Article for conference booklet:
What with this cloud stuff?
Like any buzzword technology, what precisely constitutes a "cloud" is still under some debate. We'll go over a few other services that fall somewhat or not at all within the scope of a cloud, but for our purposes, a cloud is a virtualized datacenter infrastructure that allows you to build your own network applications. Others believe that something isn't worth the name cloud unless it offers some self-healing or self-scaling abilities, neither of which are offered by the primary service under discussion, Amazon EC2.
Drupal on Amazon Web Services
Drupal runs on Amazon Web Services pretty much the same way it runs on other services. There are Amazon Machine Images with Drupal pre-installed that you can use to get up and running quickly. I will demonstrate seting up and runing a Drupal machine in the cloud using only Amazon's API.
Persistence issues and solutions. For EC2 you have to keep your data somewhere other than the machine you're running on, because if that machine goes down it isn't coming back. We'll cover ways to do it and their relative merits.
Cluster management overview
Clusters go great with clouds. We're going to cover using the Rightscale tools to manage a cluster, and also discuss Scalr, Enomalism, and lower-level tools like Capistrano.
High availability in the cloud.
The bottom line for EC2 is that individual instances appear to be at least as reliable as a physical machine at a data center. We're going to cover redundancy and failover and talk about specific issues, particularly intra-machine bandwidth and security, that might affect your cloud.
Auto-scaling in the cloud
The "killer app" of Clouds is being able to grow your site on demand; here's some popular ways to do it. Again we will look at Rightscale and Scalr with a brief description of a DIY approach.
Future of clouds
I'll describe emerging cloud providers, using your own cloud with tools like Eucalyptus and Enomalism, and whether or not your organization should have its "head in the clouds".
Q&A for the final 15 minutes.
Bios for conference booklet:
Ethan grew up with his head in the clouds, so it's no surprise that he ended up working with them. Before working with cloud architectures, he built a six-machine Drupal cluster from scratch (including hardware assembly) and assisted in the development and operation of web clusters up to 30 physical machines in size.