16 Nov

Amazon’s cloud is the world’s 42nd fastest supercomputer

The list of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers came out yesterday with a top 10 that was unchanged from the previous ranking issued in June. But further down the list, a familiar name is making a charge: Amazon, with its Elastic Compute Cloud service, built a 17,024-core, 240-teraflop cluster that now ranks as the 42nd fastest supercomputer in the world.

Amazon previously built a 7,040-core, 41.8-teraflop cloud cluster that hit number 233 on the list, then fell to 451st. But Amazon submitted an updated Linpack benchmark test with the addition of a new type of high-performance computing instance known as "Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large," which each have two Intel Xeon processors, 16 cores, 60GB of RAM and 3.37TB of storage. The full cluster on the Top 500 list is Linux-based, with 17,024 cores, 66,000GB of memory, and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet interconnect.

via Amazon’s cloud is the world’s 42nd fastest supercomputer. I posted about this on Twitter, but it’s still a little astonding. Amazon built EC2 primarly to serve as their internal infrastructure, today a piece of it made it on the list of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

14 Nov

Ars Technica – Apple launches iTunes Match: music hoarders need not apply

Apple has quietly released iTunes 10.5.1 to the public, which enables support for its iTunes Match service. The service allows syncing your music library to iCloud for easy remote access from other computers or iOS devices. But don’t get too excited just yet, as iTunes Match’s hard 25,000 track limit means those with extensive collections simply cannot take advantage of the service.

iTunes Match is a subscription-based iTunes library syncing service that works with iCloud. Unlike Amazon Cloud Player or Google Music services, iTunes Match can identify tracks in your library that are already part of the iTunes Store’s extensive library of music. Those tracks are immediately added to a user’s iTunes Match account by connecting to the 256kbps, DRM-free version on Apple’s servers. This is true even if you ripped the album yourself at lower bitrates using older versions of iTunes or other software.

The remaining tracks, up to 25,000 total, are then uploaded to iCloud. Any songs purchased directly from iTunes don’t count toward this limit, but if you have more than 25,000 tracks not purchased from iTunes in your library, the service simply refuses to let you sign up. Apple has yet to make any allowance for users with massive libraries to choose a subset of their music to upload—an unfortunate limitation in our view, since such avid listeners are among the most likely to consider paying the yearly $24.99 fee.

via Ars Technica – Apple launches iTunes Match: music hoarders need not apply. Seems like a great deal if you either have a lot of music that is in cruddy versions or are away from wherever most of your music is a lot. Neither of those is true for me.

20 Jul

Cloud Computing News – Amazon storing more than 449B objects in S3

Amazon Web Services announced on Tuesday afternoon that its Simple Storage Service (S3) now houses more than 449 billion objects. The rapid pace of S3′s growth is a microcosm of both AWS’ overall business as well as cloud computing in general.

At Structure 2011 last month, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels told the crowd that S3 was storing 339 billion objects. At this same time last year, the service was only storing 262 billion objects. One might also draw a parallel to the ever-growing cloud revenues at Rackspace, the incredible amount of computing capacity AWS adds every day or the mass proliferation of new Software-as-a-Service offerings.

via Cloud Computing News – Amazon storing more than 449B objects in S3. That is crazy impressive both the sheer number of objects stored and the growth rate.

19 May

Shawn Blanc – Cloudy With a Chance of Music

I have nothing but good things to say about the quality of Rdio’s service, its price, or its music collection. However, there is something about Rdio that just doesn’t settle for me. And I think it’s the fact that I’m listening to music I don’t own.

A lot of people have been championing for music the trend which began with movies so many years ago: that access is better than ownership. This is Netflix’s bag: rent all the movies you want, whenever you want, for one low monthly fee.

It’s the same idea with Rdio — you are, in a sense, “renting” an album. Though you never have to return it, so long as you keep paying your monthly dues.

However, I have a different attitude towards movies than I do towards music. I will maybe watch my favorite movies once or twice a year, at the most. A great album that I love I will listen to every day for months and months.

Movies are entertaining. Music is personal.

And so I don’t know if the paradigm that access is better than ownership has the same effect on our music library as it does for our DVD collection. The music we listen to, in many ways, is a definition and extension of who we are.

All this to say, that what excites me right now is the idea of access and ownership. I want to own my music, but I want to have it available anywhere and everywhere and on each of the music-playing devices that I own.

via Shawn Blanc – Cloudy With a Chance of Music. Totally agree, that’s exactly why I stopped using Pandora and Rdio for as much as people rave about both services. Ownership and total control over the experience is almost paramount for how I listen to music.

24 Apr

Twilio Engineering Blog – Why Twilio Wasn’t Affected by Today’s AWS Issue

Starting early this morning, Amazon Web Services experienced several service problems at one of its east coast datacenters. The outage impacted major sites across the Internet. The number of high profile sites affected by the issue shows both the amazing success of cloud services in enabling the current Internet ecosystem, and also the importance of solid distributed architectural design when building cloud services.

Twilio’s APIs and service were not affected by the AWS issues today. As we’ve grown and scaled Twilio on Amazon Web Services, we’ve followed a set of architectural design principles to minimize the impact of occasional, but inevitable issues in underlying infrastructure.

via Twilio Engineering Blog – Why Twilio Wasn’t Affected by Today’s AWS Issues. Twilio on how to build a service that was able to deal with Amazon’s downtime.

24 Apr

O’Reilly Broadcast – The AWS Outage: The Cloud’s Shining Moment

So many cloud pundits are piling on to the misfortunes of Amazon Web Services this week as a response to the massive failures in the AWS Virginia region. If you think this week exposed weakness in the cloud, you don’t get it: it was the cloud’s shining moment, exposing the strength of cloud computing.

In short, if your systems failed in the Amazon cloud this week, it wasn’t Amazon’s fault. You either deemed an outage of this nature an acceptable risk or you failed to design for Amazon’s cloud computing model. The strength of cloud computing is that it puts control over application availability in the hands of the application developer and not in the hands of your IT staff, data center limitations, or a managed services provider.

The AWS outage highlighted the fact that, in the cloud, you control your SLA in the cloud—not AWS.

via O’Reilly Broadcast – The AWS Outage: The Cloud’s Shining Moment. The article even goes through the process of what it would take to permit you to have stayed up through Amazon’s recent downtime.

03 Feb

With momentum in Europe, Spotify has Apple’s iTunes in its sights – Los Angeles Times

Spotify, the Swedish music streaming software that&s rocking Europe, has huge ambitions. Though still limited to six countries and yet to launch in the U.S., Spotify founder Daniel Ek is setting his sights on America&s top music retailer and digital jukebox — Apple&s iTunes.

Spotify used the same invitation concept to spread in Sweden. The hotly anticipated service will do the same when it launches in the U.S. before the middle of this year, Ek said after his speech in a private interview in the Henry Fonda Theater’s green room.

via With momentum in Europe, Spotify has Apple’s iTunes in its sights | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times. I’m waiting on Spotify to launch in the US to have so much fun with it.