10 Cloud Predictions for 2011 — by Forrester Research

Posted by admin in Featured on December 18, 2010 with No Comments

Famous Forrester’s Principal Analyst James Staten has posted his 10 Cloud Computing Prediction for 2011. Specifically in the area of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) — where SKALI Cloud’s niche market is. He sees the increasing  importance of cloud computing to organisation worldwide, it drives the costs down, provides flexibility, however it creates a widening gap between those that take advantage of cloud computing and those that don’t.

IaaS is one of the 15 technologies listed in the Top 15 Technology Trends EA Should Watch_2011 To 2013 report released last month, and in his blog, James elaborates this in greater detail.

  1. And The Empowered Shall Lead Us
  2. You will build a private cloud, and it will fail. And this is a good thing.
  3. Hosted private clouds will outnumber internal clouds 3:1
  4. Community clouds will arrive, thank to compliance
  5. Workstation applications will bring HPC to the masses
  6. Cloud economics gets switched on. Being cheap is good
  7. The BI gap will widen
  8. Information is power and a new profit center
  9. Cloud standards still won’t be here — get over it
  10. Cloud security will be proven but not by the providers alone

Go ahead for the details on his blog – he drills deeper on each of the above points.

At SKALI, we are putting our bets on providing the most reliable & flexible cloud-based infrastructure services suitable for the SME market and many large enterprises web projects. Our platform runs on any OS including Windows and all Linux variants. We have Persistent storage and servers. Resources are bought individually with no bundling in a flexible pay-as-you-go model. It means you can instantly create, start, stop and delete servers as and when you need them. We turn CPU, RAM, data storage and data transfer into utilities similar to your electricity and water usage. We give you exactly how much of each as you need them over time.

What would be your next year cloud prediction?

SKALI Cloud team.

Create Servers, minus the Hardware

Posted by admin in Featured on November 6, 2010 with No Comments

click for larger size

The fact is, the current generation of server hardware is no longer necessary. Cloud computing is fast becoming the standard for fast, reliable servers, running on proven virtualization technology. Hardware costs are now a thing of the past. Focus on developing or maintaining your applications, not infrastructure.

Servers can be created in seconds, and once you don’t need to use it, just switch it off! (and don’t pay for it). No commitment required.

Pay as low as MYR 0.13 per hour, or MYR94 per month for a decent- size server!

Go to our pricing page to simulate your preferred server.

That’s what SKALI Cloud offers. Coming soon this December!

SKALI Cloud team.

Cloud Computing Demystified (well, in plain simple English)

Posted by admin in FAQ on November 1, 2010 with No Comments

Well, many people would have their own definition and perspective of what Cloud Computing is. It’s all the rage now. “It’s become the phrase du jour”, says Gartner. We seems to like the following:

“Cloud Computing is a style of delivering IT services to users without the need for the user to buy, install, manage or own any infrastructure.

Everything will be delivered to the user as a service — from computing power to business processes to personal interactions — wherever, however, and whenever the user needs it.”

A mouthful huh. Getting more cloudy?

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite youtube videos for your better understanding.

Still cloudy??

Let’s take a look at another cool one from the folks of gogrid.com

Don’t believe all the claims and marketing gimmick from your provider, check out the Characteristics of the Cloud Services, to ensure you’re evaluating the true cloud service provider out there.

Hope that clears the sky.. err.. cloud ;)

SKALI Cloud team.

Web Security in the Cloud: More Secure! Compliant! Afforable!

Posted by admin in Market Update on September 11, 2010 with No Comments

Interesting report published by the Aberdeen Group. Basically it compares the web security infra between the on-premise in typical enterprises vs. the infra on the cloud — the cloud infra seems to have a more complete and updated security infra.

Check out the report yourself per below

——-

This Aberdeen Group report addresses how the cloud can render web applications more secure, more compliant and less expensive. It reveals how users of cloud-based web security have achieved substantially better results than users of on-premise web security. In short it shows the numerous benefits of security in the cloud for your organisation! Read the full report to find out more.

———

SKALI Cloud team.

Updated product brochure

Posted by admin in FAQ on September 6, 2010 with No Comments

Our updated product brochure is out now.

Some details of the upcoming services are revealed !

Download the PDF now.

We are Tailored for Web Infrastructure Hosting

Posted by admin in FAQ on September 1, 2010 with No Comments

How do we compare?

Our cloud servers are tailored for web infrastructure hosting, unlike some of our competitor (i.e. Amazon EC2), which is a less targeted virtualization solution.

Feature Description SKALI Cloud Competitor
Basic virtualization Run multiple virtual servers on physical hardware.
Free choice of operating systems Easily run any operating system designed for PC hardware and any software on your virtual server.

(pre-installed options or self-install from any standard install CD)


(difficult to create custom AMIs; no FreeBSD)
Fully flexible sizing Resize your server, changing your processor, memory, disk or bandwidth on demand to fit your current capacity needs.


(only 8 fixed instance sizes)
Automatic redundancy and failover Rely on automatic reboot of your virtual server in the unlikely event that it terminates due to software or hardware failure, together with persistent storage of all your data, without the need to explicitly store on EBS or S3.

Correct at time of writing, August 2010

Why we chose KVM virtualisation

Posted by admin in FAQ on September 1, 2010 with No Comments

Answering to some of the queries from our beta testers on why we chose Linux KVM as our virtualisation hypervisor.

