Industry Buzz

Part 2: Some Quick & Easy Wins for Your Website

Pickaweb Blog -

  OK, welcome back to part 2 of your training & before we get started I would just like to draw your attention to the free, comprehensive step by step pdf workbook that I will reference during the training. You can access it below. I will refer to various checklists that are included so you […] The post Part 2: Some Quick & Easy Wins for Your Website appeared first on Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb.co.uk. Related posts: Keyword Mastery… Learn How to Get Visitors to Your Website (Free pdf download) Today I have a very special free gift for you... Why choosing the right keywords can double the traffic to your website! Having the right keywords on your website can make a... 5 Signs Your Website may be Killing Your Business You run a great business, but you need more leads...

How to Infuse Your Personality Into Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Do your readers see you as a logo instead of a real person? Are you sharing the real you in your social marketing? It’s tough to walk the fine line between being professional and being yourself. With social media those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In this article you’ll discover four ways [...]This post How to Infuse Your Personality Into Your Social Media Marketing first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Amazon RDS Now Supports T2 Instances

Amazon Web Services Blog -

We launched the T2 instance type last month. This new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance type provides a solid level of baseline performance and the ability to burst above the baseline as needed. As I wrote in my blog post, these instances are ideal for development, testing, and medium-traffic web sites. Today we are bringing the benefits of the T2 instance type to the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The db.t2.micro, db.t2.small, and db.t2.medium instances feature the latest Intel Xeon processors running at up to 3.3 GHz. You can launch new instances using a supported engine type (see below). If you have an existing instance that is running one of the supported engines, you can simply modify the instance: Supported Database Engines We currently support PostgreSQL, SQL Server (with the exception of Standard Edition License Included), and version 5.6 of MySQL. We are planning to supports versions 5.1 and 5.5 of MySQL in the near future. Pricing and Availability Pricing for T2 database instances starts at $0.008 per hour for a Three Year Heavy Utilization Reserved Instance and $0.017 per hour for On-Demand instances. (see the RDS Pricing page for more information). As part of the AWS Free Tier, eligible AWS users have access to a db.t2.micro instance for 750 hours per month at no charge. The new instances are available today in all AWS Regions except AWS GovCloud (US) and you can start using them today! -- Jeff;

