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# 42547 6-Oct-2009 18:00
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With Orcon's new offering of Cloud Servers (through one of their subsidiaries iServe), what's the difference between their Virtual Servers and their Cloud Servers?

I'm assuming with the cloud servers you have greater control over resources (such as CPU, memory etc) which you can scale up and down as you need to?

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  # 261817 6-Oct-2009 19:28
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Not 100% sure but...

Pricing models are completely different, VPS plans are x much for y stuff.. Cloud plans are pay as you go for (storage per hour and cpu per hour).

Normally with a vps your vps resides on a physical server along with several other vps'.  Typically with cloud computing you're just leveraging the entire cluster or a grid of physical machines.

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  # 261889 6-Oct-2009 23:02
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It really depends what you want to do with it as it certainly doesn't fit all applications/needs.

The idea of only paying for what you need is a great idea but you have to wonder what sort of uptime the platform guarantees, what sort of backup solution you have (this doesnt seem to have any by default), what sort of network connectivity, what monitoring you get, whether your cloud/VM is firewalled or if you have to rely on a 2nd VM running iptables etc etc.

If you're building a full solution the total cost ownership might be higher than the normal style VPSs you can get nearly everywhere. From the website it looks like you're limited to 4GB of RAM so I'm not sure if you can scale above and beyond this or not at a later stage.

The whole idea of near instant provisioning is certainly neat indeed and the fact that it seems to be the first publicly available NZ cloud shows signs that they are wanting to be a market pioneer.

Any idea what this runs on? Citrix Xen Server?

 
 
 
 


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  # 261953 7-Oct-2009 09:18
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Edit: Damn GZ's post markup!!

I have been testing various scenarios on iServe over the last couple of days:

insane:?what sort of backup solution you have (this doesnt seem to have any by default)
No backups provided. Completely up to the user to get it offsite.

?what sort of network connectivity
Static IP straight on the web

what monitoring you get
DIY

whether your cloud/VM is firewalled or if you have to rely on a 2nd VM running iptables etc etc.
They provide a rudimentary GUI which basically implements IP tables rules for you. These are applied on their firewall infrastructure so you don't have to touch you internal rules.

?If you're building a full solution the total cost ownership might be higher than the normal style VPSs you can get nearly everywhere.
For the performance and scale you are getting it is actually way, way better.

?Any idea what this runs on? Citrix Xen Server?
Runs on some kid of Xen variant.

Initial Cons:
The iServe Cloud is still pretty basic. It doesn't have templating so you can't save your custom OS image for duplication. Meaning every new instance starts off as a bare OS.

Their billing seems to be a bit wacky - I got pinged for 1GB of international traffic within minutes of starting up an instance, even though I had only done a couple of national MB.

You can't upload or generate SSH keypairs, so you have to VNC to the instance and give it a password before you can get a shell to it. I guess this is neither here nor there on Windows instances.

It doesn't have any 32bit Ubuntu OS templates. Grrrr. All my company .deb packages are i386. Worked fine on Debian Lenny though.

Persistent?storage is a bit painful and only provides a single common NFS share to all VMs.

The online help is minimal or non-existent.

Phone support seems to be business hours only. Couldn't get through to an operator at approx. 5:45pm on a weeknight.

Initial Pros:
Provisioning is easy and quick. It takes about 2 minutes to get a machine up and running with a remote SSH shell.?

It is CHEAP. I can ramp up an 8 core, 4GB instance to do some number crunching for one hour and it costs me about 50c.?

It is powerful. The instances I ran were on Xeon 5540 CPUs, which are a 2.53Ghz Nehalem. Very tasty.

Shutting a machine down puts it into "standby", meaning all your data gets kept till you boot it back up. Does cost 1.5c per hour for the?privilege though.

Console access is provided by a Java applet inside the browser-based admin portal.


Worth noting:
Cloud computing requires a change in mindset by the user. If you have never used or heard of Amazon EC2 you probably don't need the iServe offering.

I work for a company that makes use of cloud resource for heavy data processing over short periods of time. IMHO this is a good use case for Cloud. Just wanting to run up a full-time web server on it is probably going to be painful for you, especially if you don't have adequate server experience.

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  # 261956 7-Oct-2009 09:27
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stroke64: I work for a company that makes use of cloud resource for heavy data processing over short periods of time. IMHO this is a good use case for Cloud. Just wanting to run up a full-time web server on it is probably going to be painful for you, especially if you don't have adequate server experience.


I think the most important distinction is that this is simply a new billing model for resources - all metered and on demand, use as you need, discard if you don't. Mainframe companies have been doing this for years with their bigger iron, since it was getting quite costly to just buy those outright.







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# 262015 7-Oct-2009 12:40
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I've just setup a server on their platform (affectionately named "cloudy"), I may blog about my experience later.

Very impressed so far.

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  # 262414 8-Oct-2009 15:00
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freitasm: I think companies are using "Cloud Server" as an euphemism for "Hosted Virtual Server with a more compelling billing option".



Seems like it. Anyone can build a XenServer based Virtual Server Cluster on the cheap since Citrix made 5.x free.


Cloud on the other hand requires just about everything on the Amazon EC2 feature list:
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/#features


 
 
 
 




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  # 262551 8-Oct-2009 21:48
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I see tonight that the option to set a server image is available now.

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  # 262560 8-Oct-2009 22:48
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nate: I see tonight that the option to set a server image is available now.



Good to see templating made available. This is something my CTO was really keen to see.


I also note they have clarified the 1GB billing increment for International traffic (e.g. or part thereof).


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  # 262584 9-Oct-2009 01:08
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stroke64:
freitasm: I think companies are using "Cloud Server" as an euphemism for "Hosted Virtual Server with a more compelling billing option".


Cloud on the other hand requires just about everything on the Amazon EC2 feature list:
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/#features



Well to be fair 'cloud comouting' does not have to be elastic computing. The biggest annoyance to me is those companies who are calling nearly all hosted services cloud services. Sure there are fine lines but its getting a bit out of hand and becomming harder to get an idea of what the platform offers by simply looking at the name.

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