Many of us were affected by the Amazon EBS issues at the end of October 2012. If you had EC2 instances in us-east-1, you were likely affected by the issues.
schedule some time to talk with us one on one with a search problem you might be having, at #ESS12
We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the Enterprise Search Summit in Washington, DC on October 17-19, 2012. The conference will be held at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel. The theme for the conference is “Strategies to Hit Your Moving Targets” and discusses ‘ issues of findability, open source, cloud search, best practices, and other topics of concern to search practitioners.’ From TNR, Michael McIntosh, VP of Search Technology will be attending, along with Director of Business Development Karen Lynn.
Additionally, we will be attending the inaugural DC Search Meetup Group on Wednesday, Oct 17 from 6:30-8. The topic for the Meetup is “What’s Your Search Story.” We’re looking forward to meeting new friends and colleagues during both events.
If you’d like to schedule some time to talk with us one on one with a search problem you might be having, simple email us at Karen@tnrglobal.com or DM us via Twitter @TNRGlobal . We’ll also be tweeting live from the conference using hashtag #ESS12.
Introduce yourself if you happen to make the conference, we’re happy to meet you!
“TNR Global did an outstanding job and we were impressed with their professionalism, industry knowledge and fee structure. We would certainly recommend them to anyone who was seeking to improve their enterprise search and/or cloud computing solutions.”
Hadley, MA–March 27, 2012–TNR Global announced today the successful completion of a cloud based solution for Northampton headquartered broadcasting communications company Myers Information Systems.
Myers engaged with TNR to move their systems into the cloud to improve their technical agility as well as to improve security, redundancy and promote these improvements to potential customers.
“As we set out to upgrade our existing application hosting service (ProHost), we prioritized the need to adopt the highest levels of security protocols. In addition, we sought to streamline the technology stack so that transaction speeds could be optimized while at the same time set-up and annual maintenance costs reduced. Our clients count on us to be proactive when it comes to adopting new standards and technology…not only to modernize our offerings over time but to increase productivity and lower operating expenses on their end as well.” said Crist Myers, President and CEO of Myers Information Systems.
Cloud based solutions for businesses have been growing rapidly over the last 3 years. Cloud technology offers increased flexibility, elasticity and scalability which allow businesses to maximize efficiencies to serve the needs of the business. Using the cloud in combination with virtualization techniques, businesses like Myers Information Systems can leverage rapid deployments and hardware efficiencies. Companies can get more value from every server by increasing the utilization rate of their servers, drastically reducing the number of servers they need to purchase and manage.
TNR was tasked to provide an assessment of Myers systems, give recommendations based upon their needs, and to provide reference implementation and documentation.
“We created a reference system and the documentation to allow them to deploy their own systems based on that reference by using Open Stack and Rackspace Cloud” said Michael Klatsky, the VP of Systems Administration and technical lead on the project from TNR Global.
As a result they can rapidly launch a new system for a client with all the tools they need in place and they have enhanced disaster recovery capability. This allows Myers to be agile in a more secure environment, and leave them better equipped to respond to their rapidly expanding market in broadcasting.
“Myers had been relying on physical servers housed locally or on site. With this cloud based virtualization, they will be able to save money and quickly deploy additional servers based in the cloud to service new clients immediately.” said Klatsky.
“TNR Global did an outstanding job and we were impressed with their professionalism, industry knowledge and fee structure. We would certainly recommend them to anyone who was seeking to improve their enterprise search and/or cloud computing solutions.” said Myers.
TNR Global (TNR) is a systems design and integration company focused on enterprise search and cloud computing solutions. TNR develops scalable web-based search solutions for content intensive websites for companies and organizations in the following industries: News Sites, Publishing, Web Directories, Information Portals, Web Catalogs, Education, Manufacturing and Distribution, Customer Service, and Life Sciences. For more information, please visit: www.tnrglobal.com
Myers Information Systems, Inc. has been developing broadcast management software since 1989. The Company provides technology and services for television, radio and other digital media providers designed to improve every aspect of their operations, from media management to scheduling, and from trafficking to reconciliation. For more information, please visit: www.myersinfosys.com
For more information on this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact Karen E. Lynn at 413-425-1499 or email at Karen@tnrglobal.com
We believe that Elasticsearch is a product that everyone working in the field of big data will want to take a look at.
There are many new technologies emerging around search, and we’ve been investigating several of them for our clients. Search has never been “easy” but Elasticsearch attempts to make it at least easier. Elasticsearch is billed to be “built for the cloud,” and with so many companies moving into the cloud, it seems like a natural that search would move there too. This paper is designed to show you just how Elasticsearch works by setting up a cluster and feeding it data. We also let you know what tools we use so you can test out the technology and we include a rough sketch of code as well. Finally, we make conclusions about how Elasticsearch can help with problems like Big Data and other search related uses.