How to Boost Social Media Engagement While Lying on a Beach

Post Planner -

I recently had a 4-day family vacation at a Texas beach. Yes, there ARE beaches in Texas! We had a great time & made some lasting memories. And as I soaked up the sun, none of my Facebook pages went dark. I answered questions & my social media engagement stayed high as I put my toes in the sand & watched my kids build castles. So how did I do it? How to Boost Social Media Engagement While Lying on a Beach There are a few tools that make running a business while on vacation super easy. Some are free — but all of them helped make it effortless for me to engage with followers & customers while I was away. 1. Post Planner Of course I use Post Planner — I love this app. And I was using it long before I joined the payroll. Monday morning, before I left town, I used Post Planner to schedule 8 days worth of status updates, photos & links to my Facebook pages — including the Post Planner page. I spent about 2 hours scheduling posts for a half-dozen pages. I’d already used Post Planner’s queue feature to determine the best times to post & what types of posts to schedule when. With Post Planner, there’s no guesswork & I don’t have to worry about accidentally scheduling posts on top of one another or missing an entire day. I start with the Status Ideas engine & bounce between the Questions, Fill-in-the-Blank & Deep Thoughts categories. Then I use Post Planner’s Viral Photos tool to find images that got strong engagement on other pages — and I queue those up. Last, I use the Trending Content engine to share articles relevant to my followers — and I use my Sharebar to brand those pages however I like. That’s it! It took 2 hours to supply 6 pages with strong content for 8 days straight. Killer! >> Click to Tweet << On my personal profile & my Bigfoot page I’ve queued many links & have set them to re-queue so they repeat & I don’t have to schedule the posts again. Don’t do this with every post, but it’s a great way to expose more people to your evergreen content. Here’s how to re-queue a post with Post Planner: These posts are now on autopilot. I won’t have to schedule them ever again. The content will post, then get sent to the end of the queue again — to post in the next available slot. And re-queuing 40 to 50 posts means the material will see a new set of eyeballs almost every time. Fun fact: we have almost 250 evergreen blogposts set to re-queue on the Post Planner fan page.  That’s 3 posts a day for about 3 months! 2. Pages Manager App Now that these outstanding posts are scheduled, I need to make sure I engage with anyone who comments on my pages. While on vacation, I used Facebook’s Pages Manager app on my Samsung Galazy S5 to respond to comments, messages & posts. Facebook notified me when there was activity on my pages. That lets me visit the activity via the notification or respond to users using the page list shown above. As I kicked it on the beach, I received notifications, quickly responded & went back to enjoying the sun! But don’t feel like you have to immediately reply to every comment. People are usually cool if it takes a few hours to respond. I was on the beach when I replied to this member of our experts group: There are many ways to respond to customers while on the go.  But this one works like a charm! 3. Customer Support Tools Everyone at Post Planner helps with support. I cover most daytime hours in the US — checking support tickets several times throughout the day. And we mostly use Zendesk. Typically, I do support on my desktop. But there’s a Zendesk app that makes it easy to respond to tickets while on the go. You can respond via your phone & you know your response was sent quickly. I used the mobile app & my Chromebook to do support while on vacation. Customers won’t care that you’re at the beach, just that you quickly responded to their inquiry. 4. Twitter App I have several Twitter accounts for business & pleasure. One personal & 4 business-related accounts. And I kept social media engagement high on those accounts while I was away — thanks to notifications I received on my phone. You can add multiple accounts to your Twitter app & effortlessly switch accounts on a whim: My main concern on Twitter is responding to mentions & retweets. I checked each account once or twice a day while on vacation. Interact with people who engage with your tweets. It takes 5 minutes & the impact on your followers will last. >> Click to Tweet << Do it on the toilet if you don’t want to interfere with family time!! TMI??? 5. Skype Post Planner workers are spread around the globe. We have team members in California, Bulgaria, Malaysia & Texas. There’s constant communication — and Skype is where we stay connected. Luckily, the Skype mobile app made the program easy to use from my phone while I was away. An alternative to Skype is a program called HipChat. It does everything Skype does & more. And Google Hangouts of course work great. Enjoy Your Vacation This mix of tools made it easy to monitor social media & engage with fans & customers while on vacation. But don’t be that person sitting at breakfast working while your family is eating — put down the phone! >> Click to Tweet << Take a few minutes in the morning & a few at night — and your followers will have no idea that you’re actually chugging brews from a funnel on the beach!! The post How to Boost Social Media Engagement While Lying on a Beach appeared first on Post Planner.

Featured Blog: Wine Terroirs

Everything Typepad -

NAME: Bertrand Celce BLOG: Wine Terroirs TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2004 WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: French photographer Bertrand Celce is a wine connoisseur and veteran blogger who writes about wine discovery, wine tasting and vineyards in France. The word Terroir means - loosely translated - "a sense of place," which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities which Celce explores frequently, including clever anecdotes and photos that bring the reader right along with him. FOLLOW: Typepad

Book of the Month – The Rockerfeller Habits By Verne Harnish

Pickaweb Blog -

Book of the Month – The Rockerfeller Habits By Verne Harnish The sub title of this classic book is “What you must do to increase the value of your growing firm” & it doesn’t disappoint. The book identifies 10 key points, but within these it is possible to distil it all down to several key […] The post Book of the Month – The Rockerfeller Habits By Verne Harnish appeared first on Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb.co.uk.

Pre-Reserve vs Pre-Register

1&1 Online Success Center -

The introduction of the new top-level domains (TLDs) drives great excitement within the IT and business industries. Offering a unique opportunity for businesses to further personalize and build relevance within their online address, more than 700 new domains will be made available to the general public within the next few years. 1&1 has set in place different phases for those interested in acquiring one of these exciting domain extensions: pre-reservation, pre-registration, and registration. Phase 1: Pre-Reserve – Once we get word of what domain extensions will be released, we offer those interested the option to pre-reserve the domain. By providing their personal information, we will keep them updated on developments of the domain as they come. For example, once we get concrete information of when the domain will be available, we will let your BFF know via email so she is always updated. During this stage, no company is able to guarantee an order because the registry agreements have not yet been determined by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Phase 2: Pre-Register – As we get closer to the general availability date, we reach out to those that pre-reserved a domain name and offer them to pre-register it. At this point, they can provide their credit card information so that once it is available, 1&1 can work quicker to get their domain name. As you know, this does not guarantee the domain name to them as there may be many people rallying for the same one. At this point, it is often up to the registry as to who will get the domain. Phase 3: Registration – Once the registry releases the TLD for general availability, customers can register the domain from 1&1 immediately. It is smart for those interested to leverage the pre-register phase so 1&1 can work as quickly as possible to get the domain name for our customers as soon as it is available. These phases allow 1&1 to keep those interested fully informed of all steps and developments surrounding their desired name and also help get them their name as quickly as possible once the registry makes it available. However, 1&1 has no control over when a domain is made available. This is decided by the registry themselves. Have you acquired one of these new TLDs? Which one?

