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2018-01-10

How Multi-CDN and Hybrid CDNs Further Improve Content Distribution

2018-01-10

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/01/iStock-597938858-1-768x480.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/01/iStock-597938858-1-1024x640.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Introduction
Content delivery networks (or CDNs) offer a reliable content distribution system for websites and online video platforms across the world. These systems work to speed up content delivery, such as web pages, videos, games, and even software updates to web users based on their geographic location and performance. There are different types of CDN options, and each offers its own unique solution for IT professionals:
With a single pure-play CDN, you have a single provider using their own network and hardware. These were traditionally designed as hardware-based, with PoPs deployed in geographical locations based on the provider’s preference, often based upon the most economical option and thus, not necessarily the best performing option. Although the single CDNs are marketed and perceived as such, no single CDN provider could give you the best performance everywhere in the world at every point in time. The main benefits of such a solution, in addition to speed (in the specific location where the Point-of Presence are located) are offload from the origin server, security and high availability. Those benefits are highly significant and that’s why this market has been growing continuously for the last twenty years.

By contrast, multi-CDN solutions are viewed as an overlay of existing, individual CDNs, as they are a combination of various PoPs from different CDN providers. This solution typically offers more PoPs spanning a much larger geographical area. Therefore, multi-CDN delivery offers optimal performance and virtually infinite scale, all across the globe. Traffic routing and distribution can be configured based on performance, availability, pricing or other factors depending on each customer scenario.
Then there are private CDNs and hybrid CDNs. Private content delivery networks are specifically tailored to meet individual companies’ needs. They allow you to set up dedicated presence in customer locations, can run on commodity off-the-shelf hardware or can even be virtualized or containerized. Unlike single and multi-CDNs, private CDNs do not share resources with other customers. Instead, they utilize dedicated and optimized connectivity and architecture selected by the customer. Typical use-cases for private CDN are companies with extremely heavy bandwidth and throughput needs (i.e. broadcasters, content publishers), companies with in-house network capacity (i.e. telco OTT platforms) and companies with rigid security and compliance requirements (i.e. payment or government related).
Hybrid content delivery networks are composed of a combination of different types of CDNs. Our case, in particular, is a hybrid composed of multi and private CDNs. Hybrid networks such as this allow users to optimally balance content delivery throughput and bandwidth needs as determined by the desired reach, performance and price.
Pros and Cons of Private CDNs vs. Multi-CDNs
The benefits of selecting either of these approaches are driven by the traffic characteristics, feature requirements and expected traffic growth.
Multi-CDNs offer optimal reach and redundancy, which are essential when you want to reach an international or worldwide audience; or when the amount of needed CDN capacity is unpredictable and/or irregular.
Private CDNs are generally used in high-demand environments given their dedicated and tailored approach. They allow providers to use their own commodity hardware (or virtual platform) and perform scaling techniques easily in any location where a point of presence is deployed. Private CDNs are typically chosen by companies with very high amounts of traffic or when dealing with very specific requirements. Examples of content publishers and content owners utilizing private CDNs are Valve, Spotify, Netflix, Twitter, Sky, BBC and RTL. Another typical use-case for Private CDN are ISPs with an OTT offering like for example KPN, LibertyGlobal, ComCast and POST. ISPs utilize Private CDNs to offload traffic from their backbone networks and to keep the content within their network in the most efficient way possible.
In comparison with private and single CDNs, multi CDNs are the optimal choice for reach, redundancy and elastic scaling at a low-cost barrier to entry. A potential downside is that you would have to share resources and capacity with other customers on the platform and the available configuration options are more limited, as the features available are limited by the common denominators between the various CDNs.
Advantages of Choosing Hybrid CDNs
For companies considering deploying their own content delivery network, a hybrid CDN would potentially offer the ideal combination of dedicated resources, cost-effective traffic offloading, scale, and reach.
To take a real-world example, imagine a situation where a local broadcasting company offers online video streams in their home country. Their national and local traffic patterns are predictable and the broadcaster would have enough demand to justify building a tailored and dedicated private CDN within the country. However, the broadcaster also wants to give users outside of the country an optimal experience, which will require a more geographically dispersed approach. Next to that, the broadcaster also has various unpredictable live events (a sports match, for example) for which the amount of viewers is unknown. The broadcaster does not want to deploy and pay for the needed equipment and connectivity to handle the spikes for these events as they normally only last a few hours, while the rest of the time the infrastructure sit mostly idle. This is where a hybrid CDN approach comes in – the majority of the national traffic is handled by the company’s private CDN deployment, but it has the ability to offload overflow traffic to the Multi-CDN to achieve global reach and near-infinite local scale. This way both its global users and live events are delivered optimally in any given scenario.
Having a hybrid CDN ensures the content is always available, anywhere in the world at the best possible performance. The built-in redundancy and resilience of a multi-CDN ensures another CDN will take over in case of a CDN failure in any location. With only a single CDN, geographical coverage is more limited but the configuration and personalization of the features needed is far reaching.
The Bottom Line
Utilizing a multi-CDN or hybrid CDN setup will provide better control, increase the performance of your content delivery and will improve customer perception, wherever in the world your users reside.
Not only will you be able to direct traffic to your own private CDN or PoPs that are part of the multi CDN, but you will also be able to maximize performance and efficiency where necessary. The scalability of the combined multi-CDN and private CDN allows you to meet performance and capacity needs for any content, whenever it is needed. This type of flexibility gives you the ability to scale cost-effectively and meet the ever-increasing demands of content delivery.
 
