Feeds

Ruby, COBOL jump on Amazon cloud

Or were they pushed?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Two different companies this week announced that they have created tools that allow for software written using two different application development environments - the relatively new Ruby on Rails and the relatively ancient (but still respected and used) COBOL - to be deployed on Amazon's Web Services compute and storage clouds.

The Ruby on Rails effort is being spearheaded by Engine Yard, a hosting company that was established in 2006 for the express purpose of hosting and maniacally supporting applications created using the Ruby language, an increasingly popular choice option for creating Web-based applications that dates from the mid-1990s.

Engine Yard's co-founder and chief technical officer, Tom Mornini, says that as of the end of 2008, the company had over 400 customers hosting more than 500 applications on the company's own internal cloud. Mornini says that this cloud is based on just under 200 x64 machines and runs somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 virtual machine images. The Engine Yard cloud was created with a modified version of Gentoo Linux, It carves up and virtualizes the servers using a customized version of the open source Xen hypervisor.

Not everyone wants to deploy applications on a single cloud, so Engine Yard decided that it should also facilitate deployments of Ruby on Rails applications on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) processing utility and on its related Elastic Block Service (EBS) storage utility. (The offering does not make use of the S3 storage utility, which is a different storage utility). Interestingly, the Amazon cloud runs on Linux and Xen as well, both customized by Amazon in much the same way as Engine Yard has done for itself.

The resulting product, called Engine Yard Solo, is a non-elastic (meaning a single instance) of the Engine Yard Ruby/Rails environment that can be deployed on the EC2/ECB combo instead of on the Engine Yard cloud. On the internal cloud, Engine Yard sells scalable Ruby slices for $399 per slice per month, which includes expertise, tech support, and a database instance to support the Ruby applications. Engine Yard Solo will cost $129 per month for a single instance. The company passes through the cost of a small, medium, or large Amazon EC2 instance and related EBS storage to the customer. Engine Yard Solo will be available on January 28, and the company will eventually port its Ruby/Rails tools to other clouds. (Names were not given).

Engine Yard also said this week that it was open sourcing the management framework it created on its own to manage its own cloud under a project called Vertebra. The Vertebra framework is based on an XML-alike messaging protocol called Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), and according to Jayson Vantuyl, one of the company's co-founders and its system architect, Engine Yard took XMPP as a base and then added security, fault tolerance, scalability, and policy-based management features so it could control Ruby on Rails deployments.

The Engine Yard founders have nothing against Amazon's cloud, but they say it has limits because Amazon tends to think of an instance as a complete software stack image. This is not what Engine Yard sees happening. "Applications will span images, and what the cloud providers don't want to think about is that applications will probably span clouds."

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Cross clouds

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.