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Cloud Computing 101

August 23, 2010


Everyone is talking about Cloud Computing. But only a handful of people really understand it, and what the proper definitions, applications and tangible business benefits are.

If your business is web-enabled in some way or form, it would be in your best interests to understand what the geeks are droning on about.

We’ve created a simple guide to Cloud Computing for those who are wanting to gain a basic understanding of the topic – a concise guide for the uninitiated.

Read it online here. Or download it and share it with friends in pdf format.

Enjoy.


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Mandela Day 2010 was celebrated on former president, Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday, on July 18th.  The celebration of this day is an effort to encourage all South Africans to perform a selfless task to help their community… 67 minutes for 67 years. The 67 years is a reflection of the time Nelson Mandela spent fighting for the rights of humanity – from his pivotal role in the anti-apartheid struggle, to his presidency and finally his work as mediator in peace talks and as an AIDS activist.

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Whilst we all heralded the arrival of ‘uncapped’ ADSL broadband in South Africa, and the pending 10Mbps ADSL speeds, that’s only half the story. Many don’t realise that past a certain point, the throughput speed of your internet connection will not actually result in your favourite website speeding up.

The majority of South African businesses and many residential customers are currently connected to a 4Mbps ADSL connection. The bandwidth figure is important, but by no means the only factor in determining the performance of your internet connection. Internet browsing, more commonly known as web traffic, is highly sensitive to Round Trip Times (RTT), or commonly known as ping times.

Consider the analogy of plumbing and the internet, with your ADSL connection being the proverbial pipe from the internet to your office or home. A larger pipe does not mean the water will flow faster, it will just allow more water to flow. The speed of the water flow does not increase, as is the case with the internet, which travels at the speed of light.

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“You don’t fear for your life in the middle of a storm, you can’t really afford to.”

– Ellen MacArthur

Ellen MacArthur became an icon within the sailing fraternity when she set the record as the youngest woman solo sailor to complete the non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in the 2000/2001 Vendee Globe race. She did not win the race, but her ambition, courage and determination to achieve her goals was the key. The key not only to succeed, but rather to make a difference!

Her success started at an early age (17) when she obtained her first record in single-handedly sailing the circumnavigation of Great Britain, and continued with many other achievements including, Mini Transat solo race (placed 17th), and the Route de Rhum (placed 1st, and in record time, in her second attempt in 2002). Ellen also captained a round-the-world record attempt for a crewed yacht (this attempt was cancelled when the yacht’s mast broke), and in June 2004 she set a new world record for a transatlantic crossing by a woman (Ambrose Light, lower New York Bay, USA to Lizard Point in Cornwall, UK), beating the previous crewed and single-handed records. Her crowning year though was in 2005 when she beat Francis Joyon’s single-handed, non-stop, round-the-world record.

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Apart from great organisation, speakers, and coffee, conference delegates generally rate WiFi connectivity as one of the most important needs at a conference. So, while the word spread that the number of registered Net Prophet delegates (Net Prophet is a South African conference we sponsor) was fast approaching the 900 mark, we were meticulously plotting how we were going to provide free WiFi; whilst trying to figure out exactly how many devices would be connected on the day, and at any given time.

From last year’s conference (400 delegates), we learnt that balancing the load across eight 1mb/s connections was simply not going to cut it this time. We needed to find something that would allow 900+ delegates to freely tweet, upload, download, check emails, send emails and chat to their friends who were missing out on the conference.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/mikestopforth/status/13910019982″]
Some of the challenges that face conference WiFi are:

  1. Providing enough back-haul Internet capacity
  2. Limiting per user download and upload speed
  3. WiFi coverage within the venue
  4. Wireless interference
  5. Wireless Access Point congestion

Net Prophet takes the form of a one day conference held in a large conference facility. We calculated that we would need an Internet back-haul link total with the capacity of about 20Mb/s down and 10Mb/s up to give the largely tech crowd a great experience. We provisioned this directly from our Data Centre in Cape Town via 2 5.8Ghz point to point wireless links to the roof of the conference venue. (more…)


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Guess what… We’ve been hosting South Africa’s most popular blog since May 2009! Seth Rotherham, local high profile blogger and lifestyle extraordinaire, is author of the award winning 2oceansvibe blog.

2oceansvibe raked in several awards at the 2009 SA Blog Awards, including SA’s best overall blog, best entertainment and most humorous – to name but a few. It also boasts rather impressive stats like 50,000 unique readers and 200,000 page views per month. Not too bad, considering the guy’s mantra is “work is a sideline, live the holiday.”

Seth decided to move over to us when his previous hosting providers conducted an upgrade to their hosting infrastructure. Unfortunately, their desired results didn’t quite materialise, and instead caused the 2oceansvibe site to go down. Our RSAWEB Geeks quickly worked their magic to fix the site. We took a snapshot of the site (all files and database), pulled a copy of the broken site, and stitched it all together with the backup to re-build the site on our hosting server. All this was done in a matter of 2 days, with minimal interruption and no downtime to the 2oceansvibe site.

Seth thought this was awesome, and then moved all the domains for his site over to us – “RSAWEB did a great job fixing up my site when I needed it most. Thanks for keeping the good vibes flowing!”


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For months we have been Tweeting about our mysterious Secret Project. Today, the cat is finally out the bag.

We are very proud to announce the launch and immediate availability of True Cloud Servers – a cloud hosting platform that allows users to deploy and provision fully operational servers in just seconds. The first of its kind in South Africa, True Cloud Servers offer benefits previously unavailable to businesses hosting locally.

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RSAWEB is proud to be a silver sponsor of the non-profit initiative Net Prophet, a free conference geared towards inspiring and equipping technology entrepreneurs, which takes place on the 13th of May 2010 at the Old Mutual Campus Courtyard, West Campus, Mutual Park.

The event, which is hosted by the RAMP Foundation, brings together the most innovative / successful / creative / ambitious thinkers and entrepreneurs in the local Internet space, to share their stories, ideas and predictions for the future. The event is not just for people within the tech industry, but is beneficial for anyone who has web-based business interests. (more…)


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Shaun White began his life with a challenge that most would not begin to comprehend. Born with a congenital heart defect, Shaun endured two open-heart operations before his first birthday. This however, did not discourage him. At 4 years of age, Shaun showed a sense of fearlessness as he raced down mountain slopes, chasing his older brother, Jesse, on skis. In an attempt to slow him down, his mother put him on a snowboard, and instructed him to copy everything his brother did. Her idea of slowing Shaun down did the exact opposite.

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New Uncapped DSL product

April 09, 2010


We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Uncapped DSL accounts for 4Mbps, 512kb/s and 384kb/s DSL lines, priced at R499, R289 and R199 per month respectively.

This is great news for customers who are looking for a better Internet experience, and don’t want the hassle of being capped when they reach their monthly limit. With a fixed monthly cost for bandwidth, customers will also be able to make better use of other online services, such as online backup, hosted email and server hosting.

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