FlexiScale

8 October 2007 - 12:00am -- Room 108

Room 108 has been a reseller of XCalibre hosting for a while now and we were interested in the FlexiScale concept but was struggling to figure out how, Room 108 a small but growing Lothian web design company could utilise the platform. Then one of our other hosting suppliers provided an opportunity in the worst possible way.

We were faced with a main customer site that was nearly on its knees, technology wise (the phrase “Upgrading to ASP.NET 2.0 did not cause the problem” will haunt me for a long time) and a test site that was down, when added to the fact that a new version of the site was to go live within days and we needed sign off from the customer meant that I needed a Windows 2003 Server with ASP.NET quickly.

We finally called XCalibre and asked if they were taking orders for FlexiScale, to which the answer was yes but everyone was currently on a plane going down to FoWA to launch the FlexiScale product, my heart sank at this point as the main site was starting to grind to a halt. Thankfully within an hour we had a call back and the setup of our Windows Server was in progress. Within hours we had the test site back up and running and the main site transferred across as a backup, just as the main site went down. (Question: When will we see dynamic DNS updates across the internet, as the time taken for the new IP address to filter through the net was not fun? The good side of this is that we became a bit more proficient with nslookup.)
FlexiScale provided Room 108 with a test site and a backup for the main site which can be used when we need it and all for the cost of a couple of beers, Thank You.

The main site is now back on its original hosting platform now, but as soon as we have sorted out web stats capability that is close to Urchin 5 functionality without the same level of costs associated it will probably move back to the FlexiScale platform.

So back to our original problem of struggling to figure out how to use the FlexiScale platform, I think we now have at least one use case which will greatly improve our testing infrastructure by providing more accurate mirroring of the primary hosting platform, with the added advantage that we only pay for it, when we are using it.

Stay tuned for more details on how Room 108 will be using on-demand utility computing.

The Room 108 Technical Team