About this blog

'Going Spatial' is my personal blog, the views on this site are entirely my own and should in no way be attributed to anyone else or as the opinion of any organisation.

My tweets on GIS, Humanitarian, Tech, Games and Randomness

Friday 30 November 2012

What has it been like after 12+ months?

My company has made a fundamental shift towards Cloud computing and specifically towards Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the last 12 months.
I think this is a picture of the servers for Facebook?

Quoting the wiki (it’s always good to start with someone’s quote!):

 Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network, typically the Internet.

Why did we do it? At the technical level it was always something that we wanted to do but like all projects it needs strategic buy-in. The potential cost savings (as published in the media) as well as the flexible nature of the cloud meant that it was foolish not to try the cloud if only to compare it with the environment of ‘traditional’ hosting. At a strategic level, our parent company had already migrated some of their main-line hosting applications to the cloud via AWS so there was a path already set out (albeit with differences in application and customers).

So the process of migrating to the cloud took a number of distinctive steps.

1. Planning
2. Test Deployment
3. Parallel Running
4. Go Live
5. Update documentation and processes

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Elite - the latest version now on KickStarter!

This is a service interruption:
Just wanted to share and spread the news that the latest installment of Elite is coming along providing the kickstarter campaign reaches its goal of $1.25 million, it's 1/3 of the way and I hope it makes it with another 38 days to go.


I started my love affair with epic space games with Elite and see its echoes in Frontier and Eve Online and other similar space based 'operatic' games.

All power to them, I hope it works!

Normal service and broadcasting will now resume.

Friday 23 November 2012

Windows 2012 now available in AWS

Windows 2012 AMIs now available under Amazon Web Services

Read it here.

This is very exciting and I will be using my micro instance allocation (free) to test it out; of course I am unsure whether Windows 2012 will even start up properly with so little resources but that's part of the test I think. Once this works, I will slap on all sorts of GIS related software and put it through its paces.

Yesterday, I went over to the Microsoft site to get a bit more information on Windows 2012 and for me the main takeaway points is that 2012 has cloud and virtualisation built into the software. I think one can 'burst' one's network into Microsoft Azure to take advantage of extra capacity on demand. This is quite cool and while possible with today's public/private cloud architectures, it isn't easy and requires configuration and expertise that is outside many organisation's capabilities.

New Relic, New Monitoring
A nice dashboard, but I removed the server names off it...

Meanwhile, I have been playing about with the real time application monitoring service from New Relic (www.newrelic.com) and I have to say, I am very impressed with the tools and dashboards available as well as the intuititve interface. Their support so far has been excellent too. Based on this, we are hopeful that their prices are reasonable and that I can get sign-off. It's got the thumbs up from our ops and developers; two groups that frequently have very different requirements.

We definitely like it!

I should get a t-shirt too.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

What am I reading right now?

That's not really me there...

Here's what I am reading right now, gives you all an idea on what I need to know...

How to create your own self-signed certificate

Windows on Amazon EC2 Security

AWS ELB SSL limitations

Accelerating Map Caches under ArcGIS Server 10.1

Load Balancing FAQs