Right Scale User Meetup Trip Report

With a variety of public cloud hosting solutions available in the market such as Amazon, Rackspace and GoGrid and private solutions like Eucalyptus, Terremark, and VMWare, Right Scale offers a cloud management platform that operates on most of them. Using Right Scale's platform, you don't need to write scripts to launch EC2 instances, or think about plugging your own monitoring / management mechanisms for health check, or worry about lock-in to a particular cloud provider. Ease-of-use and a faster on-ramp for going production on a cloud are other key reasons amongst several other benefits offered by Right Scale.

Right Scale's mantra "Real customers, Real deployments, Real benefits" was truly evident in their first ever user meetup. Other than discussing the trends, product road map and services offered by Right Scale, the most interesting part was the customer testimonials.


Greg Taylor from Sony Music uses Right Scale to manage it's artists fan sites. Their main reasons for using Right Scale are largest choice of Operating System & AMI, multiple redundant data center reduce risk, and server templates/scripts versioning into portal. They are very happy with MySQL master/slave configuration server templates and have been able to scale to millions of users in a day (e.g. with michaeljackson.com). Michael Dosik from FanSnap (ticket search engine) leverage RightScale for automation instead of adding staff. Auto-scaling, RightScripts, Dashboard/monitoring and ease-of-use are other features specific that brings them to RightScale. Sam Ramji from Sonoa Systems (visibility, management, and control for Cloud services) talked about cutting down their configuration time from 3-4 days on EC2 to hours on RightScale platform and reduced concerns around portability as the main reasons for picking this platform. Read a more complete report about the meetup here.

Here are some other data points ...

  • Scalable Web Sites, Test & Dev, Business Intelligence, Backup & Recovery, Mobile Services, and Grid Computing are the highest usage areas by Right Scale users
  • Fast on-ramp, Ease of setup, Ease of maintenance, IT visibility & control, Retain best practices, Productivity, Agility, Reliability, Predictability, and Portability are are some of the key benefits to Right Scale users.
  • 100% production usage on EC2 for now
  • Ubuntu 9.10, CentOS 5.4, Windows 2003, Windows 2008 support coming (Ubuntu 8.04 used internally)
  • RHEL is the most often requested platform
  • Chef integration is the future direction, most new features like Machine Tags are targeted at Chef only
  • Right Scale's CEO recommended to use the free version for 2 servers and the commercial version for 6-8+ servers
  • Monitoring features: monit integration, CPU/Disk/Network/MySQL/Apache/others, Auto-scaling based on alerts, 7-day free monitoring

The meetup very much lived to it's promise of "NO! HYPE" buttons which were distributed to all the attendees. Each attendee was given a tee-shirt which had "707,007+" printed in big letters in the front. This is the number of servers launched by Right Scale so far. The "NO! HYPE" promise became much more evident after attending some sessions at SYS-CON Cloud Computing Expo which were still talking about philosophies / theories. The cocktail party in the evening provided a great atmosphere to mingle with the folks behind Right Scale.

So far no pictures from the meetup are available on flickr but hopefully they will show up here.

Over all, I really enjoyed the presentations at the meetup, meeting the Right Scale folks, and food/drinks at the cocktail party :-)

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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