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Free Cocaine giveaway from Russian search engine Yandex

Naughtily named platform-as-a-service product may get up Google's nose

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Russia's leading search engine, Yandex, has launched a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering named “Cocaine”.

Yandex is easily understood as the Russian equivalent of Google and not only because it dominates search in its home nation. The company's expanding product portfolio mirrors Google's with flattering precision, to the extent that it is billing Cocaine as “an open-source PaaS system for creating custom cloud hosting apps that are similar to Google App Engine or Heroku.”

The tool is available for download at GitHub , making it something google and OpenStack might want to keep an eye on, as Yandex says that once Cocaine is wafted beneath the nostrils of a web server it “provides an automatically scalable deployment environment for web apps.” Those apps can be written in C++, Python or Javascript. Java and Racket support are on the way.

Cocaine relies on Docker and LXC containerisation, an interesting alternative to virtualisation that enables applications to run in a discrete environment that behaves an awful lot like a virtual machine but can see several apps share a single operating system kernel. Containerisation is making waves at present, having recently won support from Red Hat.

The big difference between Cocaine and App Engine is that Google's PaaS is designed to run apps inside the Chocolate Factory's own cloud. Yandex lacks a competitor for that service, so is offering Cocaine as a way to build PaaS on someone else's servers.

Yandex says it is already using Cocaine for internal ops, which may be bad news for Nimbula as that company has previously trumpeted the search engine's use of its kit for a private cloud.

A Cocaine Wiki explains more about its architecture and requirements for those who'd like more …. erm … granular information. ®

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