AppFog Acquires Nodester As Node.js’s Star Continues To Rise

AppFog announced the acquisition of Nodester, the PaaS for Node.js, on Wednesday. Even though AppFog already supports Node.js on its PaaS platform, the acquisition brings Nodester developers into AppFog’s ecosystem and thereby gives them the ability to additionally code in Java, .NET, Python, PHP, Ruby, MySQL and PostgreSQL. The acquisition of Nodester also enables AppFog to use Nodester’s support of WebSocket to provide WebSocket technology to VMware’s Cloud Foundry. Nodester will operate as an independent service owned by AppFog until its WebSocket technology is integrated into AppFog’s PaaS infrastructure, at which point Nodester developers will enjoy full integration with all of AppFog’s polyglot support and functionality.

AppFog’s CEO Lucas Carlson commented on the acquisition by noting:

AppFog was incredibly impressed from day one with the market-leading community that Nodester has built. And now that Node is now tied with PHP for having the most number of applications running – so bringing our operational excellence and poly-infrastructure support to the loyal Nodester users; is a win for everyone.

Carlson’s reference to “poly-infrastructure support” takes note of AppFog’s ability to seamlessly deploy applications to multiple cloud providers, and from one cloud vendor to another, eliminating concerns of vendor lock-in. More so than anything else, the acquisition highlights the buzz around Node.js, as illustrated recently by Engine Yard’s commitment to support Node.js on its PaaS platform. While the PaaS space may witness a few more acquisitions in 2012, the landscape still remains sufficiently variegated that rapid consolidation is unlikely within the next year. But the trend marked by the rise of polyglot PaaS platforms is emerging with unmistakable precision. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Node.js Available On Engine Yard PaaS

Engine Yard announced the availability of the Node.js programming language within its Platform as a Service environment this week. The announcement means that Engine Yard’s PaaS now supports Ruby, PHP and Node.js. Node.js is an open source programming framework that boasts a unified concurrency environment that enables the construction of real-time, distributed applications. Because Node.js is built on JavaScript, it has the ability to bring together front end and back end, server facing architectures. Node.js is typically used to build applications that require real-time, concurrent feedback across an ecosystem of applications that have significant response times as exemplified by gaming applications, geospatial/travel applications, social networks, dating websites and website analytics applications. The availability of Node.js underscores Engine Yard’s commitment to open source technologies that empower customers to build powerful web applications. Node.js is the second most watched application on the GitHub repository and is used by enterprise customers such as LinkedIn, Walmart, eBay and NW Natural, a gas utility in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Amazon Web Services Renders Python Available On Elastic Beanstalk

Amazon Web Services recently announced the availability of Python on Elastic Beanstalk, its Platform as a Service (PaaS) product. Elastic Beanstalk will now support Python applications that operate on the Apache HTTP Server and the WSGI interface. Developers can now code applications in Python, PHP, Java and .NET. The availability of Python on Elastic Beanstalk closes the gap between Amazon Web Services’s PaaS and other PaaS platforms with respect to language compatibility as follows:

• AWS: Python, PHP, Java and .NET
• Heroku: Ruby, Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure and Python
• Engine Yard: Ruby, PHP and Node.js
• Google App Engine: Java and Python

Users can also customize Python for Elastic Beanstalk using a set of configuration parameters and scripts. In conjunction with the Python release, Amazon Web Services announced the ability to integrate its Relational Database Service (RDS) with the Elastic Beanstalk environment. Amazon’s RDS represents a cloud-based relational database that developers can leverage for applications coded within its Elastic Beanstalk platform.

Piston Cloud Announces Airframe, Free OpenStack Download With Streamlined Upgrade To Production

Today, Piston Cloud Computing announced the release of Airframe, a free OpenStack-based cloud management platform that allows users to examine a scaled down version of Piston’s Enterprise OpenStack product. Piston’s announcement represents the latest in a series of OpenStack-related announcements that began with Red Hat’s preview of its OpenStack distribution and Rackspace’s release of Alamo, its OpenStack product for Private Cloud Software. Airframe can be installed in under 10 minutes and includes all of OpenStack’s core components in the form of its compute, storage, networking and cloud management functionality.

Airframe allows enterprises to conduct proof of concept investigations and become familiar with the OpenStack installation and management process from a product that derives from Piston’s production-ready OpenStack configuration. Importantly, Airframe includes Cloud