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Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Ian Khan, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

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RightScale Delivers Full Support for Amazon’s Elastic Block Store In the Cloud

Customers Can Take Advantage of EBS Features for A More Powerful Cloud Storage Solution

RightScale announced full support for Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Elastic Block Store (EBS) cloud storage solution, providing immediate benefits of a virtually limitless storage area network for all RightScale users, directly from the RightScale Dashboard. RightScale customers, including users of its free developer edition, can utilize EBS with RightScale to manage and allocate one or more disk volumes from 1GB to 1TB each, maintain data availability even when virtual servers are shut down, and create backups via the snapshot feature.

Snapshotting stores the EBS volume to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), with redundancy built in. Previously, when an instance was shut down, all data was lost. Now users can take a snapshot of an EBS volume at any time, store it, and use it later to create a new volume. Combined with the RightScale platform, EBS opens up a much more efficient, faster and accessible capability for data storage and management in the cloud.

“EBS is a major step for our customers and delivers storage capabilities that any big-iron SAN user would die for,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. “Through the RightScale Dashboard, customers can easily and automatically manage large volumes of data, and SaaS vendors can run single tenant virtual applications on behalf of their customers that require robust data storage in the cloud. EBS allows smaller companies, enterprise organizations, and startups to get immediate access to a new set of powerful, redundant cloud storage assets they didn’t have time or money to build before.”

Key features and benefits of RightScale’s support for EBS include:

  • Manage EBS volumes of large datasets – users can easily create a new volume from 1GB to 1TB in size and then mount it as a device on an instance, format it, and it’s quickly ready for use. It can be detached, stored, and later re-attached to another instance. Previously, when an instance was terminated, all data was lost.
  • Snapshots – RightScale users can snapshot their volume at any time directly to Amazon S3, with built-in redundancy, and restore the data by creating a fresh volume from the snapshot.
  • Manage multiple virtual appliance servers – SaaS and other software vendors that wish to run several virtual servers for customers with specific properties and/or those requiring robust data storing and safeguarding architecture – EBS has the performance and reliability at a lower cost than a hosted solution. They can use RightScale to manage the canonical, single-server virtual appliance architecture with a revolving set of frequent snapshots – providing disaster recovery backups, periodic application-level “export” backups to S3 and off-cloud backups. Upgrades are easy-the customer can spin-up a second instance and volume with the new software, test and train users, and then commit it to use.
  • Auto-mount at boot – Users can specify which volumes will be auto-mounted at boot time and can see the ancestry of related volumes and snapshots, and keep audit records of who did what, when, and which instances had volumes mounted over time.
  • New scripts for freezing via the XFS file system – To take advantage of the snapshotting feature, especially for database applications, freezing the data prior to snapshotting is important so the snapshot doesn't contain partial updates that need to be recovered when the snapshot is mounted.

Deploying scalable, reliable applications from scratch in the cloud is a time consuming and expensive task. As a result, most organizations do not have the expertise or resources to deploy and manage cloud computing applications cost effectively and according to best practices. With RightScale's platform, any organization can easily tap the enormous power of Amazon's cloud for a virtually infinite, affordable, "pay-as-you-go" IT infrastructure. RightScale's offerings provide rapid deployment, a dynamically scalable infrastructure to meet varying traffic and loads, and require minimal resources using automated tools and a centralized web dashboard for easy management backed by best practices and professional services.

For more information on RightScale contact Lisa Sheeran, [email protected] at Sheeran/Jager Communications.

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Cloud Computing News Desk brings the latest industry news related to the Cloud paradigm of massively scalable IT resources and capabilities delivered as a service using Internet technologies. For up to date news on the International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series, the easiest way is to follow it on Twitter.

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