The post How Multi-CDN and Hybrid CDNs Further Improve Content Distribution appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-01-04

The Right Gaming Server Can Make or Break a Platform

2018-01-04

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/01/Ocom-165-768x1024.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 225px) 100vw, 225px" />When it comes to creating a successful gaming platform, it is extremely important to have the proper infrastructure in place. Planning for long-term success is key, making it crucial to focus on utilizing gaming servers that ensure games have the scalability and low-latency they need to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Choosing the right server for your gaming needs comes down to preference. Some developers prefer running a cloud-based infrastructure, while others choose the computing power equipped with high CPUs and SSDs that dedicated servers have to offer. There are different options available for game developers to choose from, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

Cloud Servers
Cloud servers are an excellent option for developers who want to optimize IT performance without breaking the bank. The relatively low costs associated with cloud servers enable developers to purchase and manage a fully dedicated infrastructure at an affordable price. These are commonly chosen by small- to mid-sized businesses and those with changing workloads and demands.
Cloud servers enable developers to meet their needs effectively, and they have the flexibility to use as much server space as needed along with configuring the server to provide levels of security, performance, and control similar to what dedicated servers provide. Sharing a virtualized environment that is managed by cloud hosting providers ensures you benefit economically by sharing hardware with other customers instead of being hosted on dedicated physical hardware.
Physical Servers
This type of server is purchased or rented to operate entirely for your business. Dedicated servers are often excellent choices for large businesses and organizations that require extremely high levels of data security.
Companies and organizations that have predictable demand for a 24/7/365 performance and those using I/O-heavy applications, like Big Data platforms and databases, also find dedicated servers to be of significant value. This type of server requires businesses to maintain IT capacity and expertise in order to manage ongoing maintenance, which is to be expected with dedicated hardware.
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
A hybrid cloud infrastructure is one that takes advantage of both the physical and cloud environment. Many people believe this infrastructure is the eventual state in which most businesses will operate in the near future, and it’s composed of using resources kept on-premises as well as others located within public clouds.
This infrastructure is composed of two or more cloud infrastructures, whether they are private, public, or communities, that remain unique entities bound together by proprietary technology, and it enables data and application portability.
More recently, major IaaS vendors have embraced their ability to integrate public cloud infrastructure with customers’ on-premises resources. More vendors are creating and offering tools that work across various environments while partnering with companies that have strong relationships with enterprise data centers.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Server Infrastructure
It’s imperative to operate with centralized servers that allow frequent updates and decentralized servers that allow continual low-latency play worldwide. With revenue over $24 billion in 2014, a number that is projected to quadruple by 2020, the online gaming industry is one in need of creative solutions.
The huge growth in online gaming presents the unique challenges of scalability and backend infrastructure. Having a server that offers scalability can be crucial, depending on the type of services you plan to launch.
Launch day can cause an immediate increase in load ranging from a few hundred to millions of users, each of whom may be performing several transactions each minute while online. Whether the processes are low-latency and compute-intensive or high-latency, they must be shared among hundreds of global servers, more often writes than reads, ensuring proper matchmaking without experiencing a single point of failure.
Latency is another necessary part of successful online gaming, and network performance will count — a lot. Higher latency in online gaming results in video glitches, slow response to players’ commands, and gamers getting booted by time-outs. It’s important for your network to deliver information as quickly as possible, given that every millisecond counts in the gaming world. Points of presence across the globe make it possible to maximize the speed and decrease the latency for gamers to create a smoother gaming experience.
Security is another extremely important aspect of a successful gaming server. Having adequate protection against DDoS and other harmful attacks can save you time, money, and irreversible reputational damage. Knowing what you’re up against in the first place and preparing accordingly can help prevent attacks. Gaming companies will always be targeted by attackers, so it’s important to have around-the-clock protection to minimize negative effects on your end users.
Finally, establishing a server that is reliable and always available is extremely important. Outages during game sessions are annoying — just look at Call of Duty WW2 and its recent connectivity issues. Developer Sledgehammer Games struggled following its most recent update, wreaking havoc on its fan base with over 380 reports from users unable to connect.
According to Gartner, Newzoo, a gaming market intelligence firm, shows the mobile gaming sector is set to be worth over $46 billion by the end of 2017, a major increase from the $3.9 billion value just ten years ago. As competition becomes fiercer, it’s more crucial now than ever before to have strong and reliable servers to provide gamers exceptional platforms free from glitches and connectivity problems.
Gamers share a common goal — enjoy their playtime without having to deal with platform and reliability issues. If a platform is unable to match the gamers’ demands, it will result in losing those gamers to other developers. A strong and reliable infrastructure that can easily scale up to meet gamers’ needs will provide a truly exceptional experience for gaming and help developers achieve long-term success.
The post The Right Gaming Server Can Make or Break a Platform appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-19