Seven Social Media Tips You Cannot Afford To Ignore

Crystal Washington's Blog -

If you have been using social media for more than a couple months, you’ve seen professionals who could use an etiquette refresher course. Interestingly enough, many of the offenders you have observed are extremely professional and kind in the “real world.” What accounts for the discrepancy between their in-person and online personas? They don’t understand that the rules of engagement online are exactly the same as those in person. Seven Social Media Etiquette Tips Have a visible profile photo. I know what you’re thinking— “I have a private profile, I don’t want everyone to be able to find me!” The problem with that thinking is that private profiles make using social media for business much less effective in general. Would you let someone knocking at your door wearing a ski mask into your home? Exactly! No one wants a friend request from a faceless person either. Make relationships versus focusing on sales. No one wants to be friends with a billboard. Build your online reputation as an expert and influencer in your field. Focus on being helpful first and then make sure that your profiles are clear and concise. This way, when connections impressed with your information review your profile, they’ll have a clear understanding of your area of expertise or offerings, and may contact you with opportunities or business needs. Send customized notes with connection requests. Do you like robocalls? How often are you appreciative of receiving tthem? Standard connection request messages are robocalls for social media. Don’t. Do. It. Talk about others and give resources more than you mention yourself. One of the best ways to build a following on social media is to demonstrate your expertise by sharing resources outside of those you offer. Tagging those organizations/people mentioned in  your posts are a great way to build partnerships and get others talking about you too! Acknowledge positive mentions with comments, not just likes. If someone takes the time to create a 200 word post gushing about you online, you can certainly take ten seconds to comment, “Thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate you.” Could you imagine offering someone an amazing introduction to a room full of your friends and the ingrate simply offers an upward nod to acknowledge your words? Likes are basically nods. They mean that someone agrees or has simply read something. Neither encourages future long posts of praise. On Facebook, keep your timeline open to comments/posts. Imagine being invited into a friends home and then being politely informed that you, nor any of the other guests, may introduce a topic of discussion. You may only comment on those topics introduced by the host. Closing a timeline to posts is the exact same thing. Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for an opportunity to pitch yourself or your business. It’s no secret that the majority of social media users are lurkers and that’s fine. However, it’s always interesting to see those social media connections who never engage in conversation until they observe  an opportunity to plug their business or themselves. This post originally appeared in the Personal Branding Blog. The post Seven Social Media Tips You Cannot Afford To Ignore appeared first on Crystal Washington.

