Zend Launches Cloud Platform for PHP Developers

Zend, the PHP company, has introduced phpcloud.com, a new development platform and partner ecosystem for PHP developers looking to build cloud applications.

Zend Technologies, a maker of tools and solutions for PHP developers, has introduced phpcloud.com, a new technology platform and partner ecosystem for cloud application development and delivery aimed at PHP developers.

Zend previewed the new platform at ZendCon 2011, its conference for PHP developers that ran Oct. 17 through Oct. 20 in Santa Clara, Calif. With phpcloud.com, PHP developers can experience the power of a fast, iterative development environment and an automated, scalable production environment, with the freedom to deploy on any cloud, Zend officials said.

Phpcloud.com features the Zend Application Fabric, which provides an open, elastic platform with tools to run and scale PHP applications on public and private cloud infrastructures. The application fabric streamlines development, testing and deployment processes to save time and help improve application quality. The platform also features automated scaling to leverage the cloud's elastic nature to maintain high availability despite fluctuating and unpredictable demand.

Moreover, the platform's cross-cloud portability provides freedom of choice to deploy to leading cloud infrastructures, including Amazon Web Services, IBM SmartCloud, Rackspace and Red Hat, and for deployment on-premise Zend officials said. The ability to optimize performance helps ensure that modern web applications meet users' high expectations for responsiveness.

Meanwhile, the new Zend Developer Cloud provides both a free developer sandbox as well as deep application insight tools such as code tracing that enable real-time bug squashing. It includes a PHP runtime, Zend Framework and more, the company said. Zend Developer Cloud also offers collaborative capabilities, making it easy for developers to share source code files, show work in progress to stakeholders, and team up productively on large-scale joint development projects, Zend officials said.

"Zend Application Fabric provides valuable visibility into the performance and health of running cloud applications, while simplifying what it takes to run highly available and fault tolerant PHP applications," said Adrian Otto, chief of research at Rackspace, in a statement. "Rackspace is thrilled when tools like this enable our customers to use the technology they want while enjoying the Fanatical Support experience they love."

Zend is collaborating with partners who are committed to supporting deployment of cloud-ready apps running on the Zend Application Fabric. Joining Zend in promoting its phpcloud.com platform are several companies including Amazon Web Services, IBM, Rackspace, Red Hat and RightScale.

"The RightScale Cloud Management Platform together with Zend Application Fabric gives customers the ability to deploy scalable enterprise PHP applications on a variety of clouds, such as Amazon Web Services and Rackspace," said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale, in a statement. "Our jointly developed RightScale Zend PHP Solution Pack provides a high-quality proven architecture that allows for super fast on-boarding and auto-scaling as well as customizing PHP application deployments. By using RightScale, customers ensure portability and distribution across clouds for high availability and geographic needs."

In addition to announcing the new phpcloud.com platform, Zend also previewed Zend Framework 2.0, which brings new cloud capabilities to the application development framework for PHP applications. Zend Framework 2.0 will include a new version of SimpleCloud API, featuring the ability to manipulate cloud server instances on Amazon EC2 and Rackspace, with support for Microsoft's Windows Azure and GoGrid planned for a future release. Zend Framework's Model-View-Controller (MVC) layer has been re-architected to deliver advances in both performance and flexibility. Also, a new event system enables integration with Zend Framework workflows and provides flexible workflows in enterprise applications.