AppFog and now Tier 3, CenturyLink is on a Roll!

I feel like I’m being followed by CenturyLink. I shouldn’t be surprised, they should follow me! ¬†ūüėģ

But faux paranoia joking aside, it is interesting to see them snapping up two key players in the Cloud Foundry space that have built .NET support into it at an enterprise level. They’re obviously intent on capturing that market. Now they just need to snag Basho and make those services available without being damaged by windows – in other words, enabling the back end and on premise, but remove the (absurd) notion that it ever is put on Windows Server.

With that I add another congratulations to Teir 3 becoming part of the CenturyLink Family, joining the likes of AppFog and others to help build the next stages of PaaS and cloud technologies combined.

Here’s some of the past news of the AppFog acquisition a few months ago.

…and now the Tier 3 acquisition news.

So what does this mean for that PaaS Technology? Especially the elements that I’ve lead, built and been a part of in some way or another the past ~2 years? Well, that’s to be seen, but I have several exceptionally good ideas about what will be done. In subsequent weeks I might even add to some thoughts around this as I have in the past. We’ll see if things keep going the way leading developers want them to go or if this is a sign of consolidation and innovation grinding to a crawl.

It is, after all being consolidated into a corporate entity that has historically had no reputation or focus around developing actual new solutions or a culture that can make that happen. I wish the dev teams of Tier 3 and AppFog the best, but CenturyLink better do well by them or it’ll turn into a standard bleed rate of lost brain power and the innovation trust will disappear.

On that note, congratulations to everyone and good luck!

SITREP – Stoking Iron Foundry, Thor Hammering & Joining… ?

What have I been up to? Here’s a quick recap. You may want to get involved with some of these projects!

Iron Foundry & Tier 3 Web Fabric

Iron FoundryBack when I left the kick ass team at Russell Investments in Seattle I stepped directly to bat as team lead at Tier 3. My job, get a PaaS built on Cloud Foundry and extending that with Iron Foundry. It was an ambitious effort that would provide the most extensive framework and language support available from any PaaS Provider on the market.

Well, we did it, thanks to the capabilities of Cloud Foundry Community, the great minds of Jared Wray @jaredwray, Luke Bakken, Eric Lee @saintgimp, Cale Hoopes & the rest of the Tier 3 Team! I was able to add this to my list of successes. We had some bumps, some¬†collisions, a brick wall or two and other scheduling problems – ya know, the standard things that happen on a project. But in spite of it all, we got the Web Fabric released – and it continues to be the only PaaS available with such a wide framework and language support. It ranges from Ruby on Rails, Erlang, Node.js & Java to .NET! If you’d like to check out the open source PaaS of Cloud Foundry & Iron Foundry both projects are always looking for participation & contributions!

Thor Brings the Hamma!

After the release of the Tier 3 Web Fabric I started the search for a wicked smart and capable OS-X / Cocoa Coder – it seems their availability is pretty limited these days! Well I finally lucked out and found Benjamin van der Veen¬†(@bvanderveen, thanks for the intro Selena @selenamarie!) to help me get started on the Thor Projects. There’s the Cocoa Thor Project & the Windows 7 WPF Metro based Thor .NET Project that we’re wrapping up with v1 releases coming really soon. To check out more on these projects that I’ve lead & coded on check out the code bases & information, all linked on The projects are open source, so feel free to jump in and help out or fork & submit pull requests. The team will be happy to review & discuss ASAP.

While we’re wrapping these projects up right now, I’ll actually be continuing on and supporting the projects: Thor & Thor .NET. I will continue to be involved, as I was saying, in a number of ways in the PaaS space. So don’t think I’m¬†disappearing¬†form that realm!

Basho Sings my Song

I’ve been keeping track of¬†Basho for a while now. Riak caught my interest many months ago as a really well built, well thought out & advanced distributed database. As you might guess, being into the whole “cloud computing” industry, I’m just ever so slightly interested in distributed systems. The other thing that I’m a huge fan of, which Basho does, is heavily support and involve itself in the open source software community and movement. The icing on the cake, was their diverse use of systems and language use around Erlang. All things that are massive wins.

