While running some hardware benchmarks on my new Core i7 Apple MacBook Pro, I got the idea to run the same benchmarks across several Cloud hosting platforms to see how their hardware stacks up. The tool I used to perform the benchmarks is Geekbench from Primate Labs. Now, this benchmark was designed to accurately test processor and memory performance so these benchmarks do not take into account disk i/o, network i/o, etc. In addition to the performance results, we learn a bit about the underlying hardware on the host machines that run these platforms. The different providers benchmarked here are: Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Linode, Rackspace Cloud Servers and Storm on Demand (by LiquidWeb).
So about a week ago I got very impulsive and dediced to upgrade from my 3.06 C2D MacBook Pro to the new Core i7 based model that was recently released. I wasn’t simply after the latest and greatest processor however, there were some other significant changes that I was eager to experience first hand, so this is the model I purchased:
- 15 Inch Matte High Resolution Display (big selling point)
- Core i7 2.66 GHz
- 4GB RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 330M 512MB
I really wanted to purchase a laptop with some newer architecture than the Core 2 Duo chips that have been out for a while as I’m looking to stay with the same machine for at least 2-3 years, which if you know me is near impossible! However, I finally brought myself to purchase AppleCare now that I’m comfortable with a machine that will last me for a while.
After many months of waiting my new 2010 Audi A4 S-Line has finally arrived and I am LOVING IT! I never believed that I would like this as much, if not more than my beloved ’09 A5 that I sold a few months back in order to get 4 doors (more room, just in case). The lines on this car are amazing as are the S-Line wheels and other styling cues. I stayed with Audi Drive Select even with the high price tag, it is an amazing option to have. My only concern with the new A4 is the 2.0T engine and the lack of HP it produces. I must say that after two days I’m fairly impressed overall with the stock 2.0T engine and tip-tronic transmission. The reason why I am not so concerned is because turbocharged engines such as this can easily be tuned to truly unleash their potential, and I have a few options in mind for turning this A4 into something much more powerful. Here are some “modifications” I plan to do over the next few months:
- ECU Flash either from Stasis or APR
- Quad-Tip Exhaust w/ S4 Rear Valance
- High Flow Cat
- High Flow Intercooler Pipe
- High Performance Front Mount Intercooler
Once these upgrades are done I will likely de-badge my A4 (which I really dislike) due to the fact that those labels just won’t do the car justice. I can’t wait to get started! See below for a quick snap I took the day I got the car, more pictures to come soon!
My colleague wrote an excellent article the other week on making your web sites load faster by leveraging the Rackspace Cloud Files & CDN platform to serve all static content on your site. I want to take this a step further for those of you who leverage the WordPress platform which is one of the most popular open-source web applications in existence.
In the WordPress community there are countless plugins that can be used for optimization, so how do you know which ones to use? Well I’m about to tell you and save you many hours or days of searching and experimenting.
Drupal is a widely used open-source CMS platform that is becoming increasingly popular by the day. I have personally used Drupal on/off since v4 and have seen it mature over the years into my preferred content management system. Here at the Rackspace Cloud we speak to hundreds if not thousands of new customers and prospects every month that either want to migrate their existing Drupal sites into the Cloud or start fresh with Drupal.
Improving performance is always a concern with any site and after working with countless Drupal installs I have identified a few tools and options that can very quickly make a very noticeable difference in your sites performance. These tweaks are not specific to the Rackspace Cloud platforms and should be considered by any Drupal site admin on any hosting solution. They will not only improve the performance of your site but also reduce back-end resource utilization such as CPU and memory or lower compute cycles on Cloud Sites for example. This is achieved through various levels of static page caching and a highly optimized database. Let’s take a look at the options.