PaaS Help! Know any PaaS Providers?

I’ve been diligent and started a search of Platform as a Service Providers, so far my list includes:

  • EngineYard
  • Heroku
  • AWS Beanstalk
  • Windows Azure
  • AppFog
  • Tier3
  • CloudFoundry
  • OpenShift
  • IBM PaaS
  • Google App Engine
  • CloudBees

Who else is there? Help me out in creating a list of every possible offering we can find!  Cheers! Please leave a comment or three below with any I’ve missed.  Thanks!

OSCON: Talking Shop With HP, Heroku, ForgeRock, Open Source For America, and More!

Today and yesterday I specifically aimed to meet and interview a number of sponsors and companies attending OSCON. My big quest I’d assigned myself was to determine who was doing what, where, when, and why in the Open Source Community. Of course I wasn’t going to get to every company, but I was going to try. Here’s what I got accomplished:

Hewlett Packard (AKA HP)

The big news from the HP Crew, in addition to the other zillion open source efforts they have going on, is that they’ve signed on as a partner with OpenStack! So more great news for that effort and bringing a standardized software stack to cloud computing! Getting HP signed on is one more big step toward this goal.

Even though I’ve mentioned HP first, I’m actually going to have a follow up dedicated entirely to HPs efforts in open source software. Stay tuned for that this weekend!

Heroku's New Laptop Location!
Heroku's New Laptop Location!

Heroku

Heroku was there handing out the swag, which won them the much coveted space on my laptop! I spoke with the team there, and there are rumblings of some great things, additional tooling stacks, and other ideas. Keep an eye on Heroku, not to much to mention right now but they have some awesome things coming in the near future.

ForgeRock, Simon Phipps, and Open Source for America

Hanging Out With the OSFA Crew (I'm the 2nd one from the right, ok, I'm actually the one on the right ;))
Hanging Out With the OSFA Crew (I'm the 2nd one from the right, ok, I'm actually the one on the right ;))

After speaking with HP I was introduced to the Open Source for America attendees. The Open Source for America, or OSFA, is setup to advocate, educate, and encourage open source software use within Government. They have the very important goal of educating political leaders and decisions makers that open source, not closed source, is much more aligned to providing their mission of liberty, freedom, and return for the citizens of the United States. The ideas, free market of software, and parallels of knowledge transfer within this software industry more closely meet the values that are intended within most civil representative Governments, which I agree totally, in this groups efforts!

Simon Phipps
Simon Phipps

While talking to the OSFA Team I was also introduced to Simon Phipps, who writes for Computer World UK, tweets as @webmink, blogs as webmink, works as CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) at ForgeRock, for full creds check out his LinkedIn Profile, and as he identifies himself, “Software freedom activist, transparency activist, blogger, photographer, writer”. I only spoke to Simon for a few minutes, but we covered some good ground, and must say Simon is one interesting character and a good person to know!

ForgeRock, being a company I’ll admit I knew nothing about until Simon told me about them, is doing some absolutely great work. Their lines include:

  • OpenAM – OpenAM is the market leading open source Authentication, Authorization, Entitlement and Federation product. ForgeRock provides the community with a new home for Sun Microsystems’ OpenSSO product.
  • OpenDJ – OpenDJ is a new LDAPv3 compliant directory service, developed for the Java platform, providing a high performance, highly available and secure store for the identities managed by enterprises.
  • OpenIDM – OpenIDM is an open standards based Identity Management, Provisioning and Compliance solution.
Stay tuned for further write ups regarding these companies and other related information to OSCON 2011.

The Bus Ride Home, Sinatra Singing on OS-X

This is just a quick getting started I walked through to get Sinatra going on OS-X.

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
sudo gem install sinatra
sudo gem install shotgun
sudo gem install haml
sudo gem install unicorn
[/sourcecode]

After installing these things I created a new folder in a Rubymine Project.

New Empty Project in Rubymine
New Empty Project in Rubymine

I added a Ruby Class named SinatraSingsOsx to the project. I then realized that Rubymine did not detect that I had installed Sinatra, so I did a quick find in Rubymine to find and get it synced/installed so that Rubymine was aware of the gems.

Rubymine IDE
Rubymine IDE

Using the gem quick install in Rubymine I chose the documentation and dependent gems.

Rubymine Gem Quick Install
Rubymine Gem Quick Install

Once those were synced up I added the following Ruby Code to the file I created in the project.

[sourcecode language=”ruby”]
require ‘rubygems’
require ‘sinatra’

get ‘/’ do
"Verified: Server is up and running!"
end
[/sourcecode]

I then right clicked on the ruby file and selected the “Run the sinatra_singing_osx” which starts up the webrick web server and such.

Rubymine Run Page Dialog
Rubymine Run Page Dialog

Then navigate to http://localhost:4567 and you’ll see the results of the code.

Sinatra Web Application Running in Chrome
Sinatra Web Application Running in Chrome

Now that I’ve run the application in Rubymine I wanted to do the same with Shotgun using the same Ruby code. The first thing I needed to do was stop the server running that Rubymine had launched. If you look at the bottom of the IDE you’ll see the window displaying the current server status.

Web Server Executing
Web Server Executing

On the left hand side of this status window click on the large red button. This will stop the service. To verify just scroll to the bottom of this status window and you will see the message “Process finished with exit code 1“.

