High Availability and Redundancy

NIST Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud

Although more and more cloud newcomers are grasping the essence of the cloud, the challenges are still great. EU or US “cloud regulations” with regard to security and privacy is still a popular topic of discussion in the cloud social sphere. NIST, a US government research organization, with its cloud program is one of leaders in pushing to define the cloud with its “right rules” supported by relevant standards.

“Cloud computing can and does mean different things to different people. The common characteristics most interpretations share are on-demand scalability of highly available and reliable pooled computing resources, secure access to metered services from nearly anywhere, and displacement of data and services from inside to outside the organization. While aspects of these characteristics have been realized to a certain extent, cloud computing remains a work in progress. This publication provides an overview of the security and privacy challenges pertinent to public cloud computing and points out considerations organizations should take when outsourcing data, applications, and infrastructure to a public cloud environment” 

The 10 Most Common Amazon’s AWS Usage Mistakes

10 common amazon AWS usage mistakesAWS (Amazon Web Services) provides an excellent cloud infrastructure solution for both early stage startups and enterprises.  The good news is that AWS is a pay-per-use service, provides universal access to state-of-the-art computing resources, and scales with the growing needs of a business.  The bad news – AWS can be very hard for early stage companies to onboard, while enterprises usually spend too much time with ‘busy work’ to optimize AWS and keep costs under control.

AWS Elastic Load Balancer Usage – How “real” is your availability?

Mistake #10: Not taking Advantage of Multiple Availability Zones

AWS ‘Availability Zones’ is a simple feature that distributes a user’s workload across multiple data centers within a given region. We don’t even need to go as far as saying users don’t leverage AWS multiple regions to distribute their workload – the complexity and overhead in this case might be significant. AWS availability zones on the other hand are a simpler tool to pull advantage from distributed workloads in the cloud, yet users commonly overlook this capability.

Some AWS EBS Benchmarks and Best Practices by Greplin:tech

Greplin built a lot of their infrastructure on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Elastic Block Store (EBS). Following the serious AWS 2011 April outage they tested in deep the EBS performance and came with benchmarks with regards to disk I/O.  We invite you to check it out.

The great informative post includes best practices, benefits and Caveats. The post led to some great comments also in this YCombinator thread  with some more referrals to additional relevant knowledge resources.


Keywords: AWS EBS benchmark, AWS EBS best practices, amazon elastic compute cloud, ec2, amazon elastic block store, ebs, EBS performance

Architecture Blueprints for achieving High Availability in AWS

Cloud HA by Harish Ganesan, CTO at 8KMiles Cloud Solutions

Keywords: aws high availability, aws presentation, aws ec2 architecture

EBS Volumes have No Backup

An EBS Snapshot is a copy of an EBS volume at a particular point in time. A snapshot can be taken of a volume, regardless of whether or not the volume is attached to a running instance. A snapshot comprises data blocks that are incrementally saved to Simple Storage Service (S3), meaning that only the blocks on the device that have changed since your last snapshot are saved. When saved to S3, the snapshot is assigned a timestamp and unique AWS ID. 

AWS Scheduled Maintenance Events

AWS schedules rebooting of host hardware and/or instances in order to perform maintenance on them, such as installing security patches and updates. Scheduled reboots can lead to service disruption.

Newvem checks for scheduled reboot events of your cloud servers and lets you understand the availability issues related.

To avoid service disruption, we suggest that you proactively re-launch your servers before AWS reboots them. That will possibly give you an entirely new server on new infrastructure hardware that does not require an AWS-scheduled reboot.

The Challenges of an Effective Cloud

Clouds move fast, and change fast.  The advantage is having elastic, fast, and un-planned deployments. However, uncontrolled usage leads very quickly into footprint sprawl – cloud sprawl, overspend and unpredictable behavior.  Contrary to VM sprawl, where the virtualization environment provides natural containment, cloud sprawl can be rather chaotic and expensive – exactly for the same reasons we enumerated above: lack of visibility and control, unpredictability, new processes, and different practices.

Netflix Cloud Architecture by Adrian Cockcroft, Netflix Cloud Architect

Hitchhiker's Guide to The Cloud

Newvem's eBook for Cloud Operations