All posts by tagname: cloud computing

Why We Use the Cloud to Develop and Improve OrbitScripts—And Our Top 3 Recommendations

The short answer to «Why use the cloud?» is, because the cloud is simple. Most processes can be done with the touch of a button, which saves time and allows us to try many different configurations.

That translates to a better OrbitScripts platform for our customers.

What Goes Into Our Work
In the development of control systems for big advertising platforms, developers have to choose the right software based on a few big criteria, including:

  • different types of storage
  • queing systems
  • databases
  • distributed computing

But you can’t make the right choice until you get the right information from stress tests, which measure response times, the number of simultaneous connections, and processing times per request.

Testing Takes Up Most Of Our Time
Testing. Testing. Testing. We have to test each software separately for how well it interacts with the system and the platform on which we run the test.

That involves a bunch of factors: operating system, system software, and configuration and fine-tuning of all the parameters, like the number of open files, sockets, memory settings, and on and on.

To simulate both the platform and system load requires many servers and many iterations: configure and run the test platform and system load, run the stress test, analyze the results, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


But The Cloud Uses Virtual Servers
So instead of having to connect external memory, processors, hard drives and do all the network configuration, the cloud makes life easy, with:

  • Flexible system configuration
  • Cloning
  • Rapid deployment
  • Fault tolerance
  • High speed data processing
  • Lower costs for hardware, software, maintenance and electricity

Like I said, the cloud is simple.

Our Recommendations
During our development of ad management systems, we used many different cloud services, and these are three we highly recommend:

  1. Open Stack—open source software for building private and public clouds
  2. Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform that Amazon has been providing since 2006 through a partnership with Intel
  3. Rack Space—enterprise-level hosting services with over 197,000 customers

Of these three, I would add that AWS has a very friendly user interface and detailed user documentation.

And Rack Space, for whatever reason, showed better results for us when testing network bandwidth versus other cloud services.

So have you tried any of those three cloud services?
Which do you prefer? Or is there one you like even better?

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Orbit Ad Server: You Don’t Have To Know How To Fly To Get On The Airplane

A question keeps popping up:

Do people need to know how the cloud works in order to use it?

My short answer is, I sure hope not! Most people and businesses already use the cloud, and most don’t even realize it.

Cloud Survey

Citrix and Wakefield Research recently completed an online “Cloud Survey” using 1,000 representative adults aged 18 and older in the US.

  • 29% said “the cloud” is either the sky, an actual cloud (a “fluffy white thing”), or something related to the weather
  • Only 16% said it was a computer network to store, access and share data from Internet devices
  • Other responses included: toilet paper, pillow, smoke, outer space, cyberspace, mysterious network, unreliable, security, sadness, relaxed, overused, and “oh goody a hacker’s dream”

Even more interestingly, 54% of Americans claim to NEVER use cloud computing—when, in reality, 95% of those people already use the cloud!

  • 65% of them bank online
  • 63% shop online
  • 58% use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter
  • 45% have played online games
  • 29% percent store photos online
  • 22% store music or videos online, and
  • 19% use online file sharing.

(Read the full article on the Citrix Survey here.)

The “I don’t use it” phenomenon found in personal lives pops up in business, too.

A survey reported by CNBC found that over 80% of businesses currently use cloud computing. And that’s not big companies alone. More than half of micro businesses and small businesses (firms with less than 99 employees) use cloud-based business productivity applications.

Cloudability, a provider of cost-management tools for cloud services, looked at data from 3,200 customers in 80 different countries, and derived a more precise number:

86% of companies not only use the cloud, but they use more than one type of cloud service.

As reports, that fact is somewhat surprising, considering the typical concerns expressed by high-level CIOs and chief security officers, who often say the cloud is not yet a safe place to store proprietary information.

So the gap in cloud use exists in both cases. People don’t necessarily understand what the cloud is, but 97% of individuals—and 86% of businesses from big to small—use it.

We Understand the Cloud So You Don’t Have To

With all this cloud-based Internet use exploding, we saw the need at OrbitScripts to use the cloud more than ever for our ad serving systems.

It’s a circular, network effect. The more people who use the cloud, the more it increases the load on ad systems, which means we need more power from the cloud to serve the cloud.

Before the invention of these cloud-computing systems, we used dedicated servers and infrastructure expansion to meet the storage and capacity loads of our ad servers. It was expensive, and connecting and setting up all those servers took a considerable amount of time!

We had to modernize and adapt our software to run on cloud systems to allow more flexible and scalable network infrastructure. And we’re happy to give that power to our customers going forward.

The Real Definition of The Cloud

The cloud is a computing system you don’t have to maintain, and it comes with high reliability, high security, and fast speeds of deployment whenever and wherever you need it.

It’s a system of distributed power with much less risk.

cloud based

So tell me:

When did you realize the cloud meant new possibilities?
Was it Facebook or something in your personal life?
And have you tried to implement those new possibilities in your business, too?

One thing’s for sure: It’s time for everyone to think about the cloud as more than a “fluffy white thing”…and yet you don’t have to know much more than that to benefit and use it.

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Using the Cloud to Develop High-Performance Systems

OrbitScripts has been involved in Internet advertising for 12 years.

Before 2007, we specialized in PPC and affiliate-marketing systems. In 2008, we introduced Orbit Ad Server and Ad Market, a new line of ad serving products.

Now, our main focus is the development of online advertising control systems—and we’re doing our work in the cloud.

Why are we working in the Cloud?
Because cloud computing has several obvious advantages:

  • No PCs required—The cloud removes the need for most on-site computing power. The only prerequisite is Internet access.
  • Higher fault tolerance—Removing the PC hardware means system failures are more rare with cloud computing.
  • Safety—Any business that’s lost data due to fire, power surges, floods, or accidents will understand: The cloud is the safest location, and the automatic backups remove a lot of data security issues and worry.
  • High-speed data processing—The cloud allows processing to occur simultaneously across a distributed network of specialized computers, depending upon the task required. It’s a better way to crunch data than centralized computing.
  • Lower costs—In the cloud, you can use it when you need it, and not have to worry about it when you don’t. The cloud removes the cost of hardware, software, maintenance—and the cost of electricity, too.
  • Saves disk space—And when you do need centralized, on-site computing power, you can save storage space (and processing power) by storing the bulk of your information in the cloud.

The cloud is very simple.
And the process of creating, deploying, cloning, and reconfiguring servers to cloud services is very easy, too.

Most development processes can be done with the touch of a button, which saves time and allows us to try different versions of operating systems, different types of processes, and all the many testing iterations required to produce the best products possible.

Better Testing = Better OrbitScripts Development
Perhaps the most important use of the cloud involves testing, which used to be extremely time consuming, because developers had to test each software separately, with memory, processors, and various server configurations.

It was difficult to create the necessary load and expensive to gather the amount of physical hardware required.

Thanks to companies like Amazon Web Services, Open Stack, and Rack Space, the cloud has removed almost all of those old barriers.

companies logos

The New Way Forward
Since our beginnings, we’ve seen a lot of changes.

And we at OrbitScripts are excited about the new possibilities the cloud offers—especially our ability to maintain high testing standards for our customers.

What this really means is: We can build custom software for each and every single customer!

No more turnkey solutions that don’t quite fit your needs. No more compromises in what the software can do for you.

The cloud has made mass-customization a reality.

So tell us, what do you need in an online advertising control system?
Where has old software left you frustrated?

We think the answer to your problem is in the cloud, too.

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