When Purdue student Gene Kim and professor Gene Spafford teamed up to build the initial version of Tripwire back in 1992, little did they know their intrusion detection techniques would become industry standards for a $2.71 billion market in 2014, with growth estimates of $5.04 billion by 2019. Clearly the ever-rising threat of sophisticated cyber attacks and security breaches will only broaden the landscape for security solutions over time. Hackers are becoming increasingly clever; on top of this, vulnerabilities will keep surfacing and resurfacing in critical software components.
We’ve been comparing cloud service providers for years now, pitting Rackspace against Azure, Azure against DigitalOcean, DigitalOcean against Linode, and so on down the line to the point that we’re just plum sick of it. Just kidding! Who could ever tire of such a thing? Cloud computing invokes such a rush that it almost takes your mind off of poor, old, dead as an R/C helicopter Radio Shack. And as the cloud space is in constant flux, many of the previous comparisons could be a touch out of date. So we figured our options were either (a) mope around, morosely pondering the inevitability of death and everlasting irrelevance, or (b) hold a Battle Royale to determine the Best Cloud Computing Service for Now and At Least the Immediate Future!
Chances are, if you’re shopping for a virtual private server, you already understand why they’re useful for web developers, app designers and everyone in between. You also probably know that the surge in popularity of hourly pricing means you can try most of the big players in this space for yourself for the cost of one Bazooka Joe comic (not even the gum, just the comic). Hopefully you’ve had time to peruse our other comparisons featuring today’s combatants and a few of your other relevant choices.
You’re monitoring your IT infrastructure for changes and errors, right? Of course! You need to know every time something hits the fan; it comes with the territory. You can barely pull up an incognito tab at work without getting an error message.
The problem is, a lot of alerts don't apply to you. Hey, but at least you get paged in the middle of the night when a backup server reads low on memory! And that weekend trip you cut short only to find a fix had already been checked in? What a rush!
As with the comparison between AWS and DigitalOcean, this is another example of a giant and a small player in the cloud computing arena. As with AWS, Azure offers a breadth of features that you expect from an offering backed by a tech giant, whereas DigitalOcean's product is highly targeted.
The biggest players in the web server business, Apache and IIS, have had the field to themselves for a long time. Now, however, they have to contend with a few seriously capable upstarts, the most prominent of which is Nginx (pronounced ‘engine-x’). This young turk was first developed in 2002 and boasts a growing, dedicated following among many webmasters. Nginx’s popularity is mainly due to being open-source and having the desirable combination of high performance and low resource consumption. It is important to note that Nginx is most often compared to Apache due to its similar open-source philosophy.
With the introduction of Google’s IaaS dubbed Compute Engine, more than one pundit has declared that Amazon’s EC2 giant has finally met its match. (Not that other vendors don't have their own benefits; check out our comparisons — AWS vs. DigitalOcean, Rackspace, and Azure.) It’s true that Google is one of the few companies that can seriously go head-to-head with Amazon’s and match its computing capacity and prices. But in a significant number of other ways, Google Compute Engine (GCE) is also quite different from Amazon’s EC2. Let’s take a closer look at the two.
DigitalOcean vs. AWS is a David vs. Goliath story with a twist. The plucky upstart, DigitalOcean, faces an established behemoth. Like David, DigitalOcean has a strategy that plays to its strengths while avoiding a direct confrontation with Amazon. But this isn’t a fight to the death. Amazon and AWS address the needs of different audiences, and knowing what each does well will help you choose between them.
Python and Ruby are two of the best examples of the new generation of high-level languages which focus on simplicity and giving the programmer the ability to get things done fast, rather than syntax correctness and strict hierarchy (insert cough that sounds like “Java!” here).
For today’s busy sysadmin, systems health and performance monitoring tools like Microsoft’s SCOM (Systems Center Operations Manager) and the open-source Nagios are invaluable. They enable at-a-glance monitoring of large numbers of servers throughout a network, which is doubly critical in case of a widely geographically dispersed network setup such as in a WAN or MAN. Though they broadly achieve the same goals, SCOM and Nagios come at it from quite different directions.