CloudSigma launches FreeBSD 8.1 and ZFS in the Cloud

CloudSigma AG has announced the addition of FreeBSD and by extension ZFS to its cloud computing platform. A FreeBSD 8.1 pre-installed cloud server is now available for instant deployment from CloudSigma’s public drives library:

“Patrick Baillie, CEO commented

‘We’ve had many requests for FreeBSD over the last few months so I’m very happy to be able to offer its latest iteration directly from our drives library. We are continuing our strategy of keeping an open software layer and expanding the number of ready cloud server choices we offer over time.’

FreeBSD has a number of key differentiating factors from competing Linux and Windows platforms and is not generally available for deployment from other leading cloud vendors. As with all cloud servers from CloudSigma, customers have full software level control and sole root access to their FreeBSD servers.

Advanced technology needs an advanced cloud

Customers of CloudSigma are able to create customised infrastructure with emphasis given to performance and control in a way not possible from other competing platforms. The ability to deploy FreeBSD and use ZFS is just one example of the freedom available on CloudSigma’s platform.

ZFS is an ideal tool for use in clustered server environments where high availability is critical. Some of important characteristics are:

  • pooled data storage across multiple servers and drives
  • configurable data snapshots with time slider
  • RAIDZ available with high integrity data writing

As a company CloudSigma does not subscribe to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy for delivering cloud computing services preferring to give its customers the tools and power to tune-in their cloud infrastructure; the result is higher performance, greater efficiency and greater security for customers.

Hybrid Web Cluster Choose CloudSigma with FreeBSD

Hybrid Web Cluster has chosen CloudSigma to from part of its multi-cloud next generation Platform-as-a-Service offering. Hybrid Web Cluster is a cloud web hosting platform with no single point of failure which delivers the benefits of redundancy and scalability to web agencies, developers and ISPs of all sizes.

Luke Marsden of Hybrid Web Cluster commented

‘In order to deliver the kind of next generation web hosting platform that we have built, we needed a public cloud vendor that gave us the ability to choose our operating system and applications without restriction. The CloudSigma product was easily moulded to our needs without us having to change our approach or vision – a task not easily achieved with the large incumbent cloud vendors.’

Hybrid Web Cluster leverages the advantages of FreeBSD and ZFS to deliver a web hosting solution that includes automatic load balancing, instant failover-recovery and auto-scaling.

Performance and Control

CloudSigma has concentrated on building a product that addresses two of the key concerns of many prospective cloud computing users, performance and control.

Luke Marsden continued,

‘CloudSigma offers full API control over cloud servers which allowed us to build the sort of integration we use implicitly in our platform offering – enabling automatic provision of entire clusters as well as automatic real-time cluster scaling to keep up with changes in demand. We had wondered how performance would stack up on cloud infrastructure but have been very impressed with the results so far. Our cloud servers have been exceeding our expectations, particularly with respect to storage which so often suffers in the cloud’.

CloudSigma are offering a 14-day free trial (open to all) whilst Hybrid Web Cluster have beta testing slots available for suitable applicants (ISPs and web agencies looking for the manageability wins of complete failure-tolerance, automatic load balancing and auto-scaling).

Source

FreeBSD quick news and links (week 42)

Some links and leftovers:

1. Update on DAHDI Project

Max Khon has completed the FreeBSD Foundation funded DAHDI Project and submitted a report.

DAHDI (Digium/Asterisk Hardware Device Interface) is the open source device interface technology used to control Digium and other legacy telephony interface cards.

2. FreeNAS vs OpenSolaris ZFS Benchmarks

Test results often lead to a lot of debate about the setup, hardware used, default settings etc. This test is no different: FreeNAS vs OpenSolaris ZFS benchmarks. Hopefully we will see a massive improvement in FreeNAS 0.8 which is currently available as alpha (new FreeNAS alpha).

We have received a lot of feedback from members of the IT community since we published our benchmarks comparing OpenSolaris and Nexenta with an off the shelf Promise VTrak M610i. One question we received from several people was about FreeNAS. Several people asked “How does FreeNAS compare to OpenSolaris on the same hardware?” That was an excellent question, and we decided to run some tests to answer that question.

3. Install FreeNAS in Hyper-V

To install FreeNAS in a Hyper-V virtual machine one needs to do some configuration of the virtual machine, just as one would with a physical machine. Allocating hardware resources is much easier in Hyper-V versus physical machines because you can do it remotely through screens instead of physically taking a box offline and installing hardware. This guide will show the basic Hyper-V virtual machine setup for installing FreeNAS, an open source NAS appliance based on FreeBSD

Step-by-step guide here: Install FreeNAS in Hyper-V

4. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks with its new Kernel

This is an interesting test: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD running the FreeBSD 8.1 kernel is performing faster in a number of tests than FreeBSD 8.1.

As was reported recently, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port now has limited support for handling ZFS file-systems and its stock kernel has been upgraded against that of FreeBSD 8.1. Due to the upgraded kernel we ran a quick set of benchmarks to see how the performance of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD to that of Debian Linux.

