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2/24/2011
07:24 PM
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Amazon's EC2 Adds Zeus Load Balancer For SMBs

Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud incorporates a low cost option for spreading a workload over servers from Zeus Technology.

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Amazon Web Services EC2 application catalogue now includes a load balancing system aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs): Zeus Simple Load Balancer.

Zeus is a commercial load balancing product launched six years ago that has found its way into 1,500 customer sites, according to Kosten Metreweli, chief marketing officer for Zeus Technology, in an interview. The enterprise, on-premises version is available for a monthly subscription of $120. The small and midsize business version on Amazon’s EC2 cloud service will be available at $.21 an hour.

The enterprise version, Zeus Traffic Manager, has also been available from EC2’s application catalogue since late 2009 at a price that amounts to $1 an hour.

The availability of a low cost offering in the cloud will encourage companies that want to load balance their Web site traffic to move part of that task into the cloud. They may be happy hosting normal traffic themselves but not want to over provision their data center for peak loads. With Zeus available in EC2 as well as on-premises, customers can use it to load balance traffic on premises, then shift to auxiliary Web site operation in the cloud, when traffic unexpectedly builds, said Metreweli.

Zeus on-premises will be able to treat EC2 as an extension of the data center, sending part of the load to an Amazon on-demand data center; it will still be managing traffic for the Web site as whole, getting feedback from its EC2-based counterpart, he said.

“An organization might produce a Facebook app (for public consumption). It may flop or it may be wildly successful. If it’s the latter, the last thing you want is the application to break because your Web site couldn’t handle the traffic,” he said. The combined load balancing mechanism, both on premises and in the cloud, allows a company “to fail quickly or scale quickly,” depending on the popularity of its new application, Metreweli noted.

In addition to Zeus, Amazon on Jan. 25 added support to its Amazon Web Services Management Console for its own CloudWatch monitoring service, which can report on the activity of EC2’s own Elastic Load Balancer service.

Amazon has been making more management options available to customers to increase their ability to see and manage the workloads they send to its infrastructure as a service cloud.

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