Top Predictions for the Cloud Industry in 2018

2017-12-19

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-617575248-768x533.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-617575248-1024x711.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The cloud has gone from being somewhat of a novelty to an essential part of doing business today. As of 2017, almost 80 percent of companies are running some form of workload in either a public or private cloud. It’s unlikely that this trend of growth will abate anytime soon, and the decline in data center development supports this assessment.
Currently, data centers make up 62 percent of IT spending according to research firm IDC, while public and private cloud spending combined accounts for the other 38 percent of the market. By 2020, however, cloud spending is expected to rival data center spending — meaning the cloud is becoming more popular while data centers are declining in popularity.
It’s relatively easy to discern that the cloud is going to continue gaining momentum. Making predictions about what’s on the horizon is a bit more complicated, but by looking at current trends, we can determine certain characteristics that will prove critical to the cloud industry in 2018.
1. Bringing Cloud Services On-Premises
In 2018, serverless computing is expected to transition from the public cloud to on-premise IT infrastructure. Microsoft and Red Hat are among the companies working to create this serverless functionality in both hybrid and on-premises environments.
Along with serverless functionalities, machine learning is also expected to move into the private and hybrid cloud space in 2018. Public cloud providers are already building out artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms, but private and hybrid cloud vendors will likely be discussing bringing those capabilities to the private and hybrid environments as well.
2. Hybrid Approaches Dominate
Instead of choosing between public and private clouds or on-premises solutions, more organizations will go the hybrid route. Multi-cloud solutions allow enterprises to have different workloads in different clouds with the ability to manage them separately. The biggest advantage of hybrid clouds is the flexibility, allowing organizations to easily scale and improve efficiency.
Partnerships between companies such as Google and Cisco or VMware and AWS are already making truly hybrid clouds possible, and 2018 will see these combinations put to innovative uses.
3. Connection Services Expand
Because of the increasing popularity of the hybrid approach to the cloud, the market for optimizing the necessary network connections will continue to expand. Companies such as Digital Realty, QTS, and Equinix offer co-location and managed services with connections to the public cloud, and as we move into 2018 and hybrid cloud computing becomes the norm, optimizing and managing these types of connections will be more important than ever.
4. Containers Facilitate the Hybrid Trend
Application developers want to be able to innovate quickly, and using both public and private clouds facilitates that. To manage that hybrid environment, use containers to make sure those applications are able to run in different infrastructure environments. PaaS tools such as Terraforms, Docker, Artifactory, and Jenkins will also make using multiple infrastructures more convenient for developers and allow them to get products to market as quickly as possible.
5. Regulations Will Take a Toll
The EU approved the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016, but it won’t become enforceable until May 25, 2018. In spite of the advance notice given to SaaS providers, many will likely be found noncompliant and face substantial fines.
The cloud industry in 2018 will continue to evolve, and companies that look ahead are the ones that will stay ahead of the competition. Between machine learning, new legal regulations, and hybrid clouds increasing in popularity, it’s more important than ever that organizations keep up with new trends and make the most of what cloud computing has to offer.
 