Elasticsearch is an open source technology developed by one developer, Shay Bannon. This paper is simply a first look at elasticsearch and is not associated with an additonal product or variation of elaticsearch. The appeal for big data is due to elasticsearch’s wonderful ability to scale with growing content, which has largely been associated with the “big data problem” we all keep hearing about. It’s very easy to add new nodes and it handles the balancing of your data across the available nodes. It handles the failure of nodes in a graceful way that is important in a cloud environment. And lastly, we simply evaluate and test the technology. We really don’t believe there is a one size fits all technology in the realm of enterprise search, it is really highly dependent upon your systems, how many documents you have, how much unstructured data you have, and how you want your site to function. But that said– in terms of storing big data, it is as capable as any Lucene based product; it can handle a much larger load that the current Solr release as the notion of breaking the index up into smaller chunks is “baked in” to the product.
Here is an except from the paper:
“Products like Elasticsearch that lack a document processing component entirely become more attractive. In fact, most projects that involve a data set large enough to qualify as “big data”³² are building their own document processing stages anyway as part of their ETL cycle.”
If you are interested in downloading this free White Paper, sign up with us here.
If you would like help using Elasticsearch with your search project, contact us.
Recently our VP of Search, Michael McIntosh sat down and talked to me about his thoughts on cloud computing and what businesses should be aware of when investing in the cloud.
Karen: So, how does enterprise search and cloud computing fit together? What’s good about it for companies?
Michael: The advent of cloud computing makes it a lot easier for companies to get into search without investing a huge sum of money up front. Some of the pay-as-you-go computing approaches make it possible to do things that in the past wouldn’t have been financially viable such as natural language processing on content. Something that could have taken days, weeks, or even months can now take much less time by throwing more hardware at a problem for a shorter time span.
For example, you could throw 20 machines at a problem for 12 hours and do a bunch of computations in a massively parallel way, and then stop it as soon as it’s done….versus the old model where you have to buy all the hardware, or rent it, and make sure it’s not underutilized so you make your investment back.
But if you need a lot of processing power for a short amount of time, it’s really quite amazing what we can do now with an approach like this.
Karen: Is this a new technology for TNR?
Michael: TNR has been using cloud computing platforms for several years now—3 or 4 years. Cloud computing in itself is sort of a buzz word, because distributed processing and hosting has been around for a while, but the pay-as-you-go computing model is relatively new. So we have a great deal of experience with the reality of cloud computing platforms vs. the promise of cloud computing platforms.
Karen: So, what is the difference between the “promise” and the “reality” of cloud computing platforms?
Michael: Well, A lot of people think of cloud computing as this magical thing; all their problems will be solved and it will be super dependable because there are very large businesses like Amazon running the underlying infrastructure and you don’t have to worry about it.
But, as the physical infrastructure becomes easier to deploy, other critical factors come into play. You won’t have to worry about the physical logistics of getting hardware in place. But, you will have to manage multiple instances, you have to make sure that when you provision temporary processing resources, you have to remember to retire it when it’s no longer needed. Otherwise you’ll be paying more than you need to. Since virtualization uses physical hardware you do not control or maintain—there are fewer warning signs to a potential systemic failure. Now Amazon, which is the one we use the most, does a good job of backing up instances and making things available to you even when there are failures. But we’ve had problems where we’ve lost entire zones. Even if we’ve had multiple machines configured with fault tolerance, Amazon has experienced outages that have taken entire regions offline despite every conservative effort to ensure continuous up time. So we’ve had our entire service clusters go down because of problems Amazon was having. It becomes critically important for companies to develop and maintain a disaster and recovery plan. Companies need to make sure things that are critical are backed up in multiple locations. Now historically, this has been hard to do because companies typically buy enough equipment for production needs, but not enough equipment for development and staging environments.
Karen: That sounds like a costly mistake.
Michael: It can be very costly because people often develop disaster recovery plans without ongoing testing to confirm the approach continues to work. If the approach is flawed, when you do suffer an outage, you can be offline for hours, days or weeks. Even worse, you may not be able to recover your data at all.
Karen: That sounds extremely costly.
Michael: Yes, it’s no fun at all.
There are upsides though. Some pluses are that cloud computing forces you to be more formal about how you manage your technical infrastructure. For example, for training purposes; with a new developer, we can just give them a copy of a production system, and have them go to town on it, make modifications, whatever without risking the actual production servers. And if they make a mistake, which is human (you have to factor in human error), you can reprovision a brand new one, and retire the one that is fouled up. Instead of having to spend hours and hours trying to fix the problem on the machine they were working on.
Karen: This sounds like it’s a lot more flexible and time efficient, with a layer of safety built in.