Bailey's Taproom
Bailey’s Taproom

Well during a random conversation with Eric¬†@coderoshi at Bailey’s Tap Room & then attending the RICON 2012 Conference (article here and pictures) I spoke to some of the team and found out they were looking for some particular skill sets. Well it just happened that I was keenly interested in meeting those skill set requirements! So December 1st I’ll be joining the Basho team full time as developer advocate, evangelist, messenger or such for the northwest working with a few people you may know such as Mark Phillips @pharkmillups, Andy Gross¬†@argv0 (thanks for the intro James @wattersjames), Eric Redmond @coderoshi, Shanley Kane @shanley, Casey Rosenthal @caseyrosenthal and many others. Simply, I’m freaking stoked.

How This Helps You Help Me Help You

Alright, so it’s great but how can I help you in your day to day? What data do you work with? Do you work with a data scientist? Are you a data scientist? Do you work with huge sets of data, many objects, large objects? I want to know about your data usage and data problems, because there’s a good chance we’ll have more than few things to discuss. Here’s some ways I can help you, help me, help you.¬†Ping me if you’re interested in…

  • talking about your data usage at the monthly Riak user group.
  • coding, pairing & otherwise learning Erlang and the monthly Erlang group.
  • interested in coding, deploying and inventing new paradigms and patterns of data storage.
  • interested in pairing up to learn how to deploy, migrate, upgrade or otherwise use NoSQL solutions – namely Riak.
  • interested in Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Map Reduce, .NET, Java, PHP and how these things can and do work against data in everything from relational databases to the new echelon of NoSQL databases.

I hope to hear from you soon and see you at an upcoming user group, cheers!

I Can Talk About It Finally! => Tier 3 Web Fabric Platform as a Service (PaaS)

A couple months ago I shifted gears and started working for Tier 3 on a number of projects. I made this decision for a few reasons:

1. I’m a huge advocate of PaaS (Platform as a Service) technologies. I like what PaaS enables and what it eliminates. Matter of fact I’d say I’m a bull on the technology. I like to learn about, create and build the architectures within platforms. I also love the rather complex back end problems that come up when building a truly powerful, scalable, high end, highly available PaaS. You say, “Adron, Tier 3 doesn’t have any PaaS stuff, it’s an IaaS Provider, this doesn’t explain anything?” Aha! Read on (unless of course you’ve caught the news today… then you already know the answer)

2. I’m a polyglot dev. .NET kind of burned me out a few years back and I dedicated to learning as many other frameworks, languages, and tech stacks that I could. I’ve never been happier with the variety these days. I’ll admit though I still love to use all those years of experience I have with .NET. Indeed, I have a little soft spot in my heart for C#. Tier 3, along with the Iron Foundry Project, has given me the opportunity to work across languages and stacks including Node.js, Ruby, Objective-C and more.

3. I like to build things, advocate for those things and what they can do for you, for dev teams, and in the end what we developers can build with them. Sometimes this might mean I do it myself, sometimes it means coordinating and leading a team (or as I often say of leads, “serving” the team). Right now I’m getting to do a little bit of both and it is indeed fun and really exciting! This brings me to the answer.

The Answer: ¬†Tier 3 now has one of the, if not the most advanced PaaS Environment available today. ¬†Yeah, you can quote me on that. I’m not saying it because I work at Tier 3, I’m saying it because I decided to come work at Tier 3 to help build it. Those of you that know me, know why and where I do things. I have intent behind these decisions. ¬†ūüėČ

The Tier 3 PaaS environment officially has more support for frameworks than any other PaaS Provider out there today. Congratulations to the team for getting this out the door!¬†Needless to say,¬†I’m proud to be a part of this team of bad ass devs! Cheers!

What is the Tier 3 Web Fabric?

Here’s a short tour I put together…

What exactly makes up a Web Fabric? We’ve taken Coud Foundry as a core, adding Iron Foundry for full support of all major Enterprise Frameworks and added a fabric over these services to provide an automated seem-less creation of a complete PaaS Environment.

How would you use a PaaS like this?

In an enterprise software and application development shop there is often a break out between development, testing, maybe a UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and finally production. One way to utilize such capabilities is to built a Web Fabric for each of these environments. Once each environment is built, these can then be scaled up or down as needed. Once the environment is done simply delete it. For an environment like UAT or Test, this is one of the most ideal situations to create an environment from scratch, ensuring that outliers don’t affect the testing criteria. How do you build a Tier 3 Web Fabric PaaS? This is the fun part. This process involves a little information and a few clicks, which then will build an entire PaaS environment.

Step 1: In the Tier 3 Control Panel click on the tab titled “Fabrics“. Inside that view, click on “Create Web Fabric“.