The post Top Predictions for the Cloud Industry in 2018 appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-14

Don’t Let Cyberattacks Bring Down Your Holiday Cheer

2017-12-14

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-864818210-768x449.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-864818210-1024x599.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The holiday shopping season can make or break an online retailer. By doing things well, you can expect sales to surge and your customer base to grow throughout 2018. Do things poorly and you sacrifice many sales while cultivating a negative image for your brand. And if there’s one thing that can seriously damage your brand’s reputation, it’s cyberattacks and a cybersecurity breach.
With several high-profile cyberattacks in the news recently, shoppers are more cautious than ever about giving websites any confidential information. A survey of over 2,000 adults revealed that 44 percent are worried their credit card information will be stolen from a website, making it the single biggest source of anxiety surrounding holiday shopping.
The risk of cyberattacks is just as strong as the worry — an analysis of the 2016 holiday shopping season saw the number of attacks increase by 20.6 percent in November and December. To keep your customers safe (and your brand image intact), there are a few strategies to consider:
1. Review Your Protection
Hackers are both tenacious and observant. If any vulnerability exists in your network, they’ll find it. Spend some time reviewing your network environment looking for anything a hacker may be able to use to gain access to customer data. Also, be sure that all firewalls, antivirus logging programs, intrusion detection systems, and remote access portals are activated and optimized for maximum effect.
2. Get Serious About Authentication
One of the most common holiday season attacks is for cybercriminals to steal the VPN credentials of privileged users and use those to log in to databases and payment processing systems. That’s why authentication is essential and requires a multi-pronged approach. First, users on remote devices should be required to use multi-stage authentication. Second, they should be required to change their login credentials periodically to deter the most persistent hackers.
3. Watch Out for Phishing
Phishing remains one of the most common types of cyberattacks, mostly because it’s so successful — it often only takes one employee opening a bad email to affect your entire company’s security system. Instead of trying to tell a good email/link from a bad one, rely on intelligent gateway solutions that can automatically filter out the bad traffic and test anything that seems suspicious before the user clicks. Giving employees a refresher course about how to spot and avoid phishing emails also helps.
4. Patch Like Crazy
You need to patch every hole in your network and install every upgrade, but you may not have time before the holiday shopping season ramps up. Compile a list of the most common tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by hackers over the past year. Then compare those attacks to your known weaknesses and focus on fixing the vulnerabilities that are most likely to be leveraged. Now that 54 percent of all retail traffic comes from mobile devices, online stores must get serious about securing mobile.
5. Put a Plan in Place
Avoiding attacks is essential. But sometimes even when you’re diligent about security, you’ll still get blindsided by a hacker. When that happens, all you can do is minimize the consequences of an attack, which requires advanced planning, preparation, and practice. Key members of your team should know exactly what to do the minute a breach is detected. Any attack that affects you is bad, but one that affects your customers is much worse.
Hackers view the holiday season with the same eager anticipation as online retailers. And all the work you are putting into attracting customers, they are also putting into their attack strategies. If you want this season to be as rewarding as possible, don’t for a second underestimate the risk.
The post Don’t Let Cyberattacks Bring Down Your Holiday Cheer appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-12

Secure Your Future with Point-to-Point Network Connectivity

2017-12-12

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/Ocom-143-768x576.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/Ocom-143-1024x768.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Businesses that depend on connecting to multiple locations with speed often resort to point-to-point architecture. Point-to-point network connectivity is an exceptional solution for businesses because it is best in class, and provides a secure network and an extremely fast connection. Fiber-carried point-to-point is often considered to be future-proof in that it contains some of the most advanced features out of any network solution available.
Not only is point-to-point future-proof and fully capable of growing bandwidth and capacity as needed, it is a much easier architecture to test and maintain. Point-to-point delivers the maximum flexibility possible in situations where there is a blend of customers and demand levels.
What Makes Point-to-Point an Ideal Solution for Your Business?
There are a few reasons why point-to-point is a great choice to fit various business needs. First, it’s faster and more reliable. Whether your cables and switches can handle 100Mbps, 1000Mbps, or even 10Gbps, point-to-point connections have the ability to run at the same speeds as a LAN connection. As online and offline connectivity continues to grow, the supporting infrastructure also continues to increase rapidly, allowing you to dive into your work without facing connectivity lags.

