Posts Tagged 'Upgrade'

April 4, 2012

Sharing a Heavy Load - New Load Balancer Options

I always think of Ford, Chevy and Toyota pick-up truck commercials when I think of load balancers. The selling points for trucks invariably boil down to performance, towing capacity and torque, and I've noticed that users evaluating IT network load balancers have a similar simplified focus.

The focus is always about high performance, scalability, failover protection and network optimization. When it comes to "performance," users are looking for reliable load balancing techniques — whether it be round robin, least connections, shortest response or persistent IP. Take one of the truck commericals and replace "towing capacity" with "connections per second" and "torque" with "application acceleration" or "SSL offloading," and you've got yourself one heck of a load balancer sales pitch.

SoftLayer's goal has always been to offer a variety of local and global load balancing options, and today, I get to announce that we're broadening that portfolio.

So what's new?

We've added the capability of SSL offloading to our shared load balancers and launched a dedicated load balancer option as well. These new additions to the product portfolio continue our efforts to make life easier on our customers as they build their own fully operational virtual data center.

What's so great about SSL offloading? It accelerates the processing of SSL encrypted websites and makes it easier to manage SSL certificates. Think of this as adding more torque to your environment, speeding up how quickly certs can be decrypted (coming in) and encrypted (heading out).

Up until now, SoftLayer has offered SSL at the server level. This requires multiple SSL certifications for each server or special certs that can be used on multiple servers. With SSL offloading, incoming traffic is decrypted at the load balancer, rather than at the server level, and the load balancer also encrypts outbound traffic. This means traffic is processed in one place — at the load balancer — rather than at multiple server locations sitting behind the load balancer.

With SoftLayer SSL offloading on shared load balancers, customers can start small with few connections and grow on the fly by adding more connections or moving to a dedicated load balancer. This makes it a breeze to deploy, manage, upgrade and scale.

What do the new load balance offerings look like in the product catalog? Here's a breakdown:

Shared Load Balancing
250 Connections with SSL $99.99
500 Connections with SSL $199.99
1000 Connections with SSL $399.99
Dedicated Load Balancer
Standard with SSL $999.00

I'm not sure if load balancing conjures up the same images for you of hauling freight or working on a construction site, but however you think about them, load balancers play an integral part in optimizing IT workloads and network performance ... They're doing the heavy lifting to help get the job done. If you're looking for a dedicated or shared load balancer solution, you know who to call.

-Matt

October 20, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Firmware Update

I thought this was pretty cool. SoftLayer has just launched a firmware upgrade tool to the customer portal. No more waiting for SoftLayer to upgrade your firmware, no more uncontrollable downtime when you don’t want it. The new upgrade tool places upgrade control firmly in the hands of customers, giving them the ability to march to their own drummer.

Simply click the relevant radio button, press update and the upgrade begins. If there is a problem, SoftLayer gets notified and we will replace any failed components to get a customer back on line. Done. How cool is that??

New Account

-@quigleymar

September 1, 2010

Ford Mustang and SoftLayer Upgrades

Each morning as I back my car of out the drive way, I ask myself, “I wonder how bad traffic will be this morning?” My commute through Dallas traffic is always a challenge making it to work on time. My 1997 Monte Carlo may not be much to look at, but it always gets me to work in one piece. My car has been through multiple wrecks and its biggest flaw is no air conditioning. Wow does it get hot in Texas! To quote that country song “she aint a Cadillac, and she ain’t a Rolls, but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with the radio.”

Picture 1 - Westmoreland

I finally decided to purchase a new vehicle . Any kind of an upgrade would be a vast improvement. I did not care what it looked like, my main concern was, “does it have air conditioning?” I stopped by a Toyota dealership on the way home one night after work. After getting the run around, I decided to make one last stop at the Ford dealership before they closed. As the salemen asked me what I was looking for, I told him “something reliable and economical.” He pointed out the Ford Fussion and then all of a sudden, something magical caught my eye.

Sitting there, calling out my name, was a 2011 Ford Mustang with a V6 3.7L and all 305 screaming horses. I just had to take it out for a test ride. After just a few moments, I knew I had found my upgrade. Not only did it look good, but it was very economical. With an estimated 31MPG and a reasonable sticker price, it was love at first sight.

The longer I thought about my upgrade, the more it reminded me of some SoftLayer customers. Some of our customers have a “monte carlo” server with only 1 proc, 2 gig of ram, and an older motherboard. It may have worked great at one time, but it is clearly time for an upgrade. For a while I had been content with my Monte Carlo, but there comes a time when we all have to upgrade.

  • The Mustang spedometer shows a top speed of 160. What speed processor are you using?
  • The Mustang has more interior room. What size ram are you using?
  • The Mustang gets a lot of second glances. What type of performance is your server getting?

When people see my old vehicle compared to the 2011 Ford Mustang, they usually comment “wow what an upgrade.” Just think what type of response you will get after a long overdue upgrade!

Mustang - Westmoreland

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January 11, 2010

Stop Using Internet Explorer 6!

Let me start by saying this… I hate Internet Explorer 6 (IE6). I really do.

Internet Explorer 6 was born on August 27, 2001. The browser was released in conjunction (well, a little after) with Windows XP as a major upgrade from Internet Explorer 5.5. From those humble beginnings in 2001, IE6 has continued to stay alive mostly because of the continued support/use of Windows XP and web-based applications built specifically for IE6.

Here are a few reasons IE6 is a big pile of junk:

  • Numerous security issues.
  • The inability to support CSS version 2 fully.
  • No support for alpha transparency in PNG images.
  • Quirks Mode, which emulates IE5.5.
  • No tabbed browsing.
  • It’s OLD!

So what makes a good browser!?

  • Full CSS 2+ support.
  • HTML/JavaScript W3C standards compliancy.
  • HTML/JavaScript performance improvements.
  • All new browsers utilize tabbed browsing.
  • Some new browsers (such as Google Chrome) have “Task Managers” that can allow you to destroy certain tabs that may have become unresponsive by a web site.
  • Support for HTML 5.

If you’re still using IE 6, consider upgrading to a new browser such as Mozilla FireFox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, or a newer version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. You’ll make yourself and web developers around the world so happy!

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