Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’

FathomDB: Database as a service, in the cloud

A lot of people are into the whole cloud computing scenario these days. However, no one has talked about offering DBA-like services in the cloud, all automated, so that startups don’t have to get their own DBAs.

Enter FathomDB. They are poised to offer databases as a service (maybe they’ll charge per database – so you can in theory run both WordPress and Mediawiki, if you prefix wp_ and mw_ in your table creation, for example). They are using MySQL. They’ve also taken the worry of running a database out – they will backup, they will setup (so you don’t have to issue GRANT commands :P), and they will also monitor your databases for you.

But what really takes the cake? The fact that they will also offer performance advisors. This totally reminds me of the MySQL Enterprise Monitor (aka Merlin), offered in the cloud, with advisors.

No word if they’re actually running Merlin, or what kind of MySQL builds they’re running. They have a FAQ that I suggest you read, pricing has not been released, but I think this stuff is totally cool and has a future. I mean, you can run your database using their services and EC2, and if you need to do load balancing (Proxy, anyone?), or replication, they’ll set it up for you.

Its going to be real useful for startups, that are already embracing the cloud and going the EC2 way. This is just yet another service, they’ll probably pay for. Because scaling your database, sometimes, isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Can’t wait for a beta invite. If I get one, I’ll give it a twirl and tell you how it went.

Note: This is a Y Combinator company, I first read about this in TechCrunch, and apparently, there was some mention of this during their cloud event last week, where Lew Tucker, Sun’s VP and CTO of Sun’s cloud computing initiative was at. I however don’t know anymore than what I’ve seen online, and lack any other insider knowledge.

learn2scale – what’s up with Malaysian news sites? Will the cloud work for them?

Seriously kids, what’s with the lack of scalability? I’ve never seen CNN or the NYTimes go down on “trimmed” versions.

Is it a question of bandwidth? Is it lack of hardware?

Malaysiakini - learn2scale

Take for example, Malaysiakini (the first alternative news source in Malaysia, with a subscription model built around it). It runs FreeBSD, uses PostgreSQL, and has a CMS on top of it (so almost a LAMP stack right there). There’s even use of Squid for caching. Yet there’s lacking load balancing? This is where the cloud can come into play, when there’s high traffic.

The Malaysian Insider - learn2scale

Next up, The Malaysian Insider. They’re the new kid on the block. Its probably Linux, Joomla, and MySQL is confirmed. No caching (hello, memcached at some stage?). Looks like a one server operation. Again, if you want to start lean, scale to the cloud…

Of course, what takes the cake, is one of the most famous dailies, The Star. The .asp tells me they’re on some kind of Microsoft platform, and I don’t know how scalable that is (maybe with their goo). But for a major newspaper (ala the NYTimes equivalent in Malaysia), I’m surprised they’re too busy to serve us content.

The Star Online - learn2scale

Is it the fault of the applications
Is the next wave, getting open source applications to act in a scalable fashion? A CMS like Drupal or Joomla, how ready is it for instant scaling? After all, EC2 has persistent storage (I don’t know if Sun’s offers this or not?).

It seems like there’s a lot of OpenSolaris images for EC2 and web stuff, at OpenSolaris on Amazon EC2. I see a Joomla AMI, for example. How easy is this to plug-in for something like The Malaysian Insider? How easy will it be for them to scale up their services (i.e. start more instances, but will Joomla load balance? What considerations must they make if they went this route?). Similar question for the Drupal AMI.

I’m thinking I need to spend some time playing with “the cloud” in due time… Any thoughts or pointers on this, are also graciously appreciated.