Thursday, 11 December 2008 - Alpha Launch - Log,Share & Shape your Ideas

I have just launched a pet project of mine called Idea Jumble. 
If you're like me you have lot's of ideas throughout the day, some good some bad and some downright ridiculous. 
However, I often find myself using a Notepad (geek I know) to jot them down throughout the day and then I email them to my personal email at the end of the work day. 
So what is Idea Jumble
It is just a very simple way to Log ideas and also Shape those ideas by adding follow up ideas to the original idea. Ideas can be made public or kept private and can be tagged. 
Also any Ideas can be Ranked. 
The site is built on the ASP.NET MVC framework with a SQL Server 2008 Express backend and hosted on EC2 . 
It's my first MVC project to go live and was built using TDD. 
I've done some funky stuff with Caching and Castle Windsor Interceptors which I'll be posting about soon. 
Sign Up Now! and start logging, sharing and shaping your ideas. 

GoGrid vs Amazon EC2 - Cloud Hosting Continued

So I've just completed deploying an application to my first GoGrid server, this is the same application as what I've previously deployed to my Amazon EC2 instance.
As I mentioned before the application is an ASP.NET MVC front-end with supporting WCF services running on against a Sql Server Express 2008 Database.  
Because I run a Vista development machine I was aware of the fact that running .NET MVC on IIS7.0 outperforms II6.0 with the wildcard ISAPI filter which is what I had to resort to when using my EC2 instance. What I didn't know was by just how much. 
On a general note the overall learning curve and time taken to setup the server and then deploy the application was far less than with Amazon EC2. So full credit to Go Grid for the intuitive user interface.
Also not having to concern myself with Elastic Block Stores and tracking down the Windows Server Install Disc Snapsh0t to install FTP server was a great help and thing's which have been made unnecessarily painful with Amazon EC2.
So just to give you some background on the machine specs 
Amazon EC2 
Windows Server 2003 32bit
Ram 1.66GB
2.71 GHZ 
Sql Server Express 2008
Windows Server 2008 64bit
1GB Ram 
.NET 3.5 SP1
Sql Server Express 2008
So once I had deployed my app on GoGrid I decided to do some basic performance testing on one of the key pages in our application. 
The page in question navigates a tree. 
So you click on a Node and then the page reloads with the Child Nodes contained in the Parent Node. Essentially like navigating a folder structure except that Child Nodes which aren't containers can be different types Images, Videos etc. Pagination is also included. 
The page is loaded and refreshed by making a jQuery $ajax Get Request to a Controller Action which renders the Html using the standard aspx template engine and then writes the result html into a div. 
The html size that is load is approximately 20kb with an additional 8kb of images. 
so here are the results as taken from Firebug console, time in milliseconds.
Avg: 218 Avg: 308
Overall there is quite a big difference 30% in my very basic anaylsis. 
But GoGrid responding 30% faster is definetly enough for me to revaluate my hosting options. 
The overall offering from Amazon is certainly great and because of my Video, Image content requirements approx 1TB. 
If they were offer Windows Server 2008 images then I think that would solve the problem. 
So the conclusion I have come to for the optimal cloud hosting setup is this. 
S3 Storage for all Media files
N x Amazon EC2 Instances for Media Transcoding
Amazon CloudFront for Content Delivery Network 
N x GoGrid Windows Server 2008 for the application 
GoGrid Dedicated Sql Server 2005 for database.  (or 2008 when they offer that) 
GoGrid Load Balancer. 
Now the next challenge will be trying to migrate 1TB of Media Content from my server into Amazon S3 cheaply and effeciently. Would love to hear if anyone has any ideas.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Sql Server 2008 Intellisense, Great but!

Overall I am really happy with Sql Server 2008, especially the intellisense. 
However there is one thing that is driving up the wall and that is if you have any columns starting with Id or IDENT_CURRENT to be correct,  the intellisense defaults to IDENT_CURRENT so typing a query like 
SELECT * FROM [MyTable] 
WHERE Id = 1 
This becomes especially painful as Id turns to IDENT_CURRENT, so now when I write my query I have to type Id and then  point the mouse cursor down to get rid of the Intellisense drop down. This is highly annoying, would appreciate if anyone knows if there's a solution to this.