Engine Yard Introduces xCloud Ruby on Rails Platform-as-a-Service

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-06-03 Print this article Print

Engine Yard, a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) provider for Ruby on Rails, has introduced Engine Yard xCloud, an expansion of the company's platform for deploying and managing Ruby applications in the cloud.

Engine Yard, a platform-as-a-service (PAAS) provider for Ruby on Rails, has introduced Engine Yard xCloud, an expansion of the company's platform for deploying and managing Ruby applications in the cloud.

Just a week before the RailsConf annual confab for Ruby on Rails developers in Baltimore June 7-10, Engine Yard announced that both of its PAAS products, xCloud and AppCloud, run on the company's optimized Rails "stack" and take advantage of similar features for managing and deploying applications. However, xCloud utilizes a more extensible infrastructure as a service (IAAS) to better meet the demands of Ruby applications that require customizable hardware or service-level agreements (SLAs), or need to meet security and compliance standards such as PCI or SAS70.

The introduction of xCloud builds upon the successful Engine Yard AppCloud product that uses IAAS capacity from Amazon Web Services. However, xCloud uses IAAS capacity from Terremark's Enterprise Cloud product to provide customers with high-performance SAN storage, guaranteed resources, custom hardware support and a variety of compliance guarantees, the company said.

"We created xCloud in response to growing demand from customers who want to run Ruby on Rails applications in the cloud, but require strict regulatory compliance and low-latency, high-throughput disk I/O for superior database performance," said Tom Mornini, Engine Yard CTO and co-founder, in a statement. "xCloud levels the playing field in those dimensions against competing platforms such as Force.com and Microsoft Azure, both of which use proprietary languages. Our products are 100 percent open source and deliver all of the benefits of a PAAS with zero fear of vendor lock-in."

Indeed, Engine Yard officials said xCloud delivers a no lock-in solution that improves application performance and accelerates development. Because the Engine Yard stack is highly customized and fully managed, customers realize performance improvements as high as 30 percent "out of the box," Mornini said. Engine Yard AppCloud and xCloud products also eliminate the overhead of managing complex middleware, saving valuable development cycles so teams can get products to market faster, he said.

"We're very excited by the strategic direction of Engine Yard. Their focus on providing a broad range of deployment options, from xCloud running on Terremark infrastructure to AppCloud running on Amazon infrastructure, gives us the flexibility we need as we scale our 24/7 global business," said Peter Styles, CEO of RedBubble, in a statement. "We chose Engine Yard because they offer a world-class Rails application cloud with a brain trust of Rails experts that we can tap into whenever we need it. Deploying on Engine Yard has freed our engineers to focus on development and has provided an enormous productivity boost with significant savings in engineering resources."

"It's great that Engine Yard is offering the ability to connect to multiple infrastructures because it helps us to meet the varying requirements for our clients' applications running in the cloud," said Alon Salant, principal and founder of Carbon Five, a software development firm and Engine Yard partner. "Engine Yard Platform-as-a-Service has proven to be a fantastic turnkey solution for Carbon Five and our clients. Projects start with instant setup of development and staging environments, release with customized and robust configurations, and grow with scalable infrastructure and operational support to deliver high-performance, revenue-generating applications."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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