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Amazon, Rackspace Add New Cloud Capabilities 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the gold-and-silver-lining dept.
miller60 writes "Amazon Web Services has rolled out Elastic Beanstalk, a free feature which automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. AWS execs tell GigaOm that Beanstalk represents a move up to Platform-as-a-Service and is designed 'to address the idea of vendor lock-in and inflexibility that commonly afflicts other platforms for application development.' Meanwhile, Amazon rival Rackspace Hosting has extended its cloud platform to its European data centers, opening the service to customers bound by data protection regulations, and says it now has more than 100,000 cloud customers."
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Amazon, Rackspace Add New Cloud Capabilities

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  • So, in other words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @06:31PM (#34933490)
    Amazon claims that a feature that only they offer helps prevent vendor lock-in?!?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Nope. Amazon claims that by using standard tools (So far, Java + Tomcat server), their offer is easy to migrate from - thereby preventing vendor lock in.

    • by farnsworth (558449) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @07:01PM (#34933790)

      Amazon claims that a feature that only they offer helps prevent vendor lock-in?!?

      No:

      Today's release of Elastic Beanstalk is built for Java developers using the familiar Apache Tomcat software stack, which ensures easy portability if you ever want to move your applications. Elastic Beanstalk is designed so that it can be extended to support multiple development stacks and programming languages in the future.

      Compare this to, say, writing an app using AppEngine and the lack of lock-in becomes clearer.

      • Until I can migrate from clustered computing environment to clustered computing environment (first person to say "cloud" gets punched in the chest) with one click (with DNS, IP management, etc all handled my a hypervisor headmaster), there is still a fair amount of lock-in.

        • by dave562 (969951)

          You should go ahead and write the functionality that you want. I'm sure it will only take you a weekend. Just think, it's probably in such demand that you'll be rich by Monday.

          Get back to me when you're done.

          • by cain (14472)

            I don't think he'll do it. I mean check out his nick.

            • by dave562 (969951)

              I think is nick is a bit hyperbole. He's posting on /. with the rest of us after all.

          • So I have to put in the time to demand a feature? I'd happily write a check. I'd support openstack financially with $10K or $20K if I knew it wouldn't help Rackspace out.

            Some of us can make enough cash to buy the things we need, because time (as my nick points out) is quite often more expensive than cash.

            • by dave562 (969951)

              The feature that you're asking for is unheard of and fanciful. I've only been doing IT for 15 years, so maybe there was time before I got into the game when what you asked for was a reality. But from everything I've seen, any sort of migration is a long and involved process, whether or not you are "locked in" to a product.

              To say, "until I can migrate ... with one click" shows a complete lack of understanding about what you are asking for. You're going to need more than $20K to convince an ASP to give you

        • Until I can migrate from clustered computing environment to clustered computing environment (first person to say "cloud" gets punched in the chest) with one click (with DNS, IP management, etc all handled my a hypervisor headmaster), there is still a fair amount of lock-in.

          Sounds like you're looking to make Puppet better integrated with the various bits you want to manage. vCloud is Scott Ullrich's proposal to get a puppet definition of your whole environment deployed. vCloudBSD is the alpha-version imple

        • by t2t10 (1909766)

          You can't do that with other kinds of hosting either, so the amount of "lock in" is not greater than if you run things yourself or use traditional hosting.

          • But I'd argue it's inherently easier to accomplish in "cloud computing" environments. It's just a matter of ensuring source/destination hypervisors can run the virtual machine images you're using, store the same amount of data using the same methods, etc.

            Think how Amazon AWS currently works. S3 and EBS for storage, EC2 for machine images, hell, they even have Route 53 for anycasted DNS (although it's not as good as dedicated DNS providers).

            Now, if other providers can provide API-compliant, compatible enviro

        • I'm somewhat disappointed in the moderation on my post. It's not like I'm some PHB who doesn't understand technology.

          It's a matter of thinking hard about your app, how it's designed, and the coding based on that design. Architect your environment properly, and have everything accessible via APIs. Want to move your DNS? API calls to replicate the records to another provider and update the nameserver information at the root (with yet another API). Your webservers should be able to scale horizontally, as well

      • Compare this to, say, writing an app using AppEngine and the lack of lock-in becomes clearer.

        Given open source implementations of the AppEngine stack like AppScale and TyphoonAE, I'm not sure the comparison is as clear as you suggest.

    • by tomz16 (992375)

      Amazon claims that a feature that only they offer helps prevent vendor lock-in?!?

      Perhaps, but pragmatically the APIs for Eucalyptus are identical to the corresponding amazon services (e.g. EC2, EBS, S3, Elastic ip, etc.). This means that you can dump amazon any time for another provider deploying a cloud solution based on Eucalyptus or even decide to bring up your own home-grown cloud. You can even run hybrid solutions (eucalyptus in your own data center supplemented with EC2 using a single codebase)

      (You may have noticed the "Install Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud" option on the newest relea

  • "Elastic Beenstalk" sounds like someone's been smoking too much pot.

    • by Juba (790756)
      Next services they're going to offer : "rubberized wheelbarrow" to help you migrate from one cloud to another, and "ducttaped showerhose" to ease communication between several cloud-deplyed load-balanced webapps.
    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      In 1966, I went down to Greenwich Village, New York City to a rock club called Electric Banana. Don't look for it; it's not there anymore.

  • I'm really torn on the whole "cloud" idea.

    On one hand I do use Gmail and just yesterday came away pretty impressed by http://pixlr.com./ [pixlr.com.] I like the convenience, and I like the way many of of these services keep my desktop and Android phone in sync.


    It's one thing to know that your data lives on a specific server box in a specific geographical location. Are we reaching a point where you can't even nail down a specific country that is home to your information?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This whole idea of "services/software" in the Cloud for your business sounds good. The hype is there. As long as you have an Internet connection. And, a backup internet connection.

    • by rainsford (803085)
      True, but it's not like there aren't points of failure for locally hosted data. "Cloud" services seem like a good choice for many businesses because it greatly decreases the amount of IT a business has to manage. And when it comes right down to it, a reliable Internet connection is almost certainly a requirement for a business IT setup no matter WHERE their data is hosted.
  • I tested Rackspace cloud services for a client that has seasonal swings in site hits but could not recommend it because MS SQL Server was not available on the virtual servers. I even pestered my brother-in-law at MS.

    They now have MS SQL Server available on a per vserver basis.

    I'm definitely looking at them again because you can programmatically create and destroy new server instances and you only pay for the time they exist.

    Everything is grayscale at night.
    • by juuri (7678)

      You are doing it wrong if you want to use MS SQL server on dynamic virtual servers.

      There are far better SQL and NoSQL solutions for such instances, not everything is a hammer.

      • I agree completely but I'm an enterprise .Net developer whose clients refuse to use anything other than Microsoft or Oracle databases. Unfortunately Oracle doesn't currently offer a virtual installation.

        When Microsoft came out with the first .Net products I decided to take the plunge and focus on MS .Net developing exclusively and it's worked out pretty well.
  • Mesh is cool

    The "Cloud" isn't.

  • I hear bong water bubbling in the background.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Rackspace who shafted their customers and democracy for an illegal demand on Indymedia and Amazon who shafted democracy by pulling the plug on Wikileaks are now adding new cloud capabilities.

    Please excuse me if I don't use it.

    (PS I still find it highly ironic that Rackspace have their "Fanatical Support" strapline after their craven collapse over Indymedia.

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