Talking to RightScale about “myCloud” and their work with Zynga

June 9, 2011

Earlier this week at CloudExpo, I talked to both Peder Ulander of and Rich Wolski of Eucalyptus about their involvement with RightScale‘s myCloud solution.  Yesterday I thought I would go straight to the source so I got a hold of RightScale’s VP of business development, Josh Fraser.

Besides the myCloud announcement, Josh also told me about their work with Zynga.  Zynga, as detailed in a recent InformationWeek article, has a hybrid cloud model.  Zynga uses the Amazon public cloud to test new games and then if the game is a hit and when its demand has leveled off, they pull it back into their Z-cloud private cloud.  RightScale manages across the two clouds.

Some of the ground Josh covers

  • What is RightScale
  • [0:26] Their myCloud announcement, widening their focus beyond public clouds to include private and hybrid.  Who they’re partnering with, what myCloud is composed of and their free version.
  • [2:38] Working with Zynga, managing across both Zynga’s private Z-cloud and the public cloud they use at Amazon.
  • [4:09] Working with Amdocs who is running enterprise grade workloads in a private cloud managed by RightScale.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

An Update from Eucalyptus’s CTO and Founder

June 8, 2011

Yesterday at Cloud Expo I bumped in to Dr. Rich Wolski, CTO and co-founder of Cloud player, Eucalyptus.  It had been a while since we had last talked so I grabbed some time with him and got him to give me the skinny:

Some of the ground Rich covers:

  • Eucalyptus’s major release which is coming out in the next 4 weeks
  • [0:40] The RightScale myCloud integration that they announced yesterday (linking Eucalyptus private clouds with various public clouds)
  • [2:01] Eucalyptus’s relationship with Canonical and how their interests are diverging
  • [3:15] Where specifically Eucalyptus is targeted
  • [4:25] What are some of their goals and product features they’d like to add over the next year

Extra-credit reading on OpenStack and powering RightScale’s myCloud

June 7, 2011

Last night at Cloud Expo, I got some time with‘s CMO Peder Ulander to learn how they are working with two key partners, OpenStack and RightScale.  Peder told me how OpenStack is a key relationship for and gave me a quick overview of today’s announcement that is powering RightScale’s myCloud Private Cloud offering:

Some of the ground Peder covers:

  • Open Stack:  The development work is doing on OpenStack; their work on a Swift implementation; and how and OpenStack might play together going foward
  • [1:25] RightScale:  The myCloud announcement and the advantages it brings to enterprises.  How the two companies are doing joint development and joint marketing.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…

RightScale Part 2: Why the cloud? Apple Fanboys and Server Suffrage

June 18, 2009

Tuesday I listened in on the RighScale webinar: How to Build Scalable Websites in the Cloud.  This is part two of my thoughts and notes from the event.  (Note: it doesn’t look like it’s been posted yet but it should be available here soon).
The clouds providers that Right Scale works with.

The clouds providers that Right Scale works with.

As I discussed last time, RightScale acts as a management platform between cloud providers and Apps.

Which Cloud Providers do they work with?

If you double click on the IAAS bit in the yesterday’s slide you get something like the above.  Right Scale works on top of Amazon, coming soon to Rackspace’s Slicehost, Sun/Oracle’s cloud), Eucalyptus theEC2-compatible open source alternative that allows you to set up “private clouds” (BTW as anyone who attended Austin Cloud camp knows I’m using “private cloud” under duress, Gordon Haff does a good job explaining my heartburn) and VMWare.

Linux more robust than Windows

When asked about OS’s supported the answer was Windows as well as Ubuntu and CentOS.  Their CEO did admit that currently Windows support is not as robust as Linux.  They actually began with CentOS and according to one of their team have recently begun supporting Ubuntu more fully.   When I asked about other Linux flavors, Debian, SuSE etc. they said that there were “licensing issues” standing in the way.  I should have asked about OpenSolaris 🙂

Animoto, the well used example of how server demand can explode.

