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Xeround: HUGE list of free cloud services and their free cloud database service

piątek, Listopad 23rd, 2012

I’ve been pinged and asked to spread an information about a list of free cloud services created by Xeround that can be found here. There are 43 of them, divided into categories like Cloud IDE, monitoring or CMS. Everyone will find something interesting here.

Xeround offers cloud DB services. A DB up to 10 MB is free although when I tried to create a DB (how cool is to host your DB in Iceland datacenter? ;-) ), I received the following email:

Dear Pawe? ?akomski,
Creation of the database instance pizmak (ID = 31822) has failed – please contact support@xeround.com for assistance.
Thanks,
The Xeround team.

Bad coding of my name and failure in creating a DB did not discouraged me – I dropped the DB and created a new one, hosted in the States. The creation completed successfully and now I am going to grab a coffee and test a new database :-)

Sleek.net hosting

środa, Listopad 21st, 2012

I had a chance to use a 2-week trial from Sleek.net – a hosting service that offers, among others, cloud hosting. The service is based on VMware vCloud Director so the interface will be very intuitive for everyone who worked with vCloud Director or vSphere.

I did not measure the virtual machines performance but rather focused on user-friendliness  availability and easiness of use. And I must say that I was not disappointed – the environment is very responsive an intuitive. New server can be quickly deployed from a templates or gold images located in private or public catalogues.

For someone who just want to set up a server and forget about providing resources for this machine the solution offered by Sleek.net is perfect. The process of configuration is fast and the management of virtual servers is really easy – the access via a RDP or a browser-based console makes it flexible. You can check it by yourself by applying for a 2-week trial here.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V networking: what’s new?

piątek, Listopad 2nd, 2012

With the new server from Microsoft comes new Hyper-V. What new features in the networking field brings Hyper-V 2012 and how it differs from what is in VMware’s basket?

First of all it brings more security and isolation for multiple guests providing PVLANs. Nothing really new here for virtualization administrators except one thing – on vSphere you need to have a virtual distributed switch to enable PVLANs and it comes with Enterprise+ license. Hyper-V offers it out of the box.

Then we have another cool feature that will cost us some additional money on vSphere – with Hyper-V 2012 it is possible to configure Access Control Lists on virtual ports. They are quite simple as they permit source and destination addresses as a pattern to match but on vSphere you’d need to have Cisco Nexus 1000V for ACLs. Another point for Microsoft.

The next feature introduced by Hyper-V 2012 is VLAN trunking for virtual machines, which has been in vSphere for a long time, except that it’s been for the whole portgroups. Other new features include ARP poisoning/spoofing protection, DHCP guard and such „revolutionary” things like live storage migration or API for the virtual switch (called for that reason Extensive Switch) that should have been introduced a long time ago.

In an attempt to virtualize the network (a la VXLAN) Hyper-V uses NVGRE as an encapsulation protocol for network virtualization as well as introduces IP rewrite. Also Hyper-V can benefit from native NIC teaming that at last appeared in Windows Server.

Here‘s a nice Hyper-V feature comparison between Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 including the networking part.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

wtorek, Kwiecień 12th, 2011

To spread knowledge about Microsoft’s new cloud computing solution – Azure – they started up a new portal dedicated to those who want to learn what Azure offers – Microsoft Virtual Academy. Participation is for free. By doing courses and passing self-assessment tests you can gain points, ranks, etc. Right now there are 4 courses available but since the maximum number of points to gain is a little more than 300 and to get platinum rank you need to have 1000+ points, I suspect they keep on introducing new courses. A course is basically a set of msdn documents, Technet screencasts, etc but since they are logically divided into courses and sections there is no need any more to search all the sites.

MVA rankI am really curious how MVA is going to develop; I am not sure how popular it is – I have not finished all the courses yet and I am already #1 in my country. Hm…

 

Try some Azure for free

niedziela, Kwiecień 10th, 2011

On Microsoft Azure web site there’s an offer to trial Azure platform called Free Trial Introductory Special. What you get are „750 hours of an Extra Small compute instance, 25 hours of a small compute instance, 1GB Web Edition database and more” – all these every month. Be careful however, as if you exceed this promotional limit, you will be charged.

If you are not sure how you can benefit Azure and which plan best suits you, you can use the TCO calculator provided here.

Anyway, Free Trial in my opinion is the best way to try out Azure, no matter is you are planning to move your applications or services to the cloud, you want to „see how it works” or you are simply interesting in these technologies.