3 Enterprises Growing In A Cloudy World

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

For mature enterprises, the cloud represents a way to get out from under the constraints of traditional IT. Unlike businesses born in the cloud, the existing systems and business processes in these organizations present unique challenges to cloud adoption. The company examples below offer three different stories of traditional IT teams growing into the cloud with measurable success. Revlon: Unexpected Benefits in the Cloud   Simplicity was the theme behind Revlon’s cloud transformation. The iconic cosmetics company needed to consolidate operations to reduce latency between global offices, located on every continent except Antarctica. It built and deployed its own private cloud. The implementation allowed Revlon to reduce hardware consumption from one physical to one virtual server to one physical server to 35 virtual servers. Today, Revlon handles 14,000 transactions per second, 15 automated application moves each month and a weekly backups up to 40TB. And the cloud deployment came with unintended benefits according David Giambruno, Revlon CIO in a podcast interview, “As we put everything on our cloud, we realized that all of our data sits in one place now. So when you think of big data management, we’ve been able to solve the problem by classifying all the unstructured data in Revlon. We have the ability to look at all of our data, a couple of petabytes, in the same place….So when we’re trying to query the data, we already know where it is and what it does in its relationships, instead of trying to mine through unstructured data and make reasoning out of it.” The cloud move for Revlon took years to accomplish and required a complete restructuring of IT that resulted in “taking the infrastructure out of the way so we can focus on what people want to do faster, cheaper, better,” says Giambruno. As a result Revlon has seen a 420 percent increase in project throughput without adding additional cost. Alex & Ani: Massive Scale with a Small Team In 2004, Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director and CEO of Alex & Ani took her experience working with her 40-plus year-old family jewelry business to launch her line of unique jewelry creations. The business features patented, expandable wire bangles adorned with meaningful charms. Over the last decade, it’s expanded from a single store into a multichannel retailer, growing profits from $4.5 million to $230 million between 2010 and 2013. To support its hyper-growth, it needed flexible infrastructure to support rapidly scaling. But Alex & Ani wanted to focus on its retail operation, not turn into technology company. By selecting a provider-managed cloud, the company has managed spikes, supported a Magento platform and run complex data analytics – all without making massive investments in staff and hardware. It chose a combination of dedicated servers and Rackspace Cloud Servers to mitigate hardware investments and have a single service provider for the technical guidance and under-the-hood maintenance needed to make it all work. Unlike Revlon, Alex & Ani didn’t have to worry about the infrastructure tweaks and staffing requirements needed to get up and running. “Rackspace integrates and has dedicated teams for the best-of-breed partners that we work with, from Magento and eBay to Adobe and Akamai. Not only that, but they have subject matter experts for those particular tools. Often times we found that individual Rackspace employees had even worked at those companies in the past, which is exciting, because it means they know how the tools work—they know what it’s like under the hood and can advise us appropriately,” says Ryan Bonifacino Vice President of Digital Strategy, Alex and Ani. Jordan Lawrence Jordan Lawrence, a 25-year-old records management firm, used a similar approach to transition to the cloud one project at a time. Initially, Jordan Lawrence used the Rackspace Managed Cloud for testing on a secure FTP site, synchronizing customer data and email lists with a proprietary policy distribution application. That success led to the implementation of additional cloud services. “After getting comfortable with Rackspace, we moved our internal email services to Rackspace Email and Hosted Exchange. Having these services completely hosted and managed by Rackspace allows our technical resources to concentrate on our core businesses,” says Marty Hansen, Executive VP of Technology with Jordan Lawrence. After that successful move, Jordan Lawrence added Managed Virtualization. As a result, “We are able to host our SaaS services in an environment that is secure enough to pass information security audits from even our most stringent Fortune 100 and Financial Service customers, and meets SSAE16 standards,” shares Hansen. With all of the cloud triumphs under its belt, Jordan Lawrence is ready to expand into more areas. Hansen says, “We see a complete solution in which Jordan Lawrence develops retention rules for SharePoint, while Rackspace implements and hosts the SharePoint environment for our customers.” _____________ What does your cloud journey look like? From enterprises to small businesses, no two paths are the same and no business has to go it alone. With Managed Cloud services, businesses can get the guidance and tech resources needed to move away from cumbersome legacy systems and start innovating on the cloud.

Pre-Registration is Now Available for New Yorkers to Secure their .NYC Domain Name!

1&1 Online Success Center -

The wait is over! Today businesses in the New York City area have the opportunity to pre-register their desired .NYC domain name with 1&1! As one of the first city-specific top-level domains (TLD) to be launched, .NYC is poised to become one of the most popular domain extensions available, so businesses are encouraged to grab their desired Web address as early as possible. New TLDs offer exciting branding and targeting opportunities for businesses on the Web. And now with such a geographically-specific TLD like .NYC, businesses have the opportunity to showcase to customers that they are authentic, local businesses. Additionally, adding a new domain extension to your business’ domain portfolio provides the opportunity to secure a shorter, more relevant, and more memorable domain name. A company name that was unavailable in the .com namespace, for example, can soon be secured under .NYC. The official release of the .NYC domain is on October 8, but businesses are encouraged not to hesitate when deciding on their domain name. Pre-registrations with 1&1 are on an exclusive first-come, first-serve basis, which means no other 1&1 customers are able to pre-register a domain option that has been previously chosen by another party. On the official launch date of .NYC, the allocation of domains is carried out by the registry. To stay up to date on the latest information about .NYC, the 1&1 Domain Showroom provides helpful news and information about the launch. If you manage a business in the New York City area, tell us about it in the comments! We’d love to hear how local businesses plan to take advantage of this new TLD. Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/mlenny  