Before selecting Linux KVM as our de-facto hypervisor, we have evaluated other popular hypervisors in the market (VMware, Xen – very similar to KVM, while Virtuozzo is only at OS-level containers). We have selected KVM as the best architecture for virtualisation on modern processors with fast hardware virtualisation support (VT-x and NPT on Intel or AMD-V and EPT on AMD).

Historically, virtualisation platform used software to trap and simulate certain instructions, memory management and I/O in the host virtual machines. (VMware was an early leader in this software technology)

With the 1st generation of hardware virtualisation, the VT-x/AMD-V extensions trapped these instructions in hardware, giving a significant speed improvement. However, virtualised memory management and I/O remained bottlenecks. Xen was an early proponent of paravirtualisation, which attacks those bottlenecks by modifying the host operating system at compile time.

With the 2nd generation of hardware virtualisation, the NPT/EPT extensions minimise the memory management bottleneck. As a result, MMU paravirtualisation is a legacy approach, leaving just scheduling and I/O to be virtualised in software by a hypervisor. (I/O virtualisation requires a good set of device drivers for the underlaying hardware, of course: an area in which Linux excels.)

Linux KVM is a hypervisor which is built into the mainline Linux. It uses the full range of hardware virtualisation support, and directly uses the regular Linux scheduler and I/O device drivers. KVM technology has rapidly emerged as the next-generation virtualization technology, following on from the highly successful Xen implementation.

We believe the KVM architecture is superior to both Xen and VMware, since the mainline Linux scheduler and device drivers are both extremely well designed, widely deployed, professionally maintained and thoroughly tested, to a level likely well above what a single company can achieve on either their own proprietary codebase or locally maintained fork of Linux.

Even Red Hat has announced a strong support for KVM hypervisor in it’s virtualisation strategy moving forward (ditching Xen).

So what does that means to you as our client or potential clients?

Besides confidently having a proven and stable platform that runs our cloud service, the KVM itself is an open virtualisation technology that are community driven, thus it definitely able to drive our infrastructure cost down, that in turns, we are able to pass that saving to you by providing our service at a very competitive rates.

We focus on maintaining the server infra for you, while you focus on developing your application and systems on it to serve your customers.

Deal?

If you have not on our beta trial, email us at support(at)skalicloud.com to get the account.

SKALI Cloud team.

The Cloud Pyramid – IT as a Service

Posted by admin in Tips & How-to on August 12, 2010 with 3 Comments

Hi again,

Cloud Computing comes in various definition to many people. We have been asked many times as well, and we think one of the best way to understand “what is cloud computing” is to look at the Cloud Pyramid*. It illustrate how the cloud computing services are being stack up. This would also gives you the perspective of where SKALI plays.

skalicloud-pyramid

IT as a Service

In the recent years, we have seen the new advances in processors, virtualisation technology, distributed storage, broadband Internet access, automated management and fast, inexpensive servers have all combined to make cloud computing a compelling paradigm. Cloud computing has change IT to be delivered as a Service (instead of the traditional owning an infra /server /software /development platform)… either on public or private clouds.

It has practically divided IT into 3 areas of service deliveries.

  1. Application - Software as a Service (SaaS) — an example such as Gmail, Salesforce.com, Blogspot
  2. Platform - Platform as a Service (PaaS) — an example such as Windows Azure, Google App Engine, Force.com
  3. Infrastructure - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, Terremark

To understand the cloud-model better, let’s see it by stacking it up as a building block of a pyramid — because you can’t build the layer(s) above before having the layer(s) below. For example, you can’t build a cloud-platform ontop of cloud-application. You have to build from the bottom up, and not the other way around. The higher you are on the stack, you tend to forget the importance of what’s underneath (when you use Gmail, do you really care what platform does it built upon and how complex is the server architecture?). The layers are pretty much dependent to each other, but they can somehow exist on its own (pure play PaaS or SaaS provider).

The higher you are on the stack, the more niche it gets (think crm on salesforce, and email on gmail). It requires lesser technical skills and much easier to use. It provide almost immediate benefits to the organisation/individual to use the application to increase the automation or streamline workflows to become more efficient.

On the other hand, the lower you are on the stack, the more control you have (you can control how your servers are being configured to the exact specifications and fault-tolerance you need). You have more freedom and the breadth to do whatever you need to develop your application in whichever way you can (think Windows/SQL Azure or Google AppEngine) or how the servers are load-balanced, with your chosen operating system, interacted over a specific VLAN within the cloud (think GoGrid or AWS). The lower you are, the higher degree of technical skills required. It offers the flexibility as if you run your own physical data center (this IS your virtual data center).

There are myriad of cloud service providers out there. Choose the one suitable to your needs.

We at SKALI, focusing on providing the public cloud-based infrastructure services located in Malaysia (able to serve you closer). Instead of you stuck with the traditional rigid hosting packages for a determined contract period, our cloud-infra able to provide you with the full root control and the elasticity needed to grow or shrink as you required, pay as you grow.

Do you agree with our thoughts here? comments below.

SKALI Cloud team.

Limited trials available – email us at support(at)skalicloud.com

*the Cloud Pyramid was originally coined by the innovative folks from GoGrid.com

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