Following the Drifting Cloud
Posted by: Andrew Williams, Sr. Manager, Systems Engineering
I have to admit setting up a web service to run in the Cloud is remarkably easy. If you’ve run a web server before you can probably be up and running on a service like Amazon's EC2 (Windows or pick-a-flavour Linux same thing) in a couple of hours.
Okay, okay. It might take a couple of days to set up something that encompasses 10 or 20 boxes, but still, think about how long it used to take just to get the boxes on site. I won't even mention how long it took to get a few Tera of SAN (I don't miss that one bit).
The problem with clouds is that they seem to rain on you when you least expect it. So here are a few umbrellas to help you at least prepare for it:
Every cloud is different
Plan to over provision your servers
Keep your monitoring tool in house
Hybrid mode is an option
Understand your load balancing requirements
Looking back, everything comes down to proper planning. If you do your homework, and resist the urge to just cram, when the cloud rains on you (and it will) the most you can expect is a sun shower.
For the curious there are a few tools I like using, Zabbix for monitoring. Yes, Nagios works, but forgive me, I like pretty graphs! Mostly because when someone asks I can send it with out jumping through hoops to do so.
For logs: Splunk and aws. Surprised? I thought not... Amazon Direct Connect, a co lo rack in EC2, nice.
Anyway, my best advice: set up a beach umbrella, grab a cold one (or three) and enjoy the pleasure that is living in the Cloud.
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