Tags aws

This Mad Genius Built His Own Game Streaming Server For Almost Nothing

In less than a month OnLive, the world’s first cloud-based PC game streaming service, will be gone forever . Most of us took this news with a shrug. Madman Larry Gadea took it has a challenge—he built his own PC gaming cloud service. You can too.

It’s both more and less complicated than it sounds: you don’t need to build or own your own sever. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money—Gadea’s setup was built entirely with free software, Amazon Web Services and Valve’s Steam In-Home Streaming feature.

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Sean Buckley

April 15th

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PiCloud Is A Model Cloud Made Of Raspberry Pi & LEGO For Teaching Students About Web Platforms

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Is there aught the Raspberry Pi can’t do? Here’s another interesting implementation of the $35 microcromputer — or rather a stack of 56 Pis, linked together to form what its creators have called PiCloud, using LEGO bricks as bespoke racks for the Pi stacks. (Not the first time we’ve seen Pi paired with LEGO either.)

The project comes out of the University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science, and is intended as a teaching aid so students can hack around with a model cloud platform and play with techs like virtualisation to learn about the infrastructure underpinning services like Amazon’s AWS.

The 56 Raspberry Pis in PiCloud are stacked in four mini Lego racks, each topped off with a top-of-rack-switch which has 16 Ethernet connections: 14 used to network the Pis and the other two for connecting the switches. At the software stack layer of PiCloud, each Pi board is running Raspbian Linux, with three LXC containers per Pi each running a Linux instance.

Hosted software on PiCloud includes running “simple workloads” within each container (such as lighttpd) and “artificial workloads” (like lookbusy) for experiments. Other experimental hacking on PiCloud has featured libvirt and dockerHadoop is also part of the mix, although this is only currently working on the native Linux instance, rather than an LXC instance.

One of the computing schools’s students has also built an AWS-like web console interface for PiCloud (see screengrab below).

PiCloud’s creators describe it as a “never-ending work-in-progress”. Aka a teaching aid. Their future plans for the platform include using standard tools such as ovirt, “if/when we get libvirt working” — but they’re also asking for suggestions for research directions and collaborations. For more on PiCloud, check out the project homepage.

PiCloud is a great example of how the Pi is fulfilling the mission of its creators, as well as proving popular with the maker community. The Raspberry Pi Foundation originally set out to build a low-cost microcromputer to get more U.K. kids learning to code. PiCloud is certainly helping with that.


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Natasha Lomas

June 14th

Gadgets

T-Mobile signs AWS spectrum agreement with Verizon

T-Mobile just announced plans to exchange and purchase spectrum from Verizon Wireless in a deal the carrier claimed would improve its “spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets” that covers 60 million people. T-Mobile said the spectrum would help enhance its 4G network and advance the rollout of its LTE service. The agreement includes spectrum that Verizon planned to acquire from several cable companies, so T-Mobile will first have to wait for the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to approve the deal:

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

We recently updated you on the rollout of T-Mobile’s $4 billion 4G-network plan, including its plan to rollout 4G HSPA+ in the 1900 MHz spectrum to iPhone users “in a large number of markets later this year.” T-Mobile mentioned a few of the cities that would benefit if the agreement goes through:

T-Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y



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Jordan Kahn

June 25th

Uncategorized

Amazon Web Services Announces Price Cuts On Premium Support, Free Basic Support For All

AWS Free Usage Tier-3

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing business run by internet retailer Amazon, today announced a revamp to its support offerings. The company cut the prices for its premium (paid) support offerings, while also automatically enrolling its customers in the “Basic” support tier for free. In conjunction with the changes, AWS also rebranded its support tiers from Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum to new, more descriptive names: Basic, Developer, Business and Enterprise.

For enterprise customers, there comes another big change, too: support pricing is now being based on usage as opposed to a flat fee, which could potentially translate to cost-savings for some customers as it now offers levels of pricing below the previous flat 10% fee.

All of the plans announced today include support for an unlimited number of cases, are contact-free and are available worldwide.

The new, free Basic support offering available now to all customers includes 24/7 customer service for account and billing issues, and technical support for system health issues.

The full description of the revamped plans is below:

