucast vcider0? line should refer to the IP address of the Rackspace server. We now need to establish the authentication specification for both cluster nodes, so that they know how to authenticate themselves to each other.
RackConnect lets you realize the power of the hybrid cloud backed by 24x7x365 Fanatical Support®. RackConnect offers a number of security features on the cloud side that were previously available only in dedicated environments. For example, moving image libraries to cloud storage reduces the dedicated storage requirements and enables faster content distribution via the CDN capability of Cloud Files. Layer on a dedicated firewall, web app firewall, or DDoS mitigation to help protect your entire solution. These examples can help you solve the tradeoff between security requirements, performance, and cost. Size your environment to its average capacity, and use our utility-priced cloud to handle peak traffic needs.
In dem Sie weiterhin auf dieser Website browsen, erkl?ren Sie sich automatisch mit unserer Art der Nutzung von Cookies einverstanden. ElastiCache will probably help lower the Amazon EC2 memory requirements for each EC2 based web server, if you separate memcached server to it’s own Amazon ElastiCache instance ?
A Cache Security Group acts like a firewall, controlling network access to your Cache Cluster. All clients to a Cache Cluster must be within the EC2 network, and authorized via security groups as described above.


The really smart ones are not only going to develop their own applications, but also get in front of all this and make their devices the preferred platform for everyone’s network applications. It will be interesting to watch which vendors choose which path. Cisco has quite a few announcements recently and presumably upcoming that can allow for some connecting of dots for a preview of an SDN data center strategy with splashes of cloud, fabric, tunnels, orchestration and stacks. SDN in the Data Center has had so much focus due to the ever-growing earnings potential in the data center and the ability to avoid the hardware constraints presented in today’s silicon. Want to span regions or cloud platforms to support HA architectures or simply to choose best-of-breed providers? Also, cloud users often wish to deploy parts of their application at different IaaS providers that offer price or performance advantages.
Virtual networks are independent and isolated from other networks and the hardware on which they run. In order to extend a data center into the cloud, at a minimum, the network in the public cloud needs to support the users own private IP addresses. This typically is a physical machine that runs in the DMZ or behind an appropriately configured firewall. This simply requires that you set up a VPN connection to a system on the vCider virtual network, then configure that node as the vCider Gateway. Just like any virtual machine that’s running in the cloud, systems in your data center, once configured with vCider software, can join the virtual network and become part of the VPC. By cloaking public cloud resources, vCider makes the attack surface of your cloud application disappear. However, the administrative burden that goes along with maintaining policies consistent across a set of elastic cloud systems can be overwhelming. Rather than establishing firewall rules for access to cloud-based systems, a VPC lets users secure their systems with their existing enterprise security infrastructure.
This installs a user space process called the Network Monitoring Daemon (NMD) and a high-performance network device driver. However, please see our Download page for a list of standard AMIs that are compatible with our software. The download includes executables for all supported kernels which is why the download is about 1MB. OpenVPN is an application that runs in user space and can not deliver the level of performance of the vCider kernel-resident device driver software. The vCider device driver on the system accepts fully formed Ethernet frames from the local network driver. As compared to latency across the WAN between systems on the virtual network, the additional latency is negligible. Our performance benchmarks indicate only incremental CPU utilization increases as compared with native networking.
In fact, given the disruptive potential of OpenFlow I have serious doubt any major supplier will ever support it outside of proof of concept trials. OpenFlow is just one technique for Software Defined Networks (SDN) that have the potential to revolutionize the way networks are build and managed.
I remember Interop back in the late ’90s where the plugfests were the highlights of the conference.
It is, by far, the most thoughtful piece I’ve read so far on what OpenFlow is and where the opportunities lie. For example, instead of having all your servers with Amazon EC2, also have some with Rackspace.
We use a simple example to show how to construct a seamless and secure extension of your enterprise network into the cloud, with built-in automatic failover between servers located in different cloud provider’s networks. This demonstrates the point of being able to cross provider boundaries, but of course, if you prefer you could also just have a setup in multiple geographic regions of the same provider. The gateway acts as the router between the local network and the virtual network in the cloud, securely encrypting all traffic before it leaves the safety of the corporate environment. The IP address failover facilitated by Linux-HA requires the cluster machines to be connected via a layer 2 broadcast domain. This address is a “floating address”, which may fail over between the two servers at Rackspace and Amazon EC2. In our example, we install it in two cloud based nodes and in one host within our enterprise network. Thanks to vCider’s virtual layer 2 broadcast domain, Heartbeat can finally also be used in IaaS provider networks that do not natively support layer 2 broadcast. For more details about the Heartbeat configuration options, please refer to Heartbeat’sdocumentation.
Since all communication on a vCider network is fully encrypted and secured, and since with vCider we can easily cloak our network from the public Internet, we use a simplified setup here, which saves us the creation and exchange of keys. Cloud Servers can be automatically added to your load balancer, enabling you to scale on demand. For more information about cookies and how you can turn them off, please see our cookie compliance page. Fur weitere Information zu Cookies und wie man Sie abstellen kann, besuchen Sie bitte unsere Cookies Compliance Seite. Matt has been bearish and ahead on thought leadership on the topic of SDN, when one would be scoffed at or jumped on from the tech bullies. The Tunnel Endpoint (TEP) then registers with at the vCider website to pick up its TEP to IP mapping. To reiterate nothing below here is my content merely web cache being reposted so folks can enjoy some nice diagrams and commentary.