Updated IAM Console

Amazon Web Services Blog -

If you are an AWS user, I sincerely hope that you are using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access to your services and your resources! As you probably know, you can create AWS users and groups and use permissions to allow and deny access to many aspects of AWS. Today we are launching an update to the IAM console to make it even easier for you to mange your IAM settings, even if you, like many other AWS customers have created hundreds of IAM users, groups, roles, and policies. The redesigned console streamlines management of large resource lists, eliminates the need to switch between tabs to accomplish common tasks, and offers a better experience on mobile devices. The new Security Checklist will help you to implement the recommendations for IAM best practices; the dashboard is cleaner and simpler, and you can now scroll through long lists of resources without the need to page back and forth. The sign-in link for IAM users is now more prominent. To learn more, read Introducing the Redesigned AWS IAM console on the AWS Security Blog. -- Jeff; PS - Last month we also added Enhanced Password Management and Credential Reports to IAM.

Essential Elements

HostGator Blog -

The post Essential Elements appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing. Sales is a numbers game. However, while it is certainly necessary to have a well thought out expansion strategy, sometimes simply pausing for a moment can likewise be good for profitability. As a child, I began taking music lessons. After a short while, I quit. Many of the lessons I felt were somewhat rudimentary in nature and lacked the pizzaz I desired. Needless to say, quitting was a BIG mistake. Rather than tough out the monotony and appreciate the small things, I sought to chase dreams of grandeur and magnificence. Fast forward to today and I’m writing this blog instead of performing at Carnegie Hall. If only I’d stuck it out, learned the basics and improved my musical skills… not that I don’t love writing as well! The primary difference is simply embracing the initial steps (practicing those monotonous musical scales, as it were), the beginnings: the “Essential Elements” necessary to succeed. How does this relate to your business? Often entrepreneurs have visions of grandeur and can not only see the success on the horizon, but also can touch, taste, and feel it. Sometimes it becomes difficult to remain “in the moment” especially with the way technology rapidly advances. However, one must not discount the value of building strong relationships with customers. Loyalty does matter, especially in the infancy years when you need to develop a solid base. Be sure to generate a DIALOGUE with your customers and do not settle for anything less in this monologue-driven society. At the end of the day, the tortoise wins the race. How does this look in actuality though? What are real goals you can set? 1. Gather feedback. Instead of developing marketing terminology that focuses on raising awareness of your brand, focus on reconnecting with those customers who have already purchased something from you. Get their feedback and sincerely concern yourself with their post-purchase satisfaction.   2. Offer VIP experiences. If you have a sale or service discount you plan to roll out, select a few of your most loyal customers to present them with an “insiders” option first. Unless you are in the business of investing/trading…Martha Stewart.   3. Breed an environment of caring. Do you sell maternity items? If so, collect information from your mothers-to-be and send a well wishes email. Are you a mechanic? Check up on your clients about 60 to 90 days after repair to see how well the car is holding up. Do you perform B2B transactions? Help out a smaller business with a free give away of something useful. Pay it forward and it will pay off!   In closing, take your time to reach the peak of your success. Enjoy the small beginnings and maximize your execution of the fundamentals. Build, into the culture of your business, those essential details that create the quality, long lasting experience for your customers and separate you from your competition. Develop and fortify your relationships and those customers will thank you, both verbally and financially!   Image source: http://www.uncommongoods.com/images/product/20954_zoom1.jpg web hosting

Finding The “Future You,” and Real Innovation: Must Read Stories from the Economic Graph Showcase Page in July