  • Basic (Expanded free tier): Upon signup for AWS, all customers are automatically enrolled in Basic support for free. Added features in this tier include immediate, around-the-clock access to customer service by email or phone for billing and account issues, and technical support for system health issues. Customers continue to have access to technical FAQs, best practices guides, the AWS Service Health Dashboard, and the AWS Developer Forums, which are monitored and responded to by AWS support engineers.
  • Developer ($49/month and 1:1 customer support): Previously called the Bronze tier, the Developer tier includes all components of the Basic tier, plus the following: 12-hour response time to support cases submitted, 1:1 customer support for any AWS-related question, and access to AWS Technical Support Engineers via email through the AWS online support center during local business hours to help configure, operate, and maintain core AWS services and features. The Developer plan is $49 per month.
  • Business (Access to AWS Trusted Advisor): Previously called the Gold tier, the Business tier includes all components of the Basic and Developer tiers, plus the following: one-hour response time to support cases submitted and support engineers available 24/7 via phone, chat or email. In addition to chat capabilities, new features include access to AWS Trusted Advisor, a program that monitors AWS infrastructure services, identifies customers’ usage patterns, and notifies customers when opportunities exist to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps. Customers also receive support for the most common third-party software running on AWS. The Business tier minimum pricing has been reduced from $400 to $100 per month and a 3% usage-based pricing tier has been added to the existing pricing tiers of 10%, 7%, and 5%.
  • Enterprise (New pricing based on usage vs. flat fee): Previously called the Platinum tier, the Enterprise tier provides customers with all of the features of the Business tier, plus 15-minute response time for mission-critical issues, and a dedicated Technical Account Manager who is intimately familiar with the customer’s specific AWS architecture. Technical Account Managers will also conduct periodic business reviews for infrastructure planning, report metrics, collaborate on launches, and connect customers to AWS Solutions Architects as needed. The Trusted Advisor program is also available to all Enterprise tier customers. The Enterprise tier minimum pricing has been reduced from a flat 10% usage fee to usage-based pricing tiers of 10%, 7%, 5% and 3%.

In January, Amazon added its Trusted Advisor service to its Gold and Platinum offerings, which monitors customers’ use of AWS and recommends configuration changes and new services that may help them save money, improve system performance, and close security gaps. You’ll notice that Trusted Advisor still remains only available to those in the top two tiers today, however.

Amazon’s move to cut support pricing is an important change in terms of its ability to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded cloud computing business, especially in terms of keeping enterprise customers happy. And by cutting prices on a key area like support, enterprise and business customers will be less likely to jump to a competitor’s product.

More details on the new pricing options are available here.



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Sarah Perez

June 14th

Uncategorized

FCC approves AT&T spectrum transfer to T-Mobile

Following AT&T’s failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, AT&T had to pay a lofty break-up fee as per the terms of its agreement. AT&T’s related expenses totaled $4 billion, and included in that sum was the transfer of AWS spectrum licenses to T-Mobile in 128 different markets. On Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer. ”We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement. The nation’s No.4 carrier will use its newly acquired spectrum to help build out its next-generation 4G LTE network, which it hopes to launch next year.

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Zach Epstein

April 25th

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T-Mobile and AT&T apply for $1 billion spectrum transfer with FCC

T-Mobile and AT&T have filed with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer $1 billion worth of AT&T’s AWS spectrum into T-Mobile USA’s ownership. AT&T previously promised the spectrum to Deutsche Telekom in the event that its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA failed. “This additional spectrum will help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services,” Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs, told The Wall Street Journal. “We hope the FCC will move swiftly to approve the license assignments.” As The Wall Street Journal points out, T-Mobile desperately needs the spectrum in order to compete with Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Each of those aforementioned carriers have already started to, or already have plans to, roll out faster 4G LTE networks this year. T-Mobile has not discussed any firm plans regarding how it will advance beyond its current HSPA+ network.

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Todd Haselton

January 23rd

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U.S. government to probe Verizon’s $3.6 billion spectrum deal with Comcast

The antitrust division of the United States Justice Department will investigate Verizon Wireless’s plans to acquire spectrum from Comcast and its partners for $3.6 billion. Verizon Wireless announced in early December its intentions to purchase 122 AWS spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a joint venture between Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The carrier said it plans to use the additional spectrum to build out its 4G LTE network, pending government approval of the purchase. The Justice Department has the power to block the deal, although it is unclear when the investigation will be concluded. 

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Todd Haselton

December 20th

Uncategorized

T-Mobile USA to receive AWS spectrum and a 3G roaming deal from AT&T breakup

Deutsche Telekom recently detailed the breakup terms AT&T agreed to following the deterioration of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will receive $3 billion in cash and T-Mobile USA will benefit from fresh AWS spectrum as well as a new 7-year 3G roaming deal with AT&T. “As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle),” Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. “The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future.” The company also said that T-Mobile USA’s 3G network will grow from blanketing 230 million potential customers to covering 280 million people. Deutsche Telekom’s full press release follows below.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom terminate agreement on the sale of T-Mobile USA

Dec 19, 2011

  • Deutsche Telekom receives record high break-up fee
  • AT&T will pay Deutsche Telekom USD 3 billion in cash
  • T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of Advanced Wireless Solutions (AWS) spectrum and long-term national UMTS roaming agreement
  • Deutsche Telekom’s guidance and planned dividend policy remain unchanged

U.S. telecommunications company AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom have terminated the agreement on the sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T. As a result, AT&T will pay Deutsche Telekom the break-up fee agreed in the contract signed by both companies dated March 20, 2011. This is one of the highest payments ever agreed between two companies for the termination of a purchase agreement. It includes a cash payment of USD 3 billion to Deutsche Telekom, which is expected to be made by the end of this year. In addition, it contains a large package of mobile communications spectrum and a long-term agreement on UMTS roaming within the U.S. for T-Mobile USA.

Both companies are in agreement that the broad opposition by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the U.S. telecommunications regulator (FCC) is making it increasingly unlikely that the transaction will close. Both companies are of the opinion that important arguments in support of the transaction have been ignored, such as the significant improvement in high-speed mobile network coverage for the U.S. market, as well as the positive employment effects. In addition there was no indication that either authority would move away from it’s non-supportive stance in return for concessions from the parties in terms of the scope and structure of the transaction.