Data transfer rates have also grown at unimaginable rates, producing speeds as high as 400GB/s. This rate is far beyond speeds rendered by traditional high-speed copper cable, thus paving the way for optical fibers and fiber optic connectors. These new connection methods are inherently dependent on fiber optic connectors, which enable efficient data transfer rates at desirably high bandwidths.
In addition, point-to-point boasts unmatched security measures. The security implications of point-to-point network connectivity are extremely important. When data centers are situated away from each other, it is crucial for the point-to-point networks to communicate with one another on a secure connection. Data on point-to-point is able to pass from point to point without any central hub or having the public view what is going on.
Preventing data loss is another extremely important aspect of point-to-point. Fiber option connections depend heavily upon fiber optic connectors. These act as endpoints for devices that are connected to a network. Connectors are a key component in data loss prevention as they work to eliminate air gaps that can be found between connecting ends, which will only improve as they continue to develop.
A sizable portion of growth within the fiber optic connector market will focus on industries like medical, defense, and aerospace, which is why low latency and minimal data loss are increasingly important.
Key Benefits of Point-to-Point Network Connectivity
Point-to-point networks can offer a variety of benefits for individuals and companies across the world. The low latency connectivity works to achieve better productivity within a network. Extending your LAN across local sites can be done with point-to-point without compromising the performance and security of your network.
Upgrading your network does not have to be an expensive venture packed with hidden fees. This network connectivity is extremely budget-friendly. There is a flat-rate fee for the service and no additional charges for usage. In addition to knowing how much your speed will cost each month, you will have peace in not having to deal with delays and virtually no latency while running time-sensitive applications.
It’s crucial to have a strong and seamless connection between clouds that works to eliminate computational issues and privacy concerns simultaneously. Without a doubt, point-to-point  network connectivity provides businesses services and security that is incomparable to other connections. This best-in-class technology is extremely fast, secure, and a future-proof solution for all of your networking needs.
The post Secure Your Future with Point-to-Point Network Connectivity appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-08

Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic?

2017-12-08

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-871167396-768x512.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-871167396-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The 2017 festive shopping season promises to be one of the biggest ever, particularly for online retailers. Total sales are projected to grow by 16.6 percent over last year, with online sales comprising 11.5 percent of all holiday shopping.
The period before, during, and after the holiday season is a huge sales opportunity for you. But if your e-commerce website is not ready for the influx of traffic, it can be a lost opportunity. Slow load times, broken links, and a poor user experience are unacceptable to shoppers expecting to find greater convenience and selection by going online.
Websites that cannot handle the surge in traffic immediately lose on sales. Worse, they damage the reputation of the brand and disappoint customers who may have otherwise become loyal fans. Optimising your website to accommodate more traffic is a sound goal for both the short and long term, and there are a few great strategies to keep in mind for getting your website ready:

1. Accelerate Website Load Times
Research reveals that today’s web users expect a website to load within two seconds, and they will abandon a site after waiting just three seconds. Of those who find load times lagging, 79 percent will avoid returning to the site, and 44 percent will warn off a friend.
E-commerce websites must load quickly, but they must also direct traffic – especially mobile traffic – to the information users are looking for as efficiently as possible. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix test the speed of a site, offer an empirical score, and provide tips for accelerating load times for your website, so it’s a good idea to rely on these objective evaluations rather than assuming your site is fast enough.
2. Protect Your Website From Downtime
Sites that run off a shared server are notoriously vulnerable to both contention and security issues, and this is critically important especially during this busy season. When every website is overstretched, sites that are tapping into the same pool of resources quickly drain that pool dry. Additionally, even if your website is doing everything right, it could still be compromised by issues affecting another website on the server.
Paying a little extra for a dedicated server is a sound investment if you know how much extra traffic your website must handle. If your needs are more fluid, cloud hosting is a smart solution. Because this option means you can customise available resources based on your needs, your website’s performance stays at its peak, as scalability is nearly limitless. Instead of dealing with downtime, your website can effortlessly accommodate spikes in traffic.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a highly beneficial tool to include in your strategy for handling peak traffic. By investing in a CDN service, your website can benefit from massive increases in speed, scalability, resilience and security, as well as huge savings on bandwidth cost, and reduced load on your web server.
3. Build Trust Through Security
With so many competing options available online, consumers will search for an alternative if they believe it’s unsafe to shop on a specific website. With all the high-profile data breaches in the news recently, the price break offered by any retailer is outweighed by the security concerns raised by the retailer’s website.
Switching your site to HTTPS is a relatively easy and low-cost solution. Unlike traditional HTTP sites, information routed through HTTPS is encrypted. Moving to a more protected platform reassures customers, encourages more conversions, and helps prevent the catastrophic consequences of a data breach over the holiday season. In addition, having a HTTPS ensures your website is ranked higher than HTTP-only sites in Google and other search engines.
Justifying website upgrades is a relatively easy equation. Simply calculate the cost of any new hardware, software, or services that you plan to put in place. Then compare that to the cost of 1,000, 100, or even just 10 lost sales. It quickly becomes clear that accommodating seasonal traffic makes sound financial sense. Start putting strategies into action before traffic picks up even more.
The post Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic? appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-06

