Author Archives: Claude

It’s feeding time!

by Claude
TNC Lunch

Lunchtime at The NetCircle in one minute! Alvaro created this cool time lapse video of our team grabbing lunch in the kitchen. Fresh (and free) lunch and dinner every day, prepared by our two kitchen ninjas Xiao Hong and Xiao Guo. Check the video after the fold!

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The NetCircle reclaims Old Europe!

by Claude
The NetCircle goes BCN

That’s right, you heard it. The NetCircle is expanding and we are in the process of opening our new office in the heart of beautiful Barcelona, Spain! The NetCircle Spain will be a subsidiary of our headquarters in Shanghai is going to focus on online marketing, sales and public relations. To start off, we are looking for smart people for the following jobs:

Not looking for a job in Barcelona? Check out our current vacancies for positions based in Shanghai, China!

13 Nations and counting!

by Claude

The NetCircle Staff World Map

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Amazon AWS at TNC

by Claude

Amazon Web ServicesThere has been quite a big discussion in the blogosphere about the recent downtime of Amazon S3. As we are going to use S3 and EC2 in some of our upcoming projects we ‘re paying close attention to what’s going on with Amazon Webservices (AWS). Of course it also helps to keep an eye on the overall development in the web service/cloud computing space. Some thoughts.

Instant return on (no) investment
AWS does not require any upfront payments. This allows us to develop our project while exploring Amazon’s systems without any investment in hardware, traffic packages etc. Everything is pay per use so there is no financial overhead from servers standing around and waiting to be used.

Out of the box scalability
AWS works by exposing Amazons infrastructure trough web services and thus making it easily accessible for 3rd party use. Due to Amazons massive architecture and computing power we don’t need to worry about storage space and scaling issues. This was one of the key points for us when we decided to go with AWS.

Uptime vs. Price
AWS is pretty cheap. Prices for storage, traffic and computing time are reasonable and seem to be a good deal overall. However, when you are looking for high availability, you might want to look somewhere else. By the time we chose to go with Amazon, none of their web services did have an SLA, which basically means that they could be down anytime leaving us with no chance for compensation. To our pleasant surprise, Amazon introduced an SLA. As we already decided to use AWS without SLA, the 99.9 percent uptime was/is good enough for us (some might argue that it’s not enough).
There are several other providers of similar services and some actually offer 100 percent uptime (e.g. content delivery networks) but the bill and the end of the month might look a little bit different.

The recent AWS downtime reminded us that even Amazon is not impeccable.

Therefore, our basic rules for AWS usage are:

  • Do not use AWS as core of your application so that your base services still run if AWS is down.
  • If your system relies on AWS, always have a backup solution in place so that you can keep your basic service up.

We’re hosting the 2nd Drupal China Meetup in Shanghai

by Claude

We will host the upcoming Drupal China Meetup in Shanghai! Here are the details from Raincity Studios, one of the main contributors to Drupal and main organizer of the event.

The 2nd Drupal Shanghai party will be held on Jan 26th,2008.

The event will be sponsored by Raincity Studios, a member of the International Drupal Association. Alex Rollin, a foreign Drupal professional will be our keynote presenter (with interpreter.)

Our presenter will speak on the following topics:

1.Introduction to the Drupal CSM
2.Drupal Case Studies: Premium Web Applications
3.Drupal Business Strategy

As always, the rest of the meetup will be focused on your experience using Drupal with your projects. There will be time to ask and answer questions about how to use Drupal and how to build Drupal into your business model.

And don’t forget; there will be lots of free drinks and snacks!
Our meeting location is really cool! Check out the pictures we took.
Please leave your names and contacts (email and cell number),make sure we can keep you informed on time.

Event Specifics:

Time: 13:00-16:30p.m. Saturday,January 26th,2008
Address: Net Circle Co.(, Loft 7-14,Creative Center,751 Yi Chang Lu (close to Chang De Lu), Shanghai
Traffic: Bus 138,24,36 Line3,4 Zhen Ping Lu Station

公交:138路 24路 36路 ,地铁3,4线镇坪路站

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