We embrace the transformative opportunities DevOps provides and when coupled with agile practices, enables us and our customers to move quickly and drive innovation. One of the ways our team embodies agility is through remote service delivery. While this practice runs counter to how consultants have traditionally worked, we are often asked about the advantages of remote delivery and thought we’d share today the upsides of this approach and how it supports the agile DevOps model.
On Demand Desktops Help Reduce Costs of Training
Leverage cloud infrastructure to support learning labs
Desktop as a Service (DaaS), or desktop virtualization, is catching on as a way to further save on CAPEX. The reality for most large organizations is that many DaaS offerings are limited as their ability to handle workloads and the strategy must be considered on a case-by-case basis. We found just such a case: on-demand learning labs for training departments or organizations.
Healthcare providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and biotechnology companies are spawning their own health tech start-up ecosystems to solve some of the most complex health problems. Often, this is accomplished through the use of high performance computing (HPC) and Big Data analytics. Patient-derived data, such as genomics, can now be compared against very large data sets to identify patterns, matches and other indicators that can provide new treatment plans and essentially better health outcomes.
Amazon is the undoubted leader in the public cloud space today. They offer more features than any other provider today have reached a level maturity that is making them the top choice for Enterprise and the government. Their competitors are looking for ways to differentiate from them. IBM for example is touting their Enterprise experience. Rackspace is using their customer intimacy. Microsoft is using their muscle giving away tens of thousands in free credits for trying Azure. And then we have Google, who are using their performance, usability, and lastly price. Google Computer engine is a great bang for the money. Google has some very interesting features that people had desired Amazon to add for a while, and higher network performance too. At a lower price, Google does become a very compelling option. Undoubtedly, we are not the only ones who find Google a viable alternative -- so does Amazon Web Services themselves. They showed this by responding to Google’s price cuts at the AWS Summit last Wednesday.
At Flux7, we are hosting all our large multi-GB files on S3 already so we are seeing the benefit. Additionally, we use c3 instances wherever possible thus allowing us to leverage these new cuts. In this post, we'll discuss what you need to do for leveraging the AWS price cuts.
The Amazon I2 Instance Type
Amazon has announced immediate availability of the I2 instance type, the next generation of Amazon EC2 High I/O instance and the best solution for transactional systems and high performance NoSQL databases such as Cassandra and MongoDB. I2 instances feature the latest generation of Intel Ivy Bridge processors, the Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2. Each virtual CPU (vCPU) is a hardware hyperthread from an Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2 (Ivy Bridge) processor. Its features, price and availability can be combined to derive a performance-oriented usage and to explore new use cases.
One of our primary goals at Flux7 Labs is to help our clients reduce their AWS costs. In fact, our product VyScale is based entirely on cost optimization using Spot instances. We inform our clients when it makes economic sense for them to buy instance reservations because reservations for periods of unexpected minimum usage can be beneficial. Reserved instances function exactly like on-demand instances, except that you pay an upfront fee to gain cheaper hourly rates.
At Flux7 Labs, as part of our consulting, we found ourselves solving the same problems in cost and performance optimization for our clients. We have productized some of these learnings into our product VyScale. A major feature of VyScale is its management of spot instances. We have been working closely with users of spot instances and Amazon to come up with strategies to use spot instances. As part of that, today, we hosted a Hangout on spot instances. The idea was to get people out from working in silos and offering a platform to share knowledge and ideas.