Quick Guide for Using Powershell to Control Apache Cloudstack

2017-12-06

Intro
Controlling your Cloud environment via the Portal (GUI) is something everyone can do (assuming, of course that you know what you want to accomplish and what options you need to get the most out of your platform). A good cloud platform automates things to the greatest extent possible to help prevent human errors from happening. Automation can also help take full advantage of the scalability and flexibility of a cloud. But, when you use the GUI you can’t take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the cloud.
 In this blog, I’m going to take a bit of a different approach to what most Apache Cloudstack administrators are used to working with. Our LeaseWeb engineers usually script their actions on the Cloud using Cloudmonkey, a useful tool that provides all of the features an administrator would need. But instead of using Linux and Cloudmonkey, I want to approach things from a different angle. I will focus on Windows Administrators who are familiar with Powershell, and show what can be accomplished using this tool.
We will begin by connecting to Cloudstack via Powershell, list the current Instances under my account and deploy a new Instance.

The Setup
·         My Cloudstack environment consists of an isolated network with a virtual router (providing me DHCP, DNS, NAT, VPN, FW and LB services) with an internal network named “internal.”
·         There are several service offerings that LeaseWeb provides out of the box, I will use the “S” offering of 1core/1GB RAM. There is only 1 zone available for the cloud in the Netherlands, CSRP01NL so this is the one I’ll use.
·         I created some templates in the past that I will use in this example, but I could have used the LeaseWeb provided ones.
 
The Process:
 Start your Windows server. I use a Windows 10 VM but any recent Windows 2012R2/2016 should also do the trick, as long as Powershell is installed. Next follow these steps:
 1.       Download “psCloudstack” from GitHub https://github.com/schubergphilis/psCloudstack and place the psCloudStack files in correct folder:
C:\Users\Peter\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\psCloudstack
cd .\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\modules\ 
2.       Set the correct execution policy to allow this script to run under the current user:
 Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope currentuser
3.       Import the Cloudstack API module:
Import-Module psCloudstack
4.       Set the LeaseWeb Cloudstack API endpoint configuration with the keys of the Cloudstack user you want to connect with. In my case, I created a user ‘peter’ and generated keys in the CS GUI.
 http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic1.png 481w" sizes="(max-width: 290px) 100vw, 290px" />
 
 
add-CSConfig -server csrp01nl.leaseweb.com -apikey -<APIkey> -secret <secretkey> -useSSL -SecurePort 443 -UnsecurePort 80
(Note: fill in the correct key values)
 5.       Check if the created config is correct:
 get-csconfig:
http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic2.png 492w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 If you made a mistake with the config, remember to close the powershell window and restart a new console because the variables are kept in memory during the same session.
 Having completed the previous step, let’s now see which API commands from Cloudstack are available to us:
 Get-command -module psCloudstack.
 This gives an extensive list of all possible API functions. For reference, the Apache Cloudstack API documentation can be found at: http://cloudstack.apache.org/api/apidocs4.8/TOC_Domain_Admin.html
Now it’s time to do some testing to see if everything works.I’ll start by listing  all virtual machines in my domain and under my account:
 listVirtualMachines | select name,state,cpunumber,memory
http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic3-768x126.png 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic3.png 800w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 
That works, so now let’s deploy a new virtual machine in my network ‘internal’. This requires me to provide the size of the Instance (service offering)  and on which template it should be based.
First get the network details of ‘internal’, then the service offering ‘S’, template:
http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic4.png 686w" sizes="(max-width: 294px) 100vw, 294px" />
 
listTemplates -templatefilter self | select name,id
http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic7-1.png 543w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 
Commands to execute to get all required details:
$netw=listnetworks -name internal
$so=listServiceOfferings -name S
$templ=listTemplates -templatefilter self -name “U1404-64b-10GB”
$zid=listzones -name CSRP01
Deployvirtualmachine -displayname “Peter’s VM” -name PeterVM -networkids $netw.id -serviceofferingid $so.id -templateid $templ.id -zoneid $zid.id
 http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic8-768x210.png 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic8.png 892w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 Great! Now, we have an Instance deployed. Let’s see if it’s running and if we can access the console.
 http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic5.png 465w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 And the console:
Start-CSConsoleSession -Server PeterVM
 http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/pic6.png 592w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
 
