Feeds

Putting a mule on a cloud: one man's battle with Amazon S3

Are we there yet?

Top three mobile application threats

The phrase “cloud computing” has been subjected to unnatural forms of marketing abuse. The buzzword pros have taken two nouns that we all recognize, combined them and formed a nebulous, hideous beast that means many things to many people.

Vague as the general cloud computing term is, there are places where you can encounter an actual, useful cloud service and begin to see where things are heading.

As the CEO of MuleSource, a maker of open source enterprise software, I’ve been dabbling with these early cloud/utility services looking for a distribution and cost edge. Or, if not an edge, at least something that’s easy to use and – god willing - more efficient than our current systems.

I’ll be walking you through some of our experiences with these services, particularly Amazon’s “cloud,” in a series of articles. With any luck, we’ll hit on what’s helpful and what still needs to be done in the cloud to turn it from vacuous to practical.

Journey to the Amazon

Back in January, my company reached its breaking point with managing file downloads and download sites. We decided to experiment with Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) to see if shifting to something resembling a utility service could make life easier. So far, we have been very successful.

We had been managing and maintaining multiple archives on multiple servers. After a while, a server crash, a disk blowout, lack of memory or some other fiasco kept reminding us why we hate computers.

This brings us to reason one for liking S3: you can stop buying and maintaining tons of machines - at least for file serving over the internet.

After several deep technology discussions conducted over games of Guitar Hero, we decided our main goal was to provide speedy file downloads with easy administration. There were several other things we were also looking for.

  • Reduced hosting costs - It's revolting amazing just how many servers you have to manage in this day and age
  • Easy access to storage in case we want to add more files - Even though disk space is cheap, you always need more. The idea of installing disk drives made us all want to vomit.
  • Unique URLs for download tracking - We want to know who is downloading and to be able to see the associated statistics.

If you've been living in a cave and aren't familiar with Amazon.com, it's fast. [Well, you know, when it's up – Ed.] The file downloads from S3 appear to be even faster than the site itself. That’s the speed problem solved.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.