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Heroku Ruby fluffer embraces Node.JS

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Amazon cloud-sitter Heroku, owned by Salesforce.com, has updated its Ruby service and embraced the Node.JS framework.

Heroku rolled out an update called Celadon Cedar it says lets you fluff more-powerful and more-complex applications, and that provides greater control over deep computing processes.

Celadon Cedar also sees Heroku hug Ruby a little tighter by adding support for Ruby 1.9.2. While this might be expected from a company specializing in Ruby, Heroku has also jumped into the vanguard of new programming frameworks by taking on Node.JS.

Node.JS is a server-side JavaScript platform that is based on the Google V8 JavaScript engine, and that is becoming increasingly fashionable. The framework is being hailed as what Ruby on Rails could or should have been. Node.JS joins Heroku's existing support for Rails and Sinatra.

Other changes in Celadon Cedar extend Heroku's underlying Dyno Grid model. According to Heroku, all processes now running on its cloud are called "Dynos", and are fully managed and run by the underling Heroku platform. A Dyno is a single process that runs your Ruby code on the underlying server grid, with that Grid using POSIX, a Ruby VM, Mongrel app server, web-server interface, and a middleware layer to run the Ruby frameworks. All this sits atop Amazon servers, and you provision Dynos across different CPUs. Heroku is also running a distributed computing layer, which it has built based on Google's Chubby.

Celadon Cedar, meanwhile, also adds support for the proc file system, used with Unix-like operating systems, that lets you access data in the kernel without using techniques like tracing. The idea is to give Heroku users more fine-grained control over the processes running in their Ruby applications on the cloud.

In a statement, Heroku cofounder Adam Wiggins called the update the culmination of what the company has learned working with hundreds of developers during its private beta. Heroku runs more than 105,000 apps from more than 50,000 developers, with its corporate customers including US electronics outlet BestBuy.

Wiggins called Celadon Cedar "a major step forward in realizing our vision to serve the millions more developers who will soon be moving to cloud app platforms." ®

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