As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle).

The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future. Population coverage will increase from 230 million potential customers at present to 280 million. As a result of the agreement with AT&T, coverage will be extended to many regions of the U.S. in which T-Mobile USA previously had neither its own high-speed mobile communications network nor the associated roaming agreements.

The termination of the agreement means Deutsche Telekom will go back to reporting T-Mobile USA as continuing operations in future. Deutsche Telekom’s guidance for the 2011 financial year remains unchanged as a result of this development, with adjusted EBITDA of around EUR 19.1 billion expected. At EUR 6.5 billion, free cash flow is forecasted to remain at the prior-year level or increase slightly. The guidance includes the T-Mobile USA contribution based on the average exchange rate in 2010 of USD 1.33 per euro. The free cash flow forecast does not include the settlement payment of EUR 0.4 billion relating to PTC in Poland or the cash payment of USD 3 billion from the break-up fee to be paid by AT&T.

Deutsche Telekom’s dividend policy also remains unchanged. The annual dividend payments are subject to the necessary board resolutions and other legal requirements.

Even following the termination of the agreement with AT&T, Deutsche Telekom exepects to remain within the communicated ranges for certain financial performance indicators used to assess the financial performance of the company. These are as follows: The ratio of net debt to adjusted EBITDA of the Group is to be between 2 and 2.5, the equity ratio is to be between 25 percent and 35 percent, gearing (ratio of net debt to shareholders’ equity) between 0.8 and 1.2, and liquidity reserves is to cover maturities of at least the next 24 months.

The cash component of the break-up fee directly reduces Deutsche Telekom’s net debt, thereby by strengthening the financial performance indicators affecting the company’s rating.

Deutsche Telekom would like to express its gratitude to AT&T and to Randall Stephenson and his team for the positive cooperation over the past few months. Our working relationship was characterized by fairness and respect at all times.

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Todd Haselton

December 20th

Uncategorized

T-Mobile USA and AT&T’s seven-year UMTS roaming agreement gets detailed

Oddly enough, the main upside of the proposed T-Mobile USA / AT&T tie-up is coming to fruition, despite the fact that neither carrier will be merging into the other. We'd heard shortly after the breakup that both operators would be agreeing to a seven-year roaming deal, but hadn't noticed any specifics on it until now. According to T-Mob's parent company Deutsche Telekom, the two have come to terms on a UMTS roaming agreement for the US (read: no international deals here), which will "allow [T-Mobile] to improve its footprint significantly among the US population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future."

The carrier's population coverage will increase from 230 million potential customers at present to 280 million. As a result of the deal with AT&T, coverage will be extended to many regions of America in which T-Mobile USA previously had neither its own high-speed mobile communications network nor the associated roaming agreements. As if that weren't enough, T-Mobile USA will also receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle). Oh, and Deutsche Telekom gets $3 billion in cash. #winning

Continue reading T-Mobile USA and AT&T's seven-year UMTS roaming agreement gets detailed

T-Mobile USA and AT&T's seven-year UMTS roaming agreement gets detailed originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 20 Dec 2011 10:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

December 20th

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Verizon to bolster 4G LTE network with $315 million Cox spectrum buy

Cox Communications on Friday announced an agreement that will see Verizon Wireless purchase its 20MHz AWS spectrum licenses for $315 million. Verizon announced a deal to acquire 122 AWS spectrum licenses from Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House earlier this month for $3.6 billion, and this new deal is similar in structure. Verizon Wireless and Cox will sell each other’s residential and commercial products as agents, and Cox may have the option to sell Verizon Wireless service as a wholesale partner in the future. ”These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Cox Communications president Pat Esserin a statement. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers.” Cox’s full press release follows below.

Cox Communications Announces Agreement to Sell Advanced Wireless Spectrum to Verizon Wireless

Cox and Verizon Wireless will become agents to sell each other’s residential and commercial products

ATLANTA, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Cox Communications announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell to Verizon Wireless its 20 MHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses covering 28 million POPs for $315 million. The sale of Cox’s AWS spectrum to Verizon Wireless is an important step to ensure that consumers’ growing demands for mobility will be met. This agreement does not include Cox’s 700 MHz spectrum licenses, the company’s Cox Wireless customer accounts or any other assets.

Separately, Cox and Verizon Wireless will also become agents to sell each other’s residential and commercial products and services through their respective sales channels. Over time, Cox may have the option to sell Verizon Wireless’ services on a wholesale basis. In addition, Cox expects to enter into arrangements with the innovation technology joint venture formed by Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services.

“These agreements provide Cox customers with key enablers to mobility, such as access to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network and iconic wireless devices,” said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. “We look forward to the many benefits this will bring to customers.”

The sale and transfer of Cox’s advanced wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and review under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act and other customary conditions.

Cox announced last month that it would no longer sell its Cox Wireless service, but would continue to provide service to its wireless customers through March 30, 2012.

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Zach Epstein

December 16th

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