Best Practices for Load Testing Cloud Applications

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 16th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Software Development

The holidays are looming, meaning many DevOps teams are about to have their apps take a beating as hundreds of holiday orders and new device users slam them all at the same time. Whether or not your systems are consumer-focused, there will eventually come a time when the overall load on your servers is pushed to the limit.

Load testing applications in the cloud allows development and testing staff to perform scale testing to see at what point virtual machines need to scale, when to add additional resources like storage or bandwidth, and when a failover solution might be necessary.

By thoroughly performing load tests throughout the DevOps process, your organization eventually lowers costs and your team doesn’t have to scramble during a major event. Here are some best practices when performing cloud-based load testing.

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Is Hybrid Cloud Just a Stepping Stone to Public?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 19th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting

Hybrid IT infrastructure seems to be the deployment mode du jour, but some theorize that hybrid is just a stopover on the way to a 100% public cloud environment. With cloud adoption as a whole moving slower than many anticipated, it may be too early to definitively say whether hybrid is here to stay, but in our opinion, hybrid will remain a valuable model for many years to come.

Surveys from McAfee and RightScale both show hybrid cloud and multicloud adoption increasing, with McAfee finding a jump from 19% of organizations using hybrid cloud in 2015 to 57% using hybrid cloud in 2016, and RightScale showing an increase from 58% to 71% over the same period.

But are these increases just because hybrid cloud is the easiest deployment model? Often times a company will add cloud resources alongside their current infrastructure, which is considered a form of hybrid cloud. Or is it because the definition of hybrid cloud itself is shifting?

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Staying on Top of Resource Commitment with VMware High Availability

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 12th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, VMware, Documentation

It’s easy to provision additional VMs and increase resource commitment from your overall resource pool using the vSphere web portal. Maybe too easy. If you overstretch your resources, some features like High Availability failover may not function as planned. HA keeps your VMs from failing by pooling VMs and hosts in a cluster, relaunching failed VMs on alternate hosts.

Overcommitting resources can also lead to general performance problems, so it is in your best interest to use Admission Control to keep a close watch on overall capacity. Another reason? You might be trying to power on new VMs, only to run into errors as you exceed your Admission Control rules. Tweaking them can save you from buying additional host resources.

This post will introduce the concepts of slot sizes and configuration of Admission Control to allow more VMs to move between hosts when you have turned on High Availability in vSphere/vCenter.

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Getting Started with Cloud User Identity (Active Directory) for Office 365

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, August 4th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Moving to Office 365? The user experience is bound to shift, with one of the biggest changes coming to the login process.

Each workstation might previously have had Office software installed locally, so once users signed in, they were free to launch and work on Word or answer e-mails in Outlook. With Office 365, you’ll have to configure user identity settings in a specific way to replicate this — or you can go the cloud-only route and have them sign-in again online in order to access these programs.

Here are some of the factors you’ll have to consider when setting up user identity management in Office 365.

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Introducing the gBlock™ Cloud 2.0: What’s Improved in the Green House Data Cloud

Written by Josh Larsen on Friday, July 28th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware, Product Information

We’ve been cloud-native since the beginning, offering VMware-powered virtual hosting for almost ten years. In fact, our very first EMC backend storage array is now sitting in the lobby of our Cheyenne headquarters.

Of course, we couldn’t stay stagnant with our cloud offerings (you’d notice if that old storage array was still powering your cloud, trust us). The hardware, software, and facilities powering the gBlock cloud have undergone a variety of upgrades over the past decade, and the latest set is big enough for us to dub it officially the gBlock Cloud 2.0.

So what’s new in the Green House Data cloud? Let’s dive into the benefits customers can receive when the migrate to this new and improved platform.

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Some of Our Most-Used VMware Web Client Shortcuts

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 30th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, VMware, Documentation, Product Information

Looking to improve your workflow and be more efficient when you’re managing virtual machines in the VMware vSphere Web Client? Keyboard shortcuts not only make you look like a wizard when you’re showing someone how to perform an operation, they also make your daily admin life a little bit faster and easier.

While you may be used to the desktop client, the web client also includes some handy features that can help speed up your workflow. Below are some of our most-used keyboard shortcuts and tips for quickly navigating the VMware vSphere web client.

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What’s New in the Green House Data Cloud?

Written by Josh Larsen on Thursday, February 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware, Product Information

Here at Green House Data, our technicians are constantly working hard behind the scenes to improve the customer experience in our cloud products. We’ve recently completed a round of upgrades to bring you the latest features and bug fixes to our gBlock Cloud platform.

Here are some of the newest features that are available to you today, including improved web portal access, new disaster recovery features and interoperability with AWS and Azure, and more.

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Four Hybrid Use Cases to Get Your Head in the Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, January 11th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware

“Can my application run in the cloud?”

It’s a question we get more frequently than you might think — and the answer is almost always yes. Just yesterday, we got a web chat from an individual who wanted to know if a cloud server could run his e-mail server, SMTP-based, with PowerMTA, or if he would need a dedicated option. Mail servers are frequently run on virtual machines, so this configuration should pose no problem as a cloud server.

There are thousands of applications, running on a wide variety of operating systems, that play nice with VMware virtualization platforms (the basis of the gBlock cloud). Here are four hybrid cloud use cases to get you started.

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Avoid Virtual Machine Performance Problems from Antivirus Tools

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Monday, January 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Security, VMware

You’re probably familiar with the kind of performance issues inherent in antivirus/antimalware tools. Anyone who has used a PC when the antivirus scan boots up can attest to sluggish performance. The same issues rear their head when using antivirus in a virtual environment – but virtual machines come with their own set of wrinkles.

Antivirus software can be installed either on the VM itself or on the host. Depending on your approach, you’ll want to consider these key factors to maximize performance.

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Keeping Your Cloud Online with VMware Fault Tolerance

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, September 27th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Disaster Recovery

Green House Data provides a 100% SLA – which means your cloud infrastructure is guaranteed to be online 24/7. But errors in application deployment, cyber attacks, configuration mishaps, heavy network traffic, and other issues can still cause your virtual machines to crash, if you are managing them yourself. One tool in the arsenal to fight cloud downtime is VMware Fault Tolerance.

Fault Tolerance (FT) increases availability of virtual machines by creating an identical copy of the production VM that is continuously updated and ready to replace the original VM in the event of downtime. VMware FT is part of vSphere High Availability and works with it to keep the backup VM in tandem.

FT is often used for applications that require constant availability, especially if they have continual or near-constant client connections, or for custom applications that require clustering.

Read on to see host server and VM requirements for FT, plus the difference between FT and VMware High Availability.

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