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Two free cloud beta services to check out

Cloud computing services are popping up like daises these days. The good part is many of them are launching with a free beta service, which means you can try before you buy and more importantly, get some valuable experience with cloud-based IT services.

The first one to check out is an expandable NAS appliance from Natick, MA-based Nasuni, which connects to the cloud for backup, restore and disaster recovery purposes. Active data is cached in the appliance on-site, maintaining the availability of data that’s required day to day, while older data is sent over the wire to the cloud service provider of your choice. Right now that could be Amazon (S3), Iron Mountain or Nirvanix, while Nasuni works on building more cloud partners.

For anyone with a lot of file-based data and tired of provisioning, managing and paying for yet another NAS filer, this is an interesting service to check out. Our sister site covered the company’s launch. For more details read this story (Nasuni Filer Offers Cloud Storage Gateway for NAS).

On a different note, people using EC2 instances might be interested to check out how to get more utilization out of them with a free service called Silverline.
IT shops often end up sizing EC2 servers just like in a traditional data center. To meet peak application demand, the servers are over configured. This means spare cycles are costing money.

Silverline creates a virtual background container on any EC2 instance. When an application is run in this background container it can only use the spare cycles. This guarantees that what was already running on the instance will run unaffected, while the spare cycles are used by the application(s) placed in the virtual background container. The company claims EC2 customers can get more from the servers they are already paying for.

And one advantage over EC2 Spot Pricing is that Silverline’s virtual background container is persistent – where spot instances can be terminated based on pricing.

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