RightScale Meetup - Nov 2, 2009

RightScaleRightScaleI attended the RightScale meetup in Santa Clara, CA on Nov 2, 2009.

Hundreds of local and far-away customers and partners of RightScale came to hear the latest trends, use cases, and roadmaps directly from the CEO, CTO and several happy customers. With 20,000 users, some of the largest cloud-based websites and grid operations use RightScale.

RightScale CEO, Michael Crandell, kicked it off with a discussion of 4 trends he's identified that are driving up the use of Cloud Computing:
- Public Awareness
- Infrastructure Innovation
- Partner Ecosystem
- Customer Evolution

Use Cases for the Cloud:
Scaling websites, Grid, Test and dev, DR, App delivery

RightScale Customer Cases:

Sony Music on the Cloud
Launching 4-5 stores per day, Sony uses Drupal for 100's of custom stores from one architecture that scales automatically as needed.
It took 6 days to get the site operational using RS and partnered with Rackspace.
Examples: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Michael Jackson
High volume memorial site (http://michaeljackson.com) scaled millions of fans per day
2 app servers, PHP site, everything else degraded except the website

Technology used:
custom install of Sony code from S3
master/slave templates
mysql master db/slave db storage with hourly snapshots
auto recover of DB servers
HAproxy - redundant proxy servers
auto scalable app server array
payment proxy (PCI compliant scalable solution)
transcoder server creates music video with the fans of the artist

Areas to improve:
Rollout of new software and new server arrays
only one SSL cert per server deployment

Transcoding - converting video form one encoded fromat to another (iphone,
Message Queue, Transcode, Storage, Distribution

Accelerates the API economy with an API gateway
Analytics, access control, protocol mediation, caching, policy enforcement, metering and SLA, traffic management, debugging, monitoring

Customers: myspace, mtv, innotas, roundbox (top 25 iPhone app), apigee

For Sonoa, RS reduces deployment time; reduces concerns around cloud portability; reduces concerns with service monitoring and mgt

Problems not solved yet - difference between different cloud providers
no visibility into specific app servers; hardware limitation
Need Nagios

Google AppEngine AppScale built by UCSB for EC2

Trying to take info out of DB and put into SOLR.
Looking at Drizzle, Hadoop built by Yahoo, Cassandra (sub ms r/w time) built by IBM and others

Sonoa is Porting from AWS to Rackspace cloud to save money

RightScale Roadmap:
RightLink - installs agent on the machine for Chef support
OS: Ubunto 9.10, CentOS 5.4, Win2003, 2008
Cloud Support: AWS, GoGrid, Rackspace, Eucalyptus/VMWare
Enterprise: Access Controls, reporting and auditing, security
Goal: broad array of OS, clouds, customer segments

RightScale CTO Thorsten von Eicken:
ServerTemplates: built to order servers
Modular, portale, transparent, dynamic
Developer: application, cloud libratries web framework - Application adn App Libraries
Dysadmin defined: syslog config, SSH keys, Apache config - App libraries, environment config, common config, sw pacakes - rpm/apt

new features: rightlink agent, opscode chef cookbooks, machine tags, inter-server messaging

Mysql is the same on any cloud, but the data filesystem is needed and different on each cloud

Supporting a cloud has many levels:
Server Template Library
Monitoring, ALerts, Autoscaling
List/launch/terminate servers
API interface (Ruby GEM)

RightScale supports EC2 for all of these, Rackspace up to monitoring; Eucalyptus, Gogrid up to list/launch/term

RightLink (agents) replacing RunRightScripts (does what Puppet does)

RepoPaths (git is like svn subversion)
Repositories - collection of cookbooks
Cookbooks ~classes
Resources - recipes manipulate resources objects) that represetn processes, files, devices, etc.
Providers - low-level OS-dependent code to implement operasion on resouces
Resources and proviers are OS/Cloud dependent

Sysadmin workflow for cloud computing is becoming more like a development workflow: edit, update, debug cycle

Machine tags - arbitrary meta data attached to RS objects - namspace:predicate=value (like Flickr)

Working: Integrate Amazon LBS or RDS into your deployment - other servers can't tell whether it's LBS or a real load balancer

Managing at Scale - Enterprise class

Chris Fowler - Services is the Enabler
Si Partner, Dev Team, QA Team, Ops team
Cloud Provider, cloud provider support
RS tech support, PS, Education
RS SI partners, ISV Partners
Partner delivered services

Consultative Support - per incident allocation for support contracts
On-site Virtual consultant
Education courses

Preventing Lockin to RS: use rightscripts and chef to keep the mgt portable