CloudVPS has been selected as a cloud provider by the United Nations. After successfully provisioning and hosting cloud servers for the web applications of UN-HABITAT and the UN Industrial Development Organisation CloudVPS also provisioned a cluster for the UN Environment Programme.
The beta test for our new CloudVPS Compute platform has been ongoing for four weeks. We would like to take this opportunity to share some of our findings. First we would like to thank the beta testers for their participation and the tremendous amount of feedback we have received. At the moment we have 154 active beta testers that have reported 116 bugs and feature requests. 74 of these bugs and feature requests have been dealt with at this moment.
Besides the suggestions for improvements the general feedback has been extremely positive. The CloudVPS Compute Skyline interface and API are deemed to be extremely friendly compared to services like Amazon Web Services, while the performance is significantly higher.
There is a big fight going on about who will provide the ‘operating system of the cloud’. Participants are a number of large names offering their own closed solutions, like Microsoft, VMware and Amazon. There seems to be a huge demand for an open source cloud platform and a number of projects are trying to fill this gap. According to recent research of the size en involvement of their respective communities, OpenStack is now clearly in the lead.
Groupon, the multinational company that brings potential customers and local businesses together with daily deals, chose for CloudVPS in order to migrate its services to a flexible cloud platform. To the great satisfaction of all the parties involved.
CloudVPS believes cloud assurance and certification are very important in order to get serious parties comfortable with cloud-based solutions. This is why we took a leading role in the CloudControls project. The CloudControls are a series of measures that can be implemented by a cloud provider in order to mitigate cloud-specific risks for its customers. The controls are based on a comprehensive list of cloud-related risks that was defined together with KPMG in 2012. The framework also includes a list of questions that a cloud customer should ask their (prospective) provider.
We have implemented version 2.0 of the CloudControls which was released in September of 2012. In January of 2013 we successfully concluded auditing the CloudControls alongside our ISO 27002 audit. Now version 3.0 of the controls is available which we will use from now on. The CloudControls have also been translated into Dutch. You can now download a Dutch version of the cloud risks, questions for providers and the actual controls.
As of today the CloudVPS Object Store is available. An object store can be used to easily store files in the cloud and make them available through an API or URL. This makes an object store ideal for images, movies, backups and many other types of files. The popularity of object stores is starting to grow rapidly now, especially with developers and parties that want to store large numbers of files.
Advantages of an object store:
- You only pay for your usage of storage, traffic and the API.
- Your data is stored three times within two datacenters.
- Files will be available from multiple locations.
- Enables API based programming.
A couple of weeks ago we have successfully concluded our certification audits. The auditor, the international risk manager DNV has given a positive advice to the UKAS committee. This committee has adopted the recommendation of the auditor and we have received the official certificates last week. We are now officially ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 certified and this includes the additional CloudControls as well. These certifications apply to all CloudVPS services.
On Thursday the 14th dm-cache was presented to the FAST '13, the 11th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies. This is one of the most distinguished storage conferences.
dm-cache is a joint project between CloudVPS and Florida International University. It is a caching module that can work with external storage and works in the Linux kernel.
After about a year of development CloudVPS has activated dm-cache on its latest Linux clusters in October of 2012. Thanks to dm-cache a lot of harddisk IO is now served from lightning fast SSD disks.
In a lot of cases our direct customers store data on our cloud on behalf of another party. This is most often the case with IT outsourcing solutions that use our cloud infrastructure.
Although this happens a lot, it does mean the data owner depend on the willingness and ability of our direct customer to secure its rights. This can be a reason for the data owner to delay outsourcing to the cloud. In the past we have provided guarantees to the data owner to secure its ownership and access to the data.
Over the last years we have decreased the price of RAM and CPU several times, as well as increasing the amount of RAM and CPU included in our virtual server packages.
Because the price of storage remained relatively constant the harddisk component has not been upgraded as of yet. Because of our increasing scale our storage is also getting cheaper and we would like to pass this advantage on to our customers. We expect further harddisk upgrades in the future.
Existing virtual servers
Any extra harddisk purchased with an existing virtual server will be reduced in price immediately. We will also reduce the size of any extra harddisk you are paying for with the increased harddisk of the relevant VPS package. So if you currently have a VPS4 with 100G of extra harddisk, it will turn into a VPS4 with 20G harddisk on your invoice.