Michael: Yes. Cloud computing also comes in handy if you ever have a security breach. If a hacker gets into the system and the system is compromised–if this happens, system administrators can go in and try to correct the problem. But hackers can often install backdoors to get in and out. So a cloud platform with a good disaster contingency and backup can allow system administrators to bring a whole instance down and do the patch on a whole new machine without the security breaches and patches in place. This is pretty easy to do with a cloud platform.
Karen: So TNR can help their clients do all these things?
Michael: Yes, we’ve worked with large customers over many years and we’ve seen a wide variety of things that can possibly go wrong, and we’ve been through several physical service outages both with Amazon Web Services and with Rackspace.
Cloud computing in itself is no panacea, but if you have the technical and organization proficiency to effectively leverage the platform, it can be a powerful tool used to accelerate your company’s rate of innovation.
If you are assessing the cloud as a solution in your business, contact us. There are a variety of options for hosting that can save your company money and minimize outages. Let us show you the option that is the best fit for your organization.
Use the power of Solr search for your website with our search solution SolrHQ, a hosted Solr search solution that is easy to set up and scales with your growth.
We offer plans to meet the needs of any sized organization. We offer free tech support and free set up when you sign up for SolrHQ. Our new service SolrHQ is an expandable cloud hosted Apache Solr solution, making Enterprise Search possible for everybody. Read more…
The sysadmins at TnR Global, LLC enable email to be successfully delivered from EC2 instances, instead of being caught by Spamhaus and others.
One of the widely discussed issues with Amazon EC2 instances is the inability to reliably send email from the instances. In all too many cases, email from EC2 instances is automatically categorized as spam by the various relay databases, and by many ISP’s and carriers. There are several solutions, with the most common being a smarthost setup using either an external smarthost smtp service, such as http://authsmtp.com, or using an existing smtp server within our infrastructure. Continue reading “Postfix SMTP AUTH w/TLS”
Focus on expertise, available, on-demand resources, and the agility to experiment with big ideas will continue to draw some personal genomics researchers to public cloud computing.
Personalized medicine is a goal of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is a driver of genomic research. It is one version of the future of medicine, using our unique genetic code toward the prevention of disease and the use of more effective or safer tailored drug therapies. Cloud computing enables access to the computational resources needed, on demand, for the data analysis needed to lay the groundwork for revolution in health care. Continue reading “Cloud Enabled Personalized Genomics”
One of this first questions we asked when deciding to sue Amazon’s AWS services was: Will we save money?
At first, your EC2 servers may be simply architected, perhaps small instances. Once a more serious commitment is made for a more robust architecture at Amazon, there will be additional costs introduced. For example, a small instance, running a 2 disk 100GB EBS volume w/RAID0 plus monitoring and a static IP, and the cost goes from the current ~$68 monthly per system to ~$88 monthly per system. Bump the instances to large instances (likely needed for any server running mysql, or any other equally intensive application) and that cost goes to ~$265 per instance. Add in the costs of the additional services like bandwidth, Static IP, Cloudwatch etc and the costs can quickly escalate. Of course, upfront payments for Reserved Instances can drastically reduce the costs further.
However, the savings in development and deployment costs I think far outweighs a narrower gap in the savings between physical and AWS servers, and the real MRC on the AWS servers will likely be lower for a given amount of computing resources.
So- can you save money? Yes. In some cases, it will be a direct apples to oranges savings of hard dollars. In other cases, the agility gained will provide the greatest savings. In most cases- a combination of both will drive your cost savings.
To learn more about how operating in the cloud can save your company money, contact us for a free consultation.
I recently saw the headline,”T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger data loss is bad for the cloud“, and, as an admin who works with cloud technology on a daily basis, viewed the headline with some concern. However, after reading the article itself, my only thought is “What does this have to do with the cloud?”. Reading through, we find that Microsoft/Danger stores your phone data (contacts, photos, etc) on it’s servers, and that the phone needs to constantly be in contact with the servers in order to maintain service and data. Unfortunately, the servers crashed, and all of the data was lost. Turn off your phone, lose all your data. Yet- this is exactly what the Sidekick service promises to protect you from- and it failed.
The problem with blaming this on the “cloud” is that, while technically, your cell phone and the Microsoft/Danger servers form a “cloud”, the failure lies with the servers, and those who administer those servers. It doesn’t matter whether those servers are virtual, or physical- if there is not a disaster recovery plan in place, and if that disaster recovery plan has not been tested- data will be lost. Your data. This is not a shortcoming of cloud computing- it is a result of depending on others to maintain your data. It also gives us caution when depending on external providers over the network to always be available. Services stop. Power fails. Disks die. Routing interruptions happen.
This is just network computing. But if the people (or companies) behind it all don’t do their own due diligence- disasters like the this, and worse will continue to happen.