Animoto, the well used example of how server demand can explode.

Why do you look to the clouds?

During the webinar they polled the 200 odd attendees: “what’s driving you to the cloud?”  The results (as you’ll notice, you were allowed to vote for more than one):

  • 80% Scalability
  • 73% Cost Savings
  • 59% On Demand access
  • 28% Back-up and recovery
  • 06% Other

Not surprisingly Scalability came in number 1.  As if to underscore the point they brought out everbody’s favorite case study of exploding demand, Animoto.  Thankfully they had another example of uneven demand, iFixit (see below).  As an aside, one example I’d like to see charted is the attendee who mentioned that their agency is responsible for posting election results and were “not prepared for the interest worldwide, for Proposition 8.”

It was interesting to see that cost savings came in a close second, its always hard to measure particularly over the long haul but the perceived cost benefit is definitely strong in most folks mind.

iFixit's traffic could be said to be a tad "spikey."

iFixit's traffic could be said to be a tad "spikey."

Right Scale fighting for Server voting rights

And in conclusion…I’m always intrigued with the way English language morphs and evolves so I thought it was really interesting how the word “vote” is being used in the cloud (or at least by RightScale).  Basically they use a “voting process” when scaling.  Here’s how one of their team explained it.

Once a machine hits the scale up threshold  it places a vote to scale up.  When enough machines vote to scale up i.e. 51% if that that is what the decision threshold is set at, then new servers are provisioned and configured.  The same goes for scaling down.

Don’t know if this usage is new or a throw back from mainframes or from some other industry but I like it.

Pau for now…

RightScale part 1: Mickos joins and control moves up the stack

June 17, 2009

Yesterday I attended a webinar that RightScale put on entitled: How to Build Scalable Websites in the Cloud.  It was basically a welcome to RightScale, welcome to the cloud presentation but overall interesting and credible.

The presenters were their CEO, their head of marketing and a mini team of techies.  Below is part one of some of my thoughts and takeaways.  But first a slight digression…

Enter the Dolphin Master

One thing I noticed during the presentation and which warmed my heart was that MySQL played prominently in a bunch of the slides.  It was only today when I was poking around the RightScale site that I saw the press release from a few weeks ago announcing that Marten Mickos, former MySQL CEO and Sun employee joined the RightScale board of directors.  Its interesting but not surprising to note in the release that Marten calls out Sun and Canonical (the commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu) as two strategic partners helping to expand the RightScale ecosystem.

Where Right Scale fits within the tri-sected cloud.

Where Right Scale fits within the tri-sected cloud.

Where they play in the Cloud(s)

RightScale positions themselves as a cloud management platform or as I like to think of it “a cloud tamer.”  If you split the cloud in three — software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service — they play in the last space. Basically Right Scale sits on top of Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) and can handle all the tricky bits so you don’t have to.

Choose or choose not to choose

For those who want more control over their infrastructure RightScale will allow you to “choose among a variety of development languages, software stacks, data stores and cloud providers.” For those less intrepid in the cloud they have server templates that you can start off with.

One of the key benefits they stressed was getting rid of vendor lock-in, “so that you never get locked in to a single provider.”  You’ll notice on the X axis above they show lock-in decreasing and portability increasing as you move to the right.  My question however is that with Right Scale aren’t you simply locked in to a different layer of the cloud?  Doesn’t the control point simply move up the stack?  Just wondering…

Tune in tomorrow for part deux!

Extra Credit Reading/Listening

  • What is MySQL founder Monty Widenius up to post MySQL/post Sun? The Open Database Alliance and his MariaDB – May ’09
  • An interview with Marten Mickos, the day the MySQL deal with Sun closed — Feb ’08.
  • An interview with Marten Mickos after he keynoted Canonical’s first (and last) Ubuntu Live — Aug ’07.

Pau for now…

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