Tier 3 Control Panel
Tier 3 Control Panel

Step 2: Fill out the information requested on the screen. The user that you’re creating will be your Tier 3 Web Fabric Administrator. The name becomes part of your URI to access the PaaS API from, and the friendly name below that displays as a description in the control panel. The last piece of information is public or private, the private option limiting access to only VPN users of your Tier 3 Account.

Creating a New Web Fabric
Creating a New Web Fabric

Step 3: Now give it some time. Remember this is not merely a simple virtualized instance of an operating system. What is now happening is a Cloud Foundry environment is being built, Iron Foundry is also added & other enhancements are being applied and built. This then creates an entire Tier 3 Web Fabric that can be used with any of the following tools, languages, and databases.

A few of the languages and frameworks…

  • Ruby on Rails or Sinatra
  • ASP.NET w/ whichever .NET Language, it could be C#, VB.NET, or .NET COBOL if you so felt inclined to build a web application with it.
  • Java w/ Spring and other options.
  • Node.js Nuff’ Said
  • Python

Of course the database services too…

  • MongoDB
  • MS SQL Server
  • vmWare PostGreSQL
  • Redis

These are just a few that are and will be supported in the coming days. The Cloud Foundry base provides a massively powerful core to build off of and extend services and frameworks.

For pushing applications to the Tier 3 Web Fabric, here are some tools to help with that…

vmc-IronFoundry :: This is the same thing as the vmc CLI that is part of the Cloud Foundry Project except that it adds support for .NET pushes from the command line too.

vmc :: this is the default way used by most people working with Cloud Foundry based PaaS Environments.

Eclipse & STS for Java :: this is the extension that integrates into Eclipse.

Cloud Foundry Explorer :: this can be used to view and push .NET applications to the Tier 3 Web Fabric (or any Iron Foundry enabled Cloud Foundry Environment)

Open Source Software, Iron Foundry and More…

In the coming days, weeks, and months I’ll be working with the team here at Tier 3 to drive more capabilities and features. In addition I’ll also be driving the Iron Foundry Open Source effort, pushing to extend what we’ve provided already with the .NET support extension on Cloud Foundry and also more. We here at Tier 3 love the open source community, and we love being part of the community. So with this announcement I wanted to add a big, huge, awesome THANKS to everyone out there passionately involved in and building software that is open source. You all ROCK!

Stay tuned, this is merely the beginning.

Building a Node.js Application on a Linux Instance @Tier3 and…

A scenario came up recently that I needed to have Node.js capabilities installed on a server ASAP. That’s a pretty simple request, mostly. I checked the requirements and identified my options. Tier3¬†popped up at the top of the list. First a quick instance setup: ¬†No real instructions, it’s just super easy – the pictures say it all. ¬†ūüôā ¬†If you already have an Ubuntu install “The Ubuntu Bits 4 Node.js” Section.

Servers Screen, Get Started Right Here...
Servers Screen, Get Started Right Here...
Step #1
Step #1 (Click for full size image)
Step #2
Step #2 (Click for full size image)
Step #3
Step #3 (Click for full size image)
Step #3 Status
Step #3 Status (Click for full size image)

Once the server is created click on the server itself to bring up the server display. Then click on the Add Public IP button.

Step #4 Add the public IP Address
Step #4 Add the public IP Address

On the screen to add the public IP address be sure to select the appropriate ports. We’ll need the SSH and HTTP ports.

Adding the IP Address
Adding the IP Address

Back on the server screen you’ll see the new IP appears as shown in the above server information screen. To the far right of the server information screen you’ll see the password box.

Click this to get your root password.
Click this to get your root password.

The Ubuntu Bits 4 Node.js

Now you’ve got all the pieces you’ll need to setup the instance. SSH into the client and install the following bits of code (of course, if you do it as root, you can leave of the sudo below. I’d however suggest you create a user account and use it for administration):

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
sudo apt-get install g++ curl libssl-dev apache2-utils
sudo apt-get install git-core
cd node
sudo make install

The next thing we’ll need is npm, or Node Package Manager.