This virtual network supports familiar enterprise LAN capabilities such as multicast, IP failover, etc. Sometimes a provider might be physically located closer to end users or have some other unique advantage.
Just as multiple virtual machines (VMs) can run inside a hypervisor on a single host, many virtual networks can run simultaneously on the same physical network. Cloud resources that run in EC2 can be networked with systems that run in Rackspace Cloud or physical systems at a co-lo provider.
The physical machines in your data center would use an IP address on virtual network to communicate with systems outside of the data center. Also, administering a VPN between more than just a few systems is an enormous administrative burden that most users are unwilling to bear. Everything that can be done through the Configuration Console can also be done via the API.
From the destination MAC address in the Ethernet frame, it determines which physical system is running the destination virtual interface. In fact, when applications require encryption, vCider can dramatically improve performance.
We take that for granted now, but there was a time when it wasn’t uncommon for one vendor’s router to be unable to route another vendor’s packets. So, how can a responsible organization go about moving part of its network and server infrastructure into the cloud, without exposing itself to undue risk and without putting all eggs into a single IaaS provider’s basket? This rules out deployment on IaaS providers like Amazon EC2 and others, which do not offer any layer 2 networking capabilities. The gateway machine (in green) is part of the enterprise network as well as the vCider network and acts as router between the two.
If you want your applications to access your Cache Cluster, you must explicitly enable access from hosts in specific EC2 security groups.
I think the idea of revisiting some long in the tooth practices is beginning to catch on which is great for those of us held accountable for their performance and availability. Before I reinvent the wheel on explaining this Ivan Pepelnjak did a great writeup and a video explanation in his cloud networking webinar.
The automation provided by a VPC eliminates the need for manually configuring networks with OpenVPN or host-based firewalls. To accomplish this with a VPN would require a full mesh of point-to-point tunnels, creating significant and on-going administrative overhead. Web traffic can be accepted in on a specific system, while the rest of the network remains private and cloaked, invisible to malicious users. As long as the systems can run the vCider software and have Internet access, the can be included in a virtual network. Once a system is specified as a gateway, vCider then will automatically configure routes on all the systems on the virtual network with routes to the gateway for access to the corporate LAN. The only way to access the applications is via the private non-routable IP address across the virtual network. Multiple interfaces lets users build specific network topologies that may be required for certain application deployments. It then encapsulates the unmodified frame in an IP packet and sends it to the indicated physical system. Performance through the virtual network gateway is dependant on the performance of the system on which the software runs.
Since all traffic in the VPC is encrypted natively, these third-party encryption solutions (and their performance impact) can be eliminated. Ideally, configure one to be the backup for the other, so that in case of failure a seamless and automatic switch over may take place. However, as we will see, it works perfectly fine on the layer 2 broadcast domain provided by vCider. We will see in a moment that the address failover is rapid and client request continue to be served, without major disruption. So I wanted to revisit what little I remember and post the web mirrors that I didn’t read enough of. This is especially burdensome when considering the dynamic nature of typical cloud-based applications.


Cloud users need a universal solution for securely connecting cloud resources in a private network. In addition, cloud cloaking is designated on a per-network basis so supporting multiple interfaces on a system lets systems straddle the boundary between the VPC and external networks.
There, the receiving network driver delivers to the vCider device driver the IP payload, which is the original Ethernet frame. This, however, is not made easy, due to proprietary management interfaces for each provider, and because traditional network tools often cannot be used across provider networks.
Chris Marino one the co-founders wrote quite a bit on his thoughts around the emerging SDN opportunities and some interesting insights from a VC.
This unmodified frame is simply sent up to the application where it receives it, unaware of its true path. Because of the diverse deployment options and dissimilar features of different services, formulating relevant and fair comparisons is challenging to say the least. This isn't to say that you can't - but if you do, or if you are handed a third party comparison to look over, there are some things you should keep in mind - and watch out for (we've seen some poorly constructed comparisons). To do so, I'll present actual comparisons from testing we've done recently on Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and SoftLayer. I won't declare any grand triumphs of one service over another (this is something we try to avoid anyway).
Instead, I'll just present the numbers as we observed them with some cursory commentary, and let you draw your own conclusions. I'll also discuss value and some non-performance related factors you might want to consider. Apples and Oranges Before you start running tests, you first need to pick some compute instances from different services you are considering. Some comparisons I've seen get off to a bad start here - picking instances that are essentially apples and oranges.
For example, I still see studies that compare older Amazon EC2 m1 instances (which have been replaced with newer classes) to the latest and greatest of other services. I've also seen comparisons where instances have dissimilar CPU cores (CPU benchmark metrics are often proportional to cores). Watch out for these types of studies, because often the conclusions they come to are inaccurate and irrelevant. Test Workloads Before comparing compute services, you should have an idea about the type of workloads you'd like to compare.