So now we see it is running and the console is working successfully.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The post Quick Guide for Using Powershell to Control Apache Cloudstack appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2017-12-04

Cloud Advancements for Crunching Big Data Effectively

2017-12-04

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-817442226-768x513.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/12/iStock-817442226-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The expression “big data” is often thrown around in the business and tech world, but what does that really mean? Big data is a term that’s used to describe huge data sets that can be analyzed for trends and patterns in order to make better business decisions.
That may sound easy enough, and although there is extensive research and written information on big data technologies, few companies are actually using big data successfully. Most businesses remain ambitious, knowing they should be employing the technology without actually doing so.
Data continues to come in faster than ever, making it crucial for companies to process it more quickly. Effectively implementing fast processing of data will ensure your company is more up-to-date and relevant, and this is extremely important given how diverse data is becoming — a factor that gives us all the ability to analyze more innovatively.
As cloud computing continues to dominate the production environment, it’s time to take a look into “big data analytics” so you too can recognize how the power of crunching big data is bringing endless competitive advantage to companies.

Combining Big Data and Cloud Computing
Processing frameworks and engines are key components in computing over data within a data system. Although there is no key difference in the definition between “engines” and “frameworks,” it’s important to define these terms separately — consider engines as the component responsible for operating on data while frameworks are typically a set of components that are designed to do the same.
Although systems designed to handle the data lifecycle at this stage are rather complex, they ultimately share very similar goals — to operate over data in order to broaden understanding and surface patterns while gaining insight on complex interactions.
Clouds are considered a beneficial tool by enterprises across the world because they have the ability to harness business intelligence (BI) in big data. Because cloud computing offers scalability, it’s much easier for big data tools and applications, like Cloudera and Hadoop, to function.
Different Types of Programming Frameworks Available
There are several big data tools available, and some of these include:
Hadoop: This Java-based programming framework supports processing and storage of extremely large sets of data. This is an open source framework and is part of the Apache project, sponsored by Apache Software Foundation, which works in a distributed computing environment. Hadoop supporting software packages and components can be deployed by organizations in their local data center.
Apache Spark: Apache Spark is a fast engine used for big data processing that is capable of streaming and supporting SQL, graph processing, and machine learning. Alternatively, Apache Storm is also available as an open-source data processing system.
Cloudera Distributions: This is considered one of the latest open-source technologies available to discover, store, process, model, and serve large amounts of data. Apache Hadoop is considered part of this platform.
Hadoop on CloudStack to Crunch Data Effectively
Hadoop, which is modeled after Google’s MapReduce and File System technologies, has gained wide-spread adoption in the industry. This framework is similar to CloudStack and is implemented in Java.
Using a Hadoop cluster to crunch is possible and can be done quite effectively by utilizing a cloud or several bare metal boxes. Although CloudStack does not specifically offer Hadoop integration, the cloud environment does guarantee Hadoop workload performs as intended. Hadoop allows you to build and tune compute templates around the program, eliminating the need for large amounts of computing power. Saved resources are left in your compute resource pool so you can apply them to other Hadoop processes as needed.
As the first ever cloud platform in the industry to join the Apache Software Foundation, CloudStack has quickly become the logical cloud choice for organizations across the nation that prefer open-source options for their cloud and big data infrastructure.
The great synergy between CloudStack and Apache Hadoop is stirring up quite the excitement for companies, especially Hortonworks, who recently expressed their excitement to work with the CloudStack project team. This big data software company plans to identify opportunities where components of Hadoop can be utilized to back Cloud APIs.
The combination of Hadoop and CloudStack is truly a brilliant match made in the clouds, waiting to be used and deployed to crunch big data more effectively.
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2017-11-30

