Posted by mark on February 11th, 2010
If you are considering a cloud infrastructure, your first questions should be: Does it exist? Does it scale? With the WatchMouse network of monitoring stations, I did some research over the past year into the computing clouds to shed some light on these basic questions.
We looked at the uptime of a number of cloud providers, such as Amazon, Akamai, and Google AppEngine. The results are in the following figure. What we see is that cloud uptime is pretty good, and it is getting better. As a matter of fact, these clouds perform better than a lot of commercial websites.
Another interesting question is: where is the cloud? We looked at the distance from the WatchMouse monitoring stations to a Google App Engine application. The following figure shows that the App Engine cloud is in fact spread out around the world!
On the vertical axis we see a number of WatchMouse monitoring stations, so that each horizontal bar represents the connect time from that station to either a regular website in the Netherlands, or an application at Google Apps Engine. From the graph it is clear that that cloud is in more than one place on the globe. Given the programming model of Google Apps Engine, this means that it is very scalable. Our research also shows that this cloud is expanding. For a more in-depth discussion of this data go to the slidecast (slides plus audio) of my presentation at the 2009 Computer Measurement Group conference.
So if you still thought that clouds are a foggy notion, this research is a wake-up call. Clouds do exist, are scalable and are getting better.
This is a guest column by Peter van Eijk, owner of Digital Infrastructures, a consultancy firm. He publishes a blog at http://petersgriddle.net and is currently setting up the Computer Measurement Group’s Dutch chapter. If you speak Dutch, follow the blog and join the NLCMG LinkedIn group. Contact information is listed on LinkedIn and on www.digitalinfrastructures.nl/contact
Posted by Pieter Ennes on September 8th, 2009
Which hosters are running IPv6, and what monitoring tools are needed? We are trying to find out!
With a bit of a delay we want to share the results of a poll we held among the hosting providers of our monitoring network in the beginning of 2008. We asked them whether they could offer native IPv6 to our stations, and if not, when they could.
The results were interesting, as none of them could at that time deliver native v6 traffic right down to our stations, and only two were up for a joint experiment with us. Very few responded that they had IPv6 on the roadmap at all; the rest indicating that they had not thought about it yet. Two responded that they were in fact waiting on some IPv6 address space from APNIC. Assuming that our selection of (at that time 25) providers is representative for hosters in general, pioneers are still in bad shape if they depend on upstream network infrastructure.
So what has changed since then? The AMS-IX IPv6 bandwidth charts for 2009 show that there has only been a minor increase in v6 traffic recently. You can also see that IPv6 traffic still accounts for only a tiny 0.2% of the total traffic volume. We will conduct a second poll now to see if matters have changed, although the above statistics are pessimistic. I will update this blog with a more detailed comparison study when we have new results.
With respect to WatchMouse, we think early adopters should have at least access to tools to monitor all the aspects of their systems during their transition to IPv6. We therefore are currently aggressively making our own infrastructure IPv6-ready to offer IPv6 monitoring as good as we can. For locations where we find no support from our upstream providers, we will be using v4 tunnels through HE, SixXS and other providers. Besides that, our developers are currently testing the necessary code changes for full IPv6 deployment.
Some of the things we are working on right now:
- Finalizing deployment of a IPv6 capable monitoring network using tunnel brokers
- Make our core systems, databases and checker software ready for IPv6
- Conduct a second poll amongst our hosters to verify the current state of v6 penetration
- Make the WatchMouse website itself available on v6
We will post any interesting information regarding our progress in this blog when we have it. In the meantime, we would like to ask what kind of tools you would need from us to be able to monitor your own transition; why not leave a comment on this site!