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Earlier this year, we launched the LinkedIn Economic Graph Showcase Page to feature stories from across the web from how to plan your next career move to LinkedIn research on the state of the global economy. We’ve found that some stories resonate with our members more than others, so at the end of each month we are recapping the most engaging content shared on the page to make sure you’re in the know. Here are the highlights from July: You are helping us build the Economic Graph LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discussed the future of LinkedIn and how each LinkedIn member helps contribute to the Economic Graph’s biggest goals. Read (and watch):LinkedIn’s Vision for an Economic Graph: A Conversation With Jeff Weiner and Thomas Friedman. What’s Next: LinkedIn data can help find the “future you” Ever wanted to ask your future self for career advice? LinkedIn helped one Mashable reporter find his “future self” – someone with a similar career history and a few more years’ experience. Then, he interviewed her. Read: How LinkedIn Found My ‘Future’ Self. Career Advice: Innovation is not just about that light bulb moment Innovation can come from anyone, not just Einsteins and Edisons. LinkedIn Influencer Jack Welch believes that innovation is “a series of little steps that, cumulatively, lead up to a big deal that changes the game.” Read: You’re Getting Innovation All Wrong. Evolving Education: Tips to survive tricky interviews Test your interview skills: Come up with an answer to “What is your personal view of leadership?” and other tricky questions for Harvard Business School applicants. Read: Harvard Business School’s Most Important Interview Questions. Global Picture: What the United Nations is doing to end world hunger LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth interviewed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about gender parity, ending world hunger, and waking up at 5 a.m. Watch: What Drives the Man with the World’s “Most Impossible Job”? That’s the recap for July. See you in September when we take a look back at the top stories in August.

Rackspace::Solve SF: Docker CEO On The Future of Applications [Video]

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

At Rackspace::Solve San Francisco last week, Docker CEO Ben Golub took the stage to discuss the future of applications. In his talk, Golub drilled into how Docker uses container technology to change the way developers build, ship and run applications and how that can reduce the time it takes developers to launch apps from weeks to minutes. Here is video of Golub’s full Rackspace::Solve presentation: Rackspace::Solve San Francisco was the first of three one-day summits that showcased how companies are overcoming the toughest challenges in their businesses and for their customers. Rackspace::Solve events are currently scheduled for September 18 in New York City and October 20 in Chicago. Registration is open now.

Introducing the Google News Publisher Center

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

(Cross-posted on the Google News Blog)Webmaster level: AllIf you're a news publisher, your website has probably evolved and changed over time -- just like your stories. But in the past, when you made changes to the structure of your site, we might not have discovered your new content. That meant a lost opportunity for your readers, and for you. Unless you regularly checked Webmaster Tools, you might not even have realized that your new content wasn’t showing up in Google News. To prevent this from happening, we are letting you make changes to our record of your news site using the just launched Google News Publisher Center.With the Publisher Center, your potential readers can be more informed about the articles they’re clicking on and you benefit from better discovery and classification of your news content. After verifying ownership of your site using Google Webmaster Tools, you can use the Publisher Center to directly make the following changes:Update your news site details, including changing your site name and labeling your publication with any relevant source labels (e.g., “Blog”, “Satire” or “Opinion”)Update your section URLs when you change your site structure (e.g., when you add a new section such as http://example.com/2014commonwealthgames or http://example.com/elections2014)Label your sections with a specific topic (e.g., “Technology” or “Politics”)Whenever you make changes to your site, we’d recommend also checking our record of it in the Publisher Center and updating it if necessary.Try it out, or learn more about how to get started.At the moment the tool is only available to publishers in the U.S. but we plan to introduce it in other countries soon and add more features.  In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you about what works well and what doesn’t. Ultimately, our goal is to make this a platform where news publishers and Google News can work together to provide readers with the best, most diverse news on the web.Posted by Eric Weigle, Software Engineer

AWS Week in Review - July 28, 2014

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Let's take a quick look at what happened in AWS-land last week: Monday, July 28 The AWS Big Data Blog talked about Best Practices for High-Frequency Loading on Amazon Redshift. Tuesday, July 29 We announced New Amazon Climate Research Grants. The AWS Startup Collection published a Sample App for Startups. Wednesday, July 30 We announced Flexible Node Placement for Amazon ElastiCache. The AWS Mobile Development Blog showed you how to Add Dynamic Perspective to Your HTML5 Games. Thursday, July 31 We announced a Route 53 Update with Domain Name Registration, Geo DNS, and a Price Reduction. We announced AWS Trusted Advisor for Everyone. We released a new Getting Started with AWS Management Portal for vCenter video. The AWS Application Management Blog showed you how to Use New Relic to Monitor Applications on AWS OpsWorks. The AWS Big Data Blog showed you how to Host Amazon Kinesis Applications on AWS Elastic Beanstalk. A guest post from Eric Feng of Flipboard on the AWS Startup Collection encouraged you to Follow the Money when you analyze your monthly AWS bill. Friday, August 1 The AWS Java Blog talked about Accessing Private Content in Amazon CloudFront. The AWS Startup Collection talked about Overcoming the Mobile App Development Challenge. AWS Marketplace added new products including Movable Type 6 for HVM from Six Apart and Virtual LoadMaster from Kemp Technologies. Softaculous continues to build their Marketplace offerings with a Wordpress + NGINX Stack. Stay tuned for next week! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the RSS feed. -- Jeff;