LeaseWeb Launches in the UK: The Importance of a Global Presence

2017-11-30

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/11/Ocom-096-768x576.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/11/Ocom-096-1024x768.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The LeaseWeb decision to launch our company in the UK is driven by a few strategic considerations. As a global provider of cloud infrastructure solutions, we serve many customers who are using our services in different locations across the globe. We have seen a growing demand for UK-based infrastructure from our existing customers, which we decided to address as their strategic infrastructure business partner.
In addition to this growing demand, we see a vast opportunity. The UK is still the largest market in Europe for cloud services, with significant growth rates for the next few years. The London Internet Exchange has for many years been a crucial pillar of the internet, and LeaseWeb is delighted to have a local presence in London in addition to strong positions in Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Establishing a Global Presence
Brexit is also going to drive demand for UK-based infrastructure services for data sovereignty and governance reasons by global companies serving UK-based businesses. The UK’s announced EU leave also means that EU-based customers are planning to serve their UK-based customers from a UK-based location.
Aside from launching a new office for growth and governance reasons, we see a growing demand from UK companies to partner with a single global operating cloud infrastructure provider that can enable them to serve their customers outside the UK from locations within the EU zone or even further from the United States, Asia and Pacific.
For companies with a global presence, it is especially important to establish consistency for employees and customers across countries, and having physical infrastructure in different locations around the world can help create that consistency. Distance matters, especially in regards to end-to-end latency. The farther away your facility is, the more it hurts your end users.
Consider Legal Regulations
While performance issues are a major problem for organizations, there are also legal and security regulations to consider as well. Data protection laws and regulations vary based on the region and country, so organizations serving customers in the United States may have to adhere to different rules than in Europe or Asia, for instance. As you grow and start launching facilities in different regions, be sure to fully understand the laws in each country.
Once LeaseWeb’s UK location is established in November 2017, we’ll be servicing customers around the world from 20 datacenters throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, and the Pacific.
The internet business is a global business by nature. To provide the best and most reliable user experience every time everywhere, leading internet and IT business will rely on global infrastructure provides who can deliver locally across the globe.
For more information, contact sales@global.leaseweb.com 
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2017-11-23

Focus on Your Core Business With Managed Network Services

2017-11-23

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/11/Ocom-076-768x872.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2017/11/Ocom-076-902x1024.jpg 902w" sizes="(max-width: 264px) 100vw, 264px" />Whether you’re managing a remote workforce, utilizing a lot of data, or need top-notch cybersecurity, it all takes a toll on your network infrastructure. It is tough to meet all these needs within a tight budget and existing bandwidth, especially if you’re doing it on your own.
The good news is that you don’t need to do it all on your own — instead, you can consider network management services.
Managed network services help you remain focused on your core business by making sure your business is always online and that your equipment is consistently available. They can also help keep your costs down because you don’t need to make expensive technology investments — typically, you just pay a monthly fee per device managed.
 
What Managed Network Services Can Do for You
Having a secure and stable networking infrastructure that allows users to improve productivity is no longer a commodity — it’s a necessity. It is absolutely crucial to have this type of structure in place to ensure your company has the platform needed to expand your core business and provide the competitive advantage your intellectual capital depends on.

Besides simply keeping your business online, network management services offer plenty of other benefits. For example, they can manage multiple devices in your network, including firewalls, load balancers, and switches to make sure everything is connected and working properly.
When the inevitable problem does arise, service providers can also provide incident monitoring and logging, keeping an eye on your equipment around the clock and catching problems before they become serious. Every incident is then reported, tracked, and analyzed to create a strategy to try to prevent the issue in the future.
You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you have another team focusing on your network infrastructure as your company grows and changes. Whether you need software updates or configuration changes, a network management service can help keep everything up-to-date and performing smoothly. In the event that you need to roll back a configuration change, you’ll have a backup ready to go so that you don’t lose any data in the process.
 
Could Your Company Benefit From Managed Network Services?
Every company needs 24/7/365 monitoring, management, and optimization support for network  infrastructure. Somebody — or a team of professionals — is needed to complete this around-the-clock task, but the available options for tackling this necessity are rare.
Sure, you could go through the process of recruiting, hiring, supporting, and training a team of network professionals. If you decide to take this route, your company assumes the overhead expenses and the task of managing and coordinating the team.
Then you’ll have to be continually training these individuals to deal with the emerging technologies relevant to your organization, as well as how to implement and maintain them. Thankfully, this is not the only solution. Your company doesn’t have to deal with these type of headaches or expenses if you opt for network managed services.
If you’re thinking about network managed services for your company, consider the real reason for doing so. Are you trying to reduce your company’s expenditure, or are you trying to achieve something entirely different? Either way, LeaseWeb’s Network Management Packs are designed to employ the best people, processes, and tools available to achieve IT assurance.
We view the partnership with our customers as something more than just reducing expenses and dealing with IT concerns. It’s crucial to focus on achieving a deeper business-oriented outcome that allows you to focus on your core business and achieve our shared desire to grow your business.
It is no secret that network personnel are extremely important at any company. For most small- to medium-sized companies, a dedicated network staff could deplete your budget and wreak havoc on your bottom line. Instead, search for a reliable cloud hosting provider that understands your business. You want a partner that focuses on achieving your business goals in their entirety — not just from a technological perspective.
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