The cloud is a utility service and, similar to a utility like electricity, you pay for it based on your hourly usage. The major advantage of the cloud’s utility pricing is that costs scale up and down along with your configuration, allowing you to plan for the traffic of your visitors without waste or excess. But rather than talking directly about dollars and cents, let’s use an analogy of hosting a dinner party to understand the power of utility pricing.
Several weeks ago, I flew out to San Francisco and got to talk with a lot of developers about their applications and the cloud. There were three points that almost every developer brought up: scaling their app, initial deployment and feature requests.
You’ve worked hard on your application and are gearing up for a major event. You’ve heard me talk about the power of the cloud API, and have incorporated it into your app to control cloud infrastructure, in particular to scale up your configuration in a short amount of time. But before the big day comes, there is one important point to remember as you plan for a high traffic event.
While it is tempting to think of the cloud as a single-cell organism consisting of raw compute power; the truth is that the cloud is more of an ecosystem with many unique parts that interact with each other. The Rackspace open cloud is a complete solution for your business to host its application.
When I first got into hosting, we had to call somebody at our data center any time a customer wanted to make changes to their configuration, such as adding more resources. Our Racker in the DC would have to locate the physical server and install additional hardware to the machine, or they might have to build and provision a completely new server. Our Cloud Application Programming Interface (API) has changed the game, allowing our customers to easily modify their cloud configuration with just a few lines of code. The API is a powerful tool and something all of our customers should know about, regardless of their level of technical ability.
Among the many reasons why people choose the cloud, one of the most powerful is the Application Programming Interface, more commonly referred to as the API. As developers continue adopting virtual environments to host their sites and apps, we’re seeing increasingly innovative and powerful uses of this feature.
The big game is fast approaching, and as much as I love watching the Super Bowl, one of the best parts of the night is the commercials. This year, a 30-second spot is going to run companies a whopping $4 million. Most commercials will have a companion website for potential customers to visit after viewing the commercial. Being able to further engage viewers is one way that companies justify the hefty price tag, but if they are going to spend that much money on a television spot, they better be ready for the traffic that is coming their way.
A question that we get here at Rackspace is, “How many servers do I need to handle all my holiday traffic?” It is a pretty difficult question to answer because of all of the different variables. Because of the cost-effective nature of the cloud, one answer might be to overprovision and have extra resources to make sure that you site can handle a large amount of traffic. However, there is another way that not a lot of people think about: serving your landing page off of our Content Delivery Network (CDN).
One of the best things that you can do today to prepare for the holiday rush is to put a Cloud Load Balancer in front of your cloud configuration. You want to do this now because in order to route traffic through your load balancer there will be some downtime associated with setting up the DNS and allowing it to propagate. There’s no time like the present to take care of this so you can take advantage of all the benefits the load balancer can give you in the holiday season.
Much like the big guy makes a list and checks it twice, we want to give you strategies to prepare your server configuration for the holiday traffic this year. An important thing to do to ensure that you are on your customers’ “Nice” list is to tune and test your cloud configuration.