Utilizing Spare Legacy Infrastructure

Who’s got Bitcoin Fever? We do!
(photo by PhelanRiessen)

One of the aspects that makes our service “VIP” is that we’re always listening and responding to the needs of you, our customer. A frequent complaint we’ve heard recently is that people are getting flack because tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of capital costs in physical servers in their IT’s datacenter are now sitting idle after adopting VIP.

Let those servers continue unused no longer!

In line with WordPress.com’s recent announcement on accepting Bitcoin, we’re proud to announce that you can now pay your VIP invoices with Bitcoins as well. (Contact us for conversion details, if interested.)

What does this have to do with those old servers, you may ask? Set them up to use their spare CPU cycles to mine Bitcoins which you can then use to pay for your VIP invoice. You can immediately bring your IT utilization to 100% while still retaining the flexibility and power of hosting your best sites with VIP. Man, talk about synergy.

If you’d like to learn more about our announcement or Bitcoin, you can follow the coverage of the announcement on Techmeme.

Until next month, happy mining!

WordPress and Windows Azure

This week I had a unique opportunity to appear at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles, to demo four open source technologies — WordPress, Apache, MySQL, PHP — running on Microsoft’s new EC2 competitor called Azure.

WordPress and Windows Azure probably aren’t the first two things you’d think of together. WordPress has been free and open source software from the very beginning, Windows not so much, but we’ve always supported as many platforms as possible and for at least 4 years now you could run WP on Windows and IIS (Internet Information Services).

Choice and competition are great for spurring innovation and better for users and I believe open source software is a good thing even if it’s on a proprietary platform. (Just like we have an open source iPhone application, or encourage people to use Firefox on Windows.)

If you’re interested, check out the full transcript of the keynote from PDC or watch the video of the keynote.

We also created this FAQ in case you had more questions about what was announced.

What did you announce about WordPress at Microsoft PDC 09?
As part of the introduction of the Windows Azure platform, we announced that self-hosted WordPress can be run in an Azure environment on an open source stack of Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Showing MySQL in particular at a Microsoft conference was unusual.

Are you moving WordPress.com to Azure?
No. WordPress.com, which is Automattic’s hosted blogging service, is going to stay on its existing infrastructure. Martin Cron from the Cheezburger Network launched a new blog Oddly Specific on Azure, which some people confused with Automattic.

Do you use Azure at all?
Yes, we’ve been testing out their blob storage as an alternative to Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloudfiles. We don’t currently use it in production.

Doesn’t this conflict with your open source orientation?
No. We actually think it’s going to help the spread of open source to have the Free and open Web stack get more support and deployment through Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, which they’re investing quite a bit in. Besides, as I like to say, once you get a taste of Freedom it’s hard to go back. :)

VIP Interview: Ben Huh

A few of us had lunch with Ben Huh of the inimitable I Can Has Cheezburger (and others) today. Here’s the video:

LOLcats have remarkable staying power:

lolcats and funny pictures

Update: Looks like I put my hand over the microphone on the part where Ben says how much he likes WordPress.com. You’ll have to take our word for it. :)

Price No Object for General Motors

You may have seen the news about General Motors, one of the largest corporations in the world, using WordPress to power their new site GMnext. Their usage of WP is great, but just as interesting is this comment from Trevor Linton at McCann on the process:

I’m the lead developer for the blog.gmnext.com. When we looked to select the best blogging system out there we went through several both closed-source (cheap to fairly expensive) blogging tools to all the open source variety. We ended up choosing WordPress not because of the cost but simply because it was the best tool for blogging out on the market. The project is just the beginning, we’re in the process now of localizing the blog into a variety of languages. Well done on one of the best designed systems I’ve seen in a long time.

(Emphasis mine.)