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
curl | sh

Alright, now we’ve made some progress. Next step we’ll deploy the sample application on the website:

[sourcecode language=”javascript”]
var http = require(‘http’);
http.createServer(function (req, res) {
res.writeHead(200, {‘Content-Type’: ‘text/plain’})
res.end(‘Hello World\n’);
}).listen(1337, ‘’);
console.log(‘Server running at’);

Put that in a file, name it runningNode.js and then execute the command:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
node runningNode.js

You should see a response stating the application is running. You should be able to navigate to it with a browser to see “Hello World”. If you want to really play with something that has a bit more content, another app I use to test with is my personal site that I have in a github repo here: ¬†

Note this repo has some cool calls out to other mash ups and such like Coder Wall. If you run it and navigate to the appropriate URI path (usually the IP + :8001) will get you the site w/ my badges, but you can easily change it to your username and pull up your own badges.

Personal Coder Wall Node.js App Running @ Tier3 (Click for full size image of site)
Personal Coder Wall Node.js App Running @ Tier3 (Click for full size image of site)

I’ll have some more Node.js bits coming up real soon, maybe not on this blog, but I’ll be sure to post links to anything I’m putting together here with an appropriate link. Until then, happy coding.

Wrapped Up @ The Fort of Awesome, on to the Iron Foundry, and new Tiers…

New update and bits coming up in the near term. I wrapped up my work with AppFog’s Fort of Awesome and am now putting together blog articles & technical material for New Relic these days. They’re an extremely great company with an absolutely stellar team. However you may be asking, “Adron, YOU WRITE CODE ALL THE FREAKING TIME, you’ve got to be doing more than blog entries!!” and you’d be right. These blog entries are more than just opinions and such, I’ll be putting together demoes and some hard core examples of distributed architectures, trending against big data, node.js hackery, and all sorts of other stuff. But there is also my next update below that’s a lot of fun code…

Tier 3, Federated Clouds, and Iron Foundry

I’ve stepped in to take the lead on the Iron Foundry Project (so go sign up and fork it!!) and to work on the stability, governance, and code around Cloud Foundry too! It’s going to be a blast! In addition to that I’m helping to build some cool things at Tier 3. In the near future I’ll have a lot more information regarding what these things are.

At Tier 3 we have a massive Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure offering. It’s a pretty impressive setup, so much so that I’m leading some of the efforts there, so I’m not just saying that! Keep an eye on us too, because we’ll have some very cool things coming up (did I say that already?) ¬†ūüôā

Cloud Foundry Hackathon PDX, Cloud Foundry Open Tour, and Coder Society

Cloud Foundry Hackathon PDX

The Cloud Foundry Hackathon is on April 14th at Puppet Labs. Check out the Lanyrd Site and Calagator for calendar and RSVP. This is going to be an awesome event which will also be in partnership and extension of some of the work we’ll start at Coder Society on April 7th. So if you’re into hacking on the Cloud Foundry core bits or if you’re interested in hacking on apps deployed to Cloud Foundry come and hack with us. In addition I’ll be putting on two workshops:

  • On Premise, Off Premise Cloud Foundry => We’ll dive into, and get hands on, with identifying and connecting Cloud Foundry Environments regardless of their premise. Removing boundaries, that’s what this is about.
  • Cloud Foundry + Iron Foundry and Bridging the Gaps =>¬†Now we’re talking FULL stack across every major stack. Iron Foundry, the missing linq in Cloud Foundry. Adding .NET & having it play nicely with Node.js, Ruby on Rails, and more. We’ll also dive into SQL Server, Mongo, and how to make the best use of RDBMS + NoSQL bits. Making the most of the abilities with PaaS.

Cloud Foundry Open Tour, The PDX Stop

The VMware sponsored Cloud Foundry Open Tour has a stop lined up epic Portlandia! There will be a pretty bad ass crew there of people you’ll want to meet and talk to about Cloud Foundry’s direction, design, enterprise cloud offerings such as Stackato, Tier 3, and others. On twitter, if you don’t follow these people and you’re stepping into the future with PaaS, you should follow them (click their names for their respective twitter account):

…and others, come attend and you’ll get to meet them all.¬†I’ll also be there and you can follow me on twitter too if you want (@adron). ¬†ūüėČ

Our good friends from ActiveState will also be there, bringing their awesome Stackato Cloud Foundry based offering! The Iron Foundry Project also just released full support for the Stackato based Micro Cloud Foundry VM with new Micro Iron Foundry bits too.

Coder Society…

Oh yeah, the Coder Society, I’ve got the info on the Coder Society¬†Inaugural¬†meet up announcement coming tomorrow first thing in the morning at 5am. If you haven’t checked out Coder Society yet, hit the site and join the list. No, don’t get up that early, I’m just guessing that’s when I’ll be done with it and click on the publish button! ¬†ūüėČ