Scaling Cloud Infrastructure Despite Brain Drain And Ad Hoc Processes

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

By Matt Juszczak, Founder, Bitlancer Your lean technology startup is gaining serious traction! Sales and marketing are steadily growing the user base. Meanwhile the operations team, armed with an assortment of scripts and ad hoc processes held together by library paste and true grit, is challenged to scale the cloud-based IT infrastructure to handle the increasing load. So you hire a software engineer with lots of cloud experience to build out a stable configuration management environment. For a few months all is well, until that engineer abruptly splits. Now operations is left holding a bag of stale donuts. It turns out that nobody else on the team really knows how to use the configuration management tool. They only know how to spin up new virtual servers like they’d been shown. With each person already doing the work of many, nobody has the bandwidth to first learn the tool and then manage the various configurations left lying around. You know what happens next, right? As development makes changes to the software, operations has to manually install the new virtual code and tweak the configurations manually every time they create a new server. Equally problematic, virtual server instances proliferate unchecked, leading to thousands of dollars in unexpected charges from the cloud service provider. This leads to a slash-and-burn server destruction scramble that accidentally takes down the production platform and disgruntles many of those new users. Heavy sighs emanate from the CTO’s office. What’s to be done? This is where Bitlancer Strings rides in to save the day. Strings is truly easy to use and provides whatever level of visibility into the virtual infrastructure you desire. With a little support, most teams can migrate their cloud configuration management onto Strings quickly—some in as little as a week. The benefits of adopting Strings in this scenario include: Heaps of scarce developer time saved by the efficiency and ease of use of the Strings platform. Near-instantaneous time-to-value and predictable, affordable monthly costs. No more surprise charges from the CSP. Best of all, scalability concerns can be alleviated! Peace (whatever that means for a startup) is restored. If your team is hampered by this kind of technical debt, Strings can help. Strings gives you everything you need to deploy, configure and manage your virtual servers, deploy applications, handle user authentication and SSH keys, and more. Standards-based Strings works seamlessly with Rackspace services, as Bitlancer customers can attest. Strings also integrates with Rackspace Cloud Monitoring and the Rackspace Cloud Files backup service. Plus it can manage Rackspace Cloud Load Balancers with ease—all of which helps you get even more value from your Rackspace relationship. To find out more about how Bitlancer Strings can quickly and cost-effectively turn your virtual configuration management pain into gain, visit us in the Rackspace Marketplace today. This is a guest post written and contributed by Matt Juszczak, founder of Bitlancer, a Rackspace Marketplace partner. Bitlancer Strings is a cloud automation Platform-as-a-Service that radically simplifies the management of virtual servers and other cloud infrastructure, enabling startups and SMBs to preserve time, money and sanity in the cloud.

Cloudy with a Chance of Pain

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

The other day I heard an IT person moaning about how the outsourcing of applications to the cloud was taking jobs away from IT personnel. That point of view is completely out of touch with the reality of how technology is evolving. If he were to think about the bigger picture, he would see how the strengthening of the cloud would lead to an increase of focused IT jobs. The post Cloudy with a Chance of Pain appeared first on Web Hosting Talk.

Payment Platform Co-Founded by Mt. Gox Creator Gets Backing from Stripe

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

Online cross-currency payment service Stripe contributed $3 million to fund Stellar, a decentralized protocol for sending and receiving payments in different currencies such as dollars, Euros, and bitcoins. The post Payment Platform Co-Founded by Mt. Gox Creator Gets Backing from Stripe appeared first on Web Hosting Talk.

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