Blog posts written during November 2012

What the difference is between web based and cloud based

Thursday Thursday, November 29, 2012 by Ian Pettman

If someone has been familiar with web technology for years, then they would probably refer to all web things (services and sites) as web based. Its simply something they have done for years, from soon after the inception of the web. (Originally called the World Wide Web, hence WWW as a prefix to web addresses.) I certainly refer to "the web" rather than the "the cloud". I occasionally use "Interweb" in the right circumstances.If you want to learn more then:

this Wiki Article is as good as any.

In the early days, if you accessed a web page or service then that page or service would be hosted on a specific physical server at a specific location.

The last decade has seen the rapid rise of "Web" services. These store their data spread across multiple servers or locations to span the world. These servers have become "virtualised" so from one day to the next a page or service may move from one physical host to another. An example would be Google: they have at least 17 data centres spread around the world, each of which has hundreds of computers. (There is a good case for there being thousand of computers at each centre.)

When you go to to you do not know (and it does not matter) which of their 17+ data centres provides you with your query web page. You just want it fast. Make one query and you will be answered by one machine at that centre. Make another and your query will probably be answered by a completely different machine. Google has so many computers that they are replacing computers and hard drives that store their data many times every hour. A computer has a life of around 5 years or 5*356*24 hours, Google have at least 17 data centres with an estimated 1000 computers in each centre.   These computers exist in what is known or has become referred to as "the cloud".


What does it mean to Ava customers?

If you opt for the lowest cost web or cloud version of Ava you will have a reliable database hosting machine, which is backed up on a daily basis. A bit more expensive is the cloud version where the database hosting machine is effectively duplicated so that if (and when) there is a machine failure, the duplicate machine replaces the original automatically within a minute or so. managed hosting solutions is a reference which explains the (now sometimes bewildering) range of options.

Ava use Rackspace as a provider because of their superb reputation. They easily meet all legal and operational required criteria for storing personal information for UK based companies. So in respect of Ava's implementation: cloud and web are interchangeable expressions with the end customer choosing the level of resilience that they feel is economically justifiable.

These are typical figuers from our web site monitoring software:

Monitoring Location : EU
Test Name Type Tag Uptime(%) Avg Resp Time(ms) http Benchmark 100 133.67
ava web site_http http Default 100 147.02


Rohith Nair - An employee with distinction

Friday Friday, November 23, 2012 by Ian Pettman

We would like to congratulate Rohith on gaining his Master's Degree at the University of Reading. To top it off he also gained a distinction. His MSc is in Business Information Management. Judging by his work for Ava, he well deserves the plaudit of a Distinction. Well done Rohith.

University of Reading is in the top 1% of achedemic institutions as rated by Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2012 published recently

For information about his post gradute degree then here.

Oh dear, my University is down in 6th...

Update how to combine your current static web site with Ava web

Friday Friday, November 2, 2012 by Ian Pettman

We have updated the article on how Ava active web pages can link to your current static web site. This will improve your Google ranking and at very low cost provide a portal for employees and customers to self check personal details, availability, bookings and requests.


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