Friday, April 29, 2011

Amazon Makes an Apology for Server Outage, Offers Credit as Compensation

Amazon Web has released an apology today for a data-center outage that brought down a bunch of major websites including Foursquare as well as Reddit. In addition to the apology, also offered customers of its Web services a 10-day credit.

Amazon isn't, however, disclosing how much the credit will be. Amazon Web Services accounts for only a small percentage of Amazon's total revenue. However ,the company does have high hopes for the business. The Web service rents out computer time by the hour.

The outage took place at a data center near Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C. and was a major stumble for Amazon's service. The company is still trying to restore some of the computers brought down in the incident which started eight days ago.

In a post-mortem report that was released today, Amazon, which is based out of Seattle, stated that human error set off the outage. An automated error-recovery mechanism then went out of control causing many computers to become stuck in recovery mode.

Amazon set up the service in a way to provide redundancy by letting computers in a different zone of availability take over if another one fails. Amazon stated that customers who were set up properly to run their computing tasks over multiple zones were largely unaffected, however, that error made it difficult to switch zones on a whim. It is, however, making changes to prevent that error from recurring.

The 10-day credit applies to each and every customer using the zone that went down, despite whether they were directly affected or not. Amazon has also not revealed exactly how many customers were affected.

Source: Associated Press - Amazon apologizes for server outage

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Red Hat Linux Offered on a Per-Server Basis by IBM on Power Systems

IBMIBM, along with Red Hat, a commercial distributor of Linux, have teamed up to provide Enterprise Linux 6 on IBM's Power Systems that are sold by Big Blue along with first level and second level support provided by Big Blue. Obviously, that isn't very new news.IBM has been a huge OEM partner with Red Hat for years now. What is new is that in an announcement letter, IBM and Red Hat have revealed a per-server license price for Power Systems machines running RHEL 6 which started up back in November. With RHEL 6 out but not certified on the new Power iron, IBM began giving away a free RHEL license on Power Systems Express configurations. IBM has now worked with Red Hat in order to tune up RHEL 6 for Power6, Power6+ and Power7 servers. This includes integration with IBM's PowerVM hypervisor for Power iron. The new licensing for RHEL 6, which became available on April 15th, allows for every pair of sockets in the box to be licensed with 15, 30 or 60 logical partition ceilings per socket pair. A standard 12x5 business hour support contract for RHEL 6 for a socket pair on a Power Systems box costs $1,350 per year for a setup with a 15-LPAR ceiling. Now if you want to increase that to a priority 24x7 support, then your price will increase to $2,150 per year. Doubling up the LPAR ceiling to 30 on a four-socket Power System doubles your support costs and if you quadruple it up to a 60-LPAR ceiling on an eight-socket machine, you quadruple your prices to $5,400 and $8,600 for a 12x5 or a 24x7 coverage. IBM, just like Red Hat, does give discounts to customers who purchase a three-year contract. IBM did, however, stop selling the earlier RHEL 5.5 on April 12. Source: IT Jungle - IBM Offers Red Hat Linux on a Per-Server Basis on Power

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Windows Home Server 2011 Officially Released

Microsoft has officially released its new Windows Home Server 2011. Windows Home Server 2011, with this release to manufacturing, is now expected to reach subscribers of MSDN and TechNet in early April at which point they can download the software through their subscriptions. This latest version of Windows Home Server should start to show its face on computers in May according to Microsoft. Microsoft also noted that manufacturers have already been working with the new home operating system. The official version of Windows Home Server 2011, which has been code-named Vail, comes to techies nearly one year after the beta was released and almost two months since the release candidate made its debut. Windows Home Server 2011 uses the same core operating system as Windows Server 2008 R2 but the new version is designed for people who need to balance multiple PCs, home networks and growing amounts of photos, music, videos and other heavy content. Running Windows Home Server on a dedicated PC allows users to set up network shares in order to access all of their data, back up their networked PCs, remotely access their files and stream their music and as well as their videos. The software offers a central dashboard in order for customers to run the various administrative tasks they will be doing. The previous version of Windows Home Server offered a feature known as Drive Extender which received much praise from users. The feature allowed people to extend multiple disk drives into a single large volume as they added new storage. However, Microsoft has claimed that the drive extender technology "was not meeting our customer needs," so they cut it from Windows Home Server 2011. However, Microsoft did add a feature called the Move Folder Wizard in order to move content between different drives. However, the loss of Drive Extender may turn away many potential users of Windows Home Server 2011. Microsoft has also lost one of their key Windows Home Server hardware partners. Late last year Hewlett-Packard, who was known for their robust Media Smart Windows Home Server servers, announced that they would no longer make computers for the Home Server operating system. The loss of HP only leaves a few key manufacturers, like Acer, who will be building dedicated boxes for Windows Home Server 2011. Windows Home Server 2011 will be released in 19 languages, according to Microsoft, including English, French, Chinese, Russian and Korean. Source: cnet - Microsoft releases Windows Home Server 2011

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