For the web server workload, our focus was CPU, disk read and external network performance. Because web servers usually don't store mission critical data, we picked instances with generally faster local drives (SSD where possible). For the database server workload, our primary focus was CPU, disk read and write, memory and internal network performance. Because database servers are typically a critical component in an application stack, we chose off instance storage instead of local because of its better resilience. If a host system that fails, off instance storage volumes can usually be quickly restored on a new compute instance. In order to provide an apples-to-apples comparison, we chose from current instance classes with each service and matched the number of CPU cores precisely. Our Comparisons Based on the criteria above - the tables below show the instances we picked for each service and workload. CPU cores-to-memory ratios are often where it is nearly impossible to match services exactly. Our primary consideration was to match CPU cores - since this is what affects CPU benchmark metrics the most.
Web Server Comparisons On July 1 2014, Amazon announced T2 instances with burstable CPU capacity. This instance class offers 1 to 2 CPU cores and provides bursting using on a predictable, credit based method. CPU bursting is nothing new, but the T2 implementation with a predictable, credit based burst model is, and offers good value for workloads that fall within its 10-20% bursting allowance. It is based on new hardware and a higher CPU cores-to-memory ratio (7X) than the other Azure instances included in the comparisons. Benchmark Relevance Once you've picked services and compute instances to compare, and workload to focus on - the next step is to choose benchmarks that are relevant to those workloads. This is another area where I've seen some bad comparisons - often arriving at broad conclusions based on simplistic or irrelevant benchmarks. The benchmarks we chose are SPEC CPU 2006 for CPU performance, fio for disk IO, STREAM for memory, and our own benchmarks (based on standard Linux tools) for internal and external network testing. More details about these benchmarks, and the runtime configurations we used are provided in the report. CPU Performance With the exception of Microsoft Azure (and occasionally SoftLayer), all of the services we tested use current generation Sandy or Ivy bridge processors resulting in similar CPU metrics. SPEC CPU 2006 is an industry standard benchmark for measuring CPU performance using 29 different CPU test workloads.
Due to SPEC rules governing test repeatability (which cannot be guaranteed in virtualized, multi-tenant cloud environments), the results below should be taken as estimates. For SoftLayer the cause of this was their use different CPU models, some older and some newer (we observed 6 different architectures on SoftLayer from 2009 X3470 to 2013 Ivy Bridge). Although DigitalOcean also uses local SSD storage, its performance was consistently slower that other local SSD based services. DigitalOcean was excluded from the database server tests because they do not have an off instance storage option. For the small database server the Amazon EBS PIOPS volumes were provisioned for 1500 IOPS, and the Rackspace database servers used SATA storage volumes. Microsoft Azure consistency improved with this instance type - perhaps because it is a larger type. Rackspace for example appears to cap the uplink (outbound traffic) but not the downlink (inbound traffic) - even on the internal network interface. Keep in mind that this level of performance is achievable for between 10-20% of the total operational time.
Google's new monthly discounts offer a good value without requiring any upfront setup fees (if you keep the instance live for a month you automatically get a discount).
Microsoft Azure value is low due to use of older CPU hardware resulting in poor performance on CPU benchmarks. These limits may affect you if you experience rapid growth, or have elastic workloads with high usage requirements during peak times.
Although you can typically request an increase to quotas, the default limits can convey the scale at which a service operates.
Services operating at a larger scale may be better able to support rapid growth and elastic workloads.
With Amazon and Google, for example, we have often obtained increases within hours, while with some others responses have slower and capacity more limited. These tables list both the quota policies and how they would affect provisioning of compute instances of different sizes. We have experienced provisioning requests in some regions being cancelled due to lack of capacity, while in others they are successful.
They are often less resilient, however, because if the host system fails, the data is lost until it can be restored. Off Instance Volumes: More resilient and fault tolerant than local storage - if a host system fails, off instance volumes can often be quickly restored on a new instance. Drive Types: Sometimes services offer different storage tiers based on drive type - SSD for better performance, and SATA for larger capacity.
Multiple Volumes: Does the service let you mount multiple storage volumes to a single compute instance, or is the disk capacity fixed?
Although operating systems usually support security features and software based firewalls, it is often better to deal with security separately, outside of the operating system entirely. Some common security features include: Firewall: Does the service provide an external firewall to filter network traffic before it reaches your compute instance? When used, a compute instance's public IP address sits on the firewall, which in turn forwards permitted network traffic to the instance. VPN: Does the service support secure connectivity between compute instances and an external network?
VPN allows you to connect to your public cloud compute instances securely using private IP addressing.
This means your compute instances can communicate without the ability of other users to snoop on your traffic. PCI DSS Compliance: Has the service been audited and certified by the payment card industry?
I've covered a lot of ground in this post including how to properly choose instances from different services, picking relevant benchmarks, some actual comparisons of services, estimating value, and other considerations. The biggest take away I'd hope for is a better understanding about how to compare compute services accurately, and identify comparisons that are of questionable quality.
It should also be noted that because compute services are frequently updated, the validity of the benchmark metrics in this post are time limited. If you'd to know more, the full report download contains 120 pages of graphs, tables and additional commentary.



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