Category Archives: Site Management

NetDNA EdgeRules Gives Websites Control over CDN Content

NetDNA today announced EdgeRules, an instantaneous HTTP caching rules service, giving site managers rapid and granular control over their web content for a better user experience, improved security, lower bandwidth costs and the ability to better monetize content by preventing hotlinking.

EdgeRules is an add-on service to NetDNA’s EdgeCaching and EdgeCaching for Platforms.  Both of these HTTP caching services place site content in NetDNA’s worldwide network of edge servers and peering partners for superior web performance optimization.

Using the EdgeRules control panel, site managers can make changes to their content rules and see them enacted in less than one minute – with no review needed from the NetDNA engineering team. This makes it possible for the first time to test, tweak and deploy very granular controls over how and when content is served.

“EdgeRules truly gives website manages the ability to manage their CDN services their way and to finely tune their pull zone content in a way that they never could before,” said David Henzel, NetDNA vice president of marketing.  “NetDNA is well known for giving site managers unprecedented control over their CDN service through our Control Panel.  With EdgeRules, we are at the forefront of CDN self provisioning again.”

A site manager can use EdgeRules to keep certain files from being proxied and thus protecting them from exposure on the Internet. For example, EdgeRules can prevent the exposure of directory indices due to misconfiguration, which is a common problem on cloud services such as Amazon’s S3 service.

The service allows different rules to be set for different files or classes of data so that frequently updated files can be classed differently from more static data.  This reduces calls to the origin server, which lowers bandwidth charges.

Site managers can also use the service to blacklist certain IP addresses, for example blocking web robots that are scraping data from the site.

The EdgeRules service can also read the operating system of a device and serve up optimized content for that device.  For example a smartphone-optimized image can be served up instead of a large image when the service detects a request from an Android or iOS device.

EdgeRules is now available for all NetDNA EdgeCaching customers.  For more information email or go to:

RAMP Gets Patent on Automated Content Tagging

RAMP announced today that it has been issued its 19th patent as part of its ongoing development of intellectual property. USPN 8,280,719 covers RAMP’s unique ability to automatically tag large catalogs of audio, video, text, and image content using natural language processing combined with human guidance to create self-learning algorithms.

This technology enables RAMP to build highly scalable and cost-effective solutions for automatic content tagging – one of the most difficult and important challenges facing content producers across media and enterprise. Inadequate or incomplete tagging of content negatively impacts the performance of content management systems, adservers, and recommendation engines, and results in content that fails to generate its maximum value. USPN 8,280,719 nicely complements RAMP’s unique, patented ability to generate automated transcripts on audio and video content delivering a complete metadata solution for publishers of all content types.

“This recent patent issuance is a real testament to the deep talent and skill of the RAMP team,” said Tom Wilde, RAMP CEO. “We work hard to develop innovative ways for content producers to maximize the value of their content, and this patent is another great example of RAMP’s capabilities.”

The Online Data Backup Revolution

There is no doubt that in conjunction with online management and collaboration, online data backup and storage into the cloud has revolutionised the way organisations do business and in turn, these are reshaping the marketplace of business itself. This is part of the revolutionary change that cloud computing represents and is building a truly global market place where even small companies can trade throughout the world. A major benefit of this is that companies are no longer required to be confined to one physical office or location meaning employees can now be found scattered all over the world. In turn, this new “cloud marketplace” is brings increased opportunities for sales, as the global network enables connections with more and more companies and by extension, they are able to reach significantly more end users.

Until now all businesses have husbanded their data and controlled it as far as they can by keeping it exclusively on their own premises. The main change with the cloud is one of mentality; it’s now OK to have your data held and managed by someone else and the supporting economic justifications for doing so are now compelling.

To properly analyse this revolution and the drivers behind it we need to set this in the context of the way data has been backed up until now. Essentially backups are not a glamorous, high-profile task in any business and particularly in a small or medium-sized business, there is always something more pressing to do than to work on them. Consequently many businesses operate backup with processes that that are incomplete or in some other respect inadequate:

  • Critical data is not backed up or is backed up infrequently, putting recovery at risk.
  • Backup is a manual process based on tapes which are frequently over-written and seldom checked so consequently they may be impossible to read rendering the process pointless as restore is hopeless.
  • Backup processes rely on the expertise of one individual who may not be available if a recovery is needed.
  • Backups may be stored only locally, close to primary servers, putting the business at serious risk if that local site is compromised.
  • Backups may be taken off site but again this is a manual process reliant on human intervention.
  • Backups do not meet regulatory requirements or industry standards for data protection and retention

Most small and medium-sized business use some form of backup solution, however these solutions are typically time-consuming to operate, used inconsistently, or offer inadequate protection from disasters such as fires and floods. Lack of time, staff and expertise means many businesses have used a backup solution for years that is costly and/or out of date.

Here is where we see the true value of the online data backup revolution in delivering a quick and easy method of doing state of the art backup. Online backup aka “remote backup” delivers enterprise-class data protection to small and mid-sized businesses without the associated complexity and cost of management. Online backup runs as a service by sending backup data securely over the Internet to a highly available data center where it is held on highly available storage arrays which in turn are managed by data protection experts. High availability is a key element here; it specifically refers to redundancy built into the hardware and the data center such that any single part of the system can fail without losing either data or access to the data. So, every system will always have at least 2 power supplies, hard drives are held in arrays configured to allow for failure of individual hard drives and yet still deliver the data held on the array, data centers have redundant air conditioning systems, power feeds etc. In this way should your business suffer a disaster your data should be accessible at any time from any point in the world with internet access.

Like any cloud backup service, it should be self-provisioning with an administration console accessed on-demand through a Web browser. In this way the organisation eliminates the need to purchase hardware, manage complex installation, or manage software upgrades. The system adds new features seamlessly which are delivered automatically to all customers simultaneously. These services use a pay-as-you-go model based on storage usage with some optional cost features and the monthly or annual subscription fee includes 24×7 support. Most providers deliver an elastic service meaning customers may adjust usage up or down without penalty and costs are predictable.

The automated nature of online backup services delivers “always-on” protection with backups either triggered by file changes or run to a schedule, which means they eliminate the requirement for staff to perform manual backups or manage storage media. Once the initial backup has been performed, only block-level changes are sent over the Internet, which means bandwidth is used efficiently.

Online Backups run on all computers in your company – not just the file servers and even laptops not connected to the office network full-time can be backed up. Online backup software backs up all the proper files without needing to run several types of backup software to back up various file types. Online backups are properly versioned for point-in-time restores with multiple copies kept and automatically verified.

Using online backup services means files are encrypted prior to transmission, and are stored in encrypted form on the backup servers. In this way they are compliant with privacy and data security regulations. Backed up data are encrypted with a password known only to you which means nobody except you – not even the Backup Service Provider has access to your information which means nobody can steal your data. Reports are emailed after every backup and these can be used to audit business practices and to keep track of your backups. Should your backups encounter any kind of problems, you will receive an email describing the problem.

Restores can be achieved in minutes by the end user by choosing files from a list, or running a wizard. Restores can done from anywhere on the Internet using a web browser and operate 24/7/365 without the need for outside expertise or end user intervention. Restores can be done any time – weekends, holidays, and nights and so are quick and easy to test. Worries about running out of drive space, or replacing old drives disappear as the provider handles all that.