An excellent article from the super-smart Don MacAskill, CEO of Smugmug, on how they survived the Amazon Web Services outage and a few tidbits about how their system is designed. One little tidbit:
Once your system seems stable enough, start surprising your Ops and Engineering teams by killing stuff in the middle of the day without warning them. They’ll love you.
You know you’re confident in your system when you throw a dart at a board full of “kill” buttons. :-)
Don was one of the early folks to make a big commitment with AWS – he’s been through a lot with them, and has learned a ton of useful things. Definitely worth a read!
Seems like every day we’re flooded with new consumer-targeted cloud storage companies, promising easy backups and possibly tempting prices. And most of them have a free tier, offering a few GB to give us a taste. Some examples – AVG LiveKive (5GB free), SpiderOak (2GB free), Box.net (5GB free), SugarSync (5GB free), Windows Live SkyDrive (25GB free), Dropbox (2GB free), Memopal (3GB free), and even Comcast (2GB free) if you’re a customer. There are plenty of others, but you get the idea.
If you add those up, you’re at 49GB, which is a pretty reasonable amount of storage.
Seems like what we need is an app that looks something like Jungle Disk to the user, that can present a single view, but aggregate storage from multiple places on the back end. So essentially you’d see a 49GB disk in the Finder or Explorer, but your stuff would be distributed among whatever storage you’ve configured.
Even better, a Super Jungle Disk-like app, which can still present a unified view to the user, but actually store your stuff on multiple back ends, so you effectively have a RAID-1 (e.g. mirrored) storage solution. So maybe your 500MB of photos get stored on both Box.net and Dropbox, but in any case are seamlessly managed by this front-end tool on your desk.
Sort of a cloud-storage Drobo. Now that would be cool.