Terraform – infrastructure automation and management tool. It complements configuration management tools like Puppet and Chef, as well as infrastructure building tools like CloudFormation. The beauty of it is that it is tool and cloud agnostic. You can use it to build and maintain infrastructure across multiple clouds.
Since I’ve recommended CloudFlare on this blog quite a few times, I thought it would be fair to let you guys know that I’ve removed my site from CloudFlare yesterday. The domain management is back to GoDaddy.
Why? Well, now that CloudFlare is getting bigger by the day, it seems to be getting more and more attacks and partial downtimes globally. There are also a few temporary quirks happening every now and then, where connections would get reset and such. Not that these are too annoying to have, but not knowing whether an issue with the site is a CloudFlare one or not – that’s annoying to me. I can live with my site not working right, as long as I know what exactly the problem is. Because if I know where the problem is, I usually know how to fix it and how much time it will take. When its a CloudFlare issue, I am out of the loop and I am out of control. And that I can’t have. Even if that happens rarely.
Regarding my recommendation to use CloudFlare, I still stand behind it. I think that if you haven’t tried the service, you definitely should. And, you especially should if your site has global audience and you don’t have technical team in place.
Yesterday I received some very good news from the service that makes this website faster for people all around the world – CloudFlare. In summary: it is CloudFlare’s first birthday since they went public, and to celebrate this they implemented an extremely easy to setup IPv6 gateway service. Anyone using CloudFlare can enable the IPv6 gateway either for the whole domain or for specific hosts, and it only takes a couple of clicks. Of course, I’ve done so and used a few testing tools around the web to confirm that my website is now accessible via IPv6 also.
Thank you, CloudFlare! Happy birthday! And please, by all means, keep doing what you are doing.
A month and a half ago I blogged about CloudFlare – a Content Delivery Network with security concerns and simple users in mind. CloudFlare is flexible for webmasters and they make it easy for us to take advantage of all the benefits they offer. I have moved several of my sites to CloudFlare and I am pretty happy with the service they provide. One of the things that I didn’t do at the time (or every since) though is a review or research for some alternatives. I mean, of course, we all know about Akamai and that big guns use it. We also know that Akamai is one of the most expensive services on the Web. But who else is out there?
Today I received an email from Incapsula. In essence, they offer a service which is similar to CloudFlare. They do caching, global delivery, and security. They do also offer a free plan for small, personal websites. They also have a few packages of varying prices and features.
As I mentioned earlier, I do run all of my important sites now through CloudFlare. And I don’t feel like moving to Incapsula just yet. However, I do want to try them out. I have a couple of new projects coming up, and I think I will use Incapsula for them just to see all the features they are offering and to compare with other alternatives out there. I’d be interested to hear the reviews, if you’ve tried the service. Especially, how they compare to the others and if they offer anything cool that nobody else does.
As a side note, website performance is becoming more and more important – with increased competition, impatient users and more weight to search results metrics in Google. Also, web application security is becoming increasing complex – it takes so much time and effort even for trained technical people such as myself, that I can’t imagine how huge of a task it is for “normal” people to maintain common sense security levels for their websites. It’s nice to see that there are more and more services and applications that take care of all the infrastructure problems, leaving more time to do the cool stuff – blogging, sharing, communicating, etc.
P.S.: Reading about Six Great Human and Computer Collaborations will expose you to new technology developments.
What’s more, that 30-40% increase that people used to see is now in the range of at least 50-60% as the team continues to find ways to make CloudFlare faster, while still offering security at the forefront.
What is CloudFlare, you ask? As per their own website:
CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.
In simple terms: CloudFlare is very cheap (even free) content delivery network (CDN). It provides speed and security improvements, and it is extremely easy to configure. I know so, because I’ve already registered for the free account and configured this site to benefit from the service. Whether it actually lives up to all the hype – I don’t know yet, but I’ll see in the next few days. I suspect it does, since there are numerous positive reviews around the web. I will of course let you know. Especially if you remind me.