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Engine Yard plugs PHP into its platform-as-a-service

Halves weakling instance prices, intros Riak support

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Oracle-backed Engine Yard has added support for PHP apps to its platform cloud as the company tries to maintain feature parity against bigger companies with better infrastructure.

The PHP support was announced on Tuesday and takes EngineYard's roster of supported languages to three, including Ruby on Rails and Node.js. It sees Engine Yard fully integrate the language with its main platform-as-a-service, having operated PHP in a standalone cloud via its acquisition of Orchestra in 2011.

"With PHP on Engine Yard Cloud, users get a proven, robust platform on which they can both horizontally and vertically scale applications – including content, media, e-commerce, and more," Engine Yard product manager Noah Slater wrote.

PHP is also supported by Amazon Web Services via Elastic Beanstalk, Microsoft via Azure and Salesforce via Heroku. Google App Engine does not support it as yet but there are rumors the Chocolate Factory will announce it has adopted the language at I/O in San Francisco this week.

Engine Yard has two languages on its "short-term roadmap" that it is hoping to start supporting, Mark Gaydos, a marketing veep told The Register, without disclosing which ones.

The company has also lifted NoSQL datastore Riak onto its cloud, giving enterprises access to a scale-out high availability datastore that is based on Amazon's own DynamoDB. This follows infrastructure-as-a-service cloud SoftLayer adding support for Riak in April.

Besides these additions, the company tweaked pricing for its cloud at the end of April to tempt more developers into its PaaS. It has cut the per hour pricing of its smallest instance size from $0.10 per hour to $0.05, and has made further price reductions throughout its stack.

That $0.05 gets you one Amazon compute unit, 1.7GB of RAM, and 160GB of non-persistent storage, along with the automation and middleware capabilities of Engine Yard. This compares with Heroku's per dyno price of $0.05 *

Though this is described on the website as a "promotional" price Engine Yard assured us that it had no plans to raise this price at some point in the future, as Microsoft did with Windows Azure. ®

Bootnote:

* A dyno is a rentable virtualized Unix container that runs a single user-specified command. Heroku punishes users with lower performance if they go over 512MB of memory per dyno. Though not exactly equivalent, a Heroku Dyno and an Engine Yard instance have the same role within their respective PaaS.

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