Saturday, January 16, 2010

a Sojourn in the Clouds

I have been learning IBM's Mashup Center, demoing to clients, and weaving it into my Web2.0 briefing as an emerging technology. I am able to do this in the Lotus Greenhouse as a free service from IBM. Recently IBM released version 2.0 of the product and after a product webinar I was ready to try the new/improved product. Alas, the greenhouse only had version 1 (that has just been remedied). Anxious to get going I fired notes off to people in IBM asking when I would get the new shiny version. I then stumbled on the fact that IBM had v2.0 available on Amazon's EC2 and if one was only using it for developer investigation (compared to a mashup for multiple users) then the product was FREE.
IBM provided a getting started video and pdf so off I went. I would listen to the video for a bit and then try to repeat the steps. There are a lot of things to do up in Amazon Web Services to get started and several freeware programs one needs to download in order to get things to work. I got stuck several times and finally resorted to reading the pdf line by line and carefully doing EXACTLY what was written. I never got my Ultra VNC to work but was able to use my Firefox browser to link directly to the Mashup Center Instance running on EC2.
For the configuration I had requested (Linux with 4GB storage) I was paying Amazon about $1.75 for each 24 hour period. I left it on for a few days while I developed and demoed for a client and was then able to terminate my instance.
If I did not have access to Lotus Greenhouse, and I was someone wanting to play around with a program like Mashup Center then using a infrastructure cloud is a good way to do it. And how do I like IBM's Mashup Center? Let me build up some more examples and then I will post a blog with my experiences.

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