Now that I had the server cleaned up and stopped, I started a terminal again and navigated to the directory that the *.rb file is in that I want to start (host/run/execute, I’m not really sure what the appropriate word would really be at this point). So once at the appropriate path (machineName:SinatraSingingOSX adron$) I typed:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
shotgun -p 4567 sinatra_singing_osx.rb
[/sourcecode]

Once this executes the same server that Rubymine uses, the WEBrick, will startup the application again. I launched the browser to assure this ran as expected and got the same results as if running it through Rubymine. I guess, it all really depends, want to just start building and checking things out or want to build with an IDE like Rubymine. It all really boils down to taste and what you’re working with. I’ve been going back and forth between pure text editor and IDE just to familiarize myself with both avenues of using Rails and coding with Ruby.

After the verification I hit Ctrl + C to stop the web server. This basically works on the msysgit in Windows, on OS-X, or on whatever distro of Linux you have running. The cool thing is, so does Rubymine. I figured if I was going to work toward familiarization of an IDE and using the terminal I’d use commands and IDEs that would work on whatever OS I’m running. It’s all good synergies that way. 🙂

I wanted to keep this entry pretty short. With that in mind I simply logged what I worked on while en route home on the bus one evening. So on the next bus ride I’m going to tackle getting some specific notes with Sinatra, getting this all pushed into Heroku (of course, I’m all about the Cloud, you didn’t think I’d put it up on a shared host did you!) Until then, chow.

Git Rid of Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) SDKs with .NET + Git + AppHarbor Deployment Revolution

I’ve been wanting to do a quick write up on the state of cloud apps from my perspective.  What’s my perspective?  Well I’m keeping up with  the SDKs from the big players; AWS and Windows Azure.  I’m also working on several cloud applications and providing consulting for some people and companies when approached related to which stack to go with, how to apply their current stacks (such as Ruby on Rails or .NET) in migrating to a cloud service provider.  Cloud services, or really more accurately utility computing has my personal and professional interest.  Above all, I keep trying to stay informed and know what the best path is for anyone that seeks my advice for moving into hosting & working in the SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS Space.  Feel free to contact me in regards to cloud questions:  adronhall at the famous gmail dot com.  🙂

Now on to the good tidbits that have been released lately.

The latest Microsoft goodies area available.  For the Windows Azure SDK go check out the Microsoft MSDN Site.

For the latest awesome from AWS (Amazon Web Services) SDK check out the AWS .NET Site.

These two SDKs are great for customers who want to build on the bare bones X platform.  Now whatever language & stack one builds in they are tied to that.  Ruby on Rails, .NET, Java, PHP, or whatever.  But getting tied to the stack is kind of like breathing air, one has to live with what air they have.  You can’t exactly get a refund very easily on that.

The Cloud SDKs though for Azure & AWS provide a certain amount of lock in, in addition to the stack lock in you’re using.  One of the easiest ways to prevent this lock in is to use a general deployment method backed by source control on something like Git or Mercurial.  So far though, .NET has been left out the cold.  There has been almost zero support for pushing .NET via Git or Mercurial into a cloud.

Heroku
Heroku

Ruby on Rails however has had support for this since…  well since the idea popped into the minds of the people at Heroku, EngineYard, and the other companies that are pushing this absolutely amazing and powerful technology pairing.

Engine Yard
Engine Yard

Again, for .NET, the problem is it has been left in the dust.  Smoked.  It has left a lot of .NET Developers moving to Ruby on Rails (which isn’t new, this is just one more thing that has pulled more developers away from the .NET stack).

 

Well, that’s changed a bit.  FINALLY someone has gotten the Git + .NET Pairing in the Cloud put together!  FINALLY you can get a cloud application running in a minute or two, instead of the absolutely inane amount of time it takes on Windows Azure (15+ minutes most of the time).  So who has done something about this?

AppHarbor is the first fully deployable solution for the cloud that allows Git + .NET to get going FAST!  I don’t work for these guys at all, so don’t think I’m shilling for them.  I’m just THAT happy that .NET has been pulled out of the dust bins and the community has this option.  I am flippin’ stoked matter of fact.

Currently, because of pricing and ease of deployment, I’ve been solely using AWS.  I can have a .NET MVC app running in AWS in about 5-10 minutes.  Between that speed of setup and the pricing, I pay 2/3 as much as Azure would be and can deploy much fast with a completely traditional .NET deployment.  No special project type needed, no extra configs, just a straight deployment with full control over the server (i.e. I can RDP in with no problem).  Anyway, the list of reasons I went with AWS over Azure really deserve an entire blog entry unto themselves.

AppHarbor
AppHarbor

With AppHarbor though I can step into the realm of doing exactly the same thing a Ruby on Rails Developer would do with Heroku or EngineYard.  Fully PaaS Capable with the scalability and features without needing to port or migrate to an entirely new stack!  I’ll probably keep a number of things running on AWS (such as the pending WordPress Websites I am about to push up to AWS), but will absolutely be starting up some applications to run in AppHarbor.

If you’re a .NET Developer and you’ve been wanting, looking for, and frustrated that the .NET Community didn’t have a Git + Cloud Deployment option for .NET, wait no longer.  Give AppHarbor a look ASAP!

Anyway… off to do a little work on my infrastructure project.  Cheers!