Using the Phoronix Test Suite we ran a variety of benchmarks to compare the Linux and FreeBSD kernel performance under Debian. These test profiles included 7-Zip compression, Gzip compression, LZMA compression, GnuPG, POV-Ray, C-Ray, dcraw, MAFFT, GraphicsMagick, BYTE, Sudokut, Himeno, SQLite, PostMark, and the Threaded I/O Tester.

All results and graphs here:  Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks with its new Kernel

MeetBSD California 2010 (FreeBSD Conference)

MeetBSD (California) will be held on 5-6 Nov this year.

MeetBSD California 2010 promises to be an experience unlike any other. MeetBSD California has evolved into a dynamic entity, with a love for BSD serving as the driving force behind all of the festivities. MeetBSD California 2010 will feature break-out sessions, informal discussions, and 5-10 minute “lightning talks,” as well as longer talks from well-seasoned BSD experts.

To find out what’s been planned for these two days, have a listen to these two podcasts with Matt Olander:

FreeBSD news and links (week 40)

I have some  news links an leftovers for you from (the) last (few) week(s):

1. PC-BSD 8.1 [Review]
We always wonder why is it that Microsoft makes us pay to use its OS, so why not shift to Linux or UNIX which are open source and free to use. No doubt Microsoft has made it very easy for lay man to use a PC but we all know Linux is more secure than Windows. Also, off late Linux developers are concentrating on GUI to make Linux easy to use.

FreeBSD – a UNIX like operating system has evolved from AT&T UNIX via Berkely Software Distribution. FreeBSD has a text installer. PC-BSD was founded by FreeBSD professional named Kris Moore in 2005. Kris Moore’s goal was to make FreeBSD easy for everyone to install on desktop. PC-BSD is aimed at users like you and me who are accustomed to Windows but would like a free OS. It has a graphical installation program which uses KDE SC graphical user interface.
Continues (thinkdigit.com)

2. EuroBSDCon Presentation on pc-sysinstal (PDF)
There was a lot of interest about the changes to the pc-sysinstall backend during Kris Moore’s presentation at EuroBSDCon. Continues (Dru’s blog)

There’s an interview with John Hixon from iXsystems on pc-sysinstall (potentially on FreeBSD): bsdtalk199

3. Ten ways Linux and BSD differ

I hear it all the time: people lumping together Linux and any of the BSDs. On occasion, I’ve even done it myself. Of course, there are plenty of similarities. Both are based on Unix and have mostly been developed by non-commercial organisations. They also share a common goal — to create the most useful, reliable operating system available. But there are also significant differences that shouldn’t be ignored, and I thought it would be worth highlighting them here.Continues (zdnet.co.uk)

4. New FreeNAS 0.8 alpha

First and foremost, we have a completely new GUI look and feel. We’ve imported dojango into the GUI to take advantage of Dojo JavaScript Toolkit. The flow of the interface is much nicer, it looks better, and we’ve added additional help to make it easier to use. We think you’ll like this new GUI. We’ve made dozens of improvements over the past few weeks to the GUI. We hope you like the new location for enabling shares. Contiunues (Warner’s blog)

5. Using Clonezilla with FreeNAS or Network Share to Backup a Hard Disk

6. pfSense router setup in VirtualBox

7. Bordeaux Software is looking for testers (and bloggers): Looking for someone to do a review


FreeBSD gets USB 3.0 Support

It seems FreeBSD is receiving support for USB 3.0. From the commit bit:

Commit initial version of new XHCI driver which was written from scratch. This driver adds support for USB3.0 devices. The XHCI interface is also backwards compatible to USB2.0 and USB1.0 and will eventually replace the OHCI/UHCI and EHCI drivers.

There will be follow-up commits during the coming week to link the driver into the default kernel build and add missing USB3.0 functionality in the USB core. Currently only the driver files are committed.

Getting started with FreeBSD 8.1

Juliet Kemp from serverwatch.com has tried, used and reviewed FreeBSD 8.1. Though she had some issues with installing the operating system, she agrees that if you want stability and control over your system, FreeBSD is definitely to be considered:

FreeBSD is definitely not as user friendly as modern Linuxes — you’ll need to be a lot more familiar with what’s going on under the hood and perhaps more prepared to have a couple of goes at the installation. The packaging system works well, however, and the number of available packages is comparable with, for example, Debian.

If you want close control over your system and the software you install, FreeBSD is a decent choice. But be aware that if you’re a current Linux user, you’ll have a bit of a learning curve in front of you. This is not to say either style is better or worse, just different, and adjusting to differences takes time. Having said that, I got a working desktop system and a couple of server applications up and running within a few hours, and a lot of that was download time. It’s a powerful and functional member of the UNIX-like family, and reviewing it has certainly interested me enough to keep on experimenting with it. If she’d installed FreeBSD with the PC-BSD installer (pc-sysinstall) things would have been easier ;-)

Full review here: Getting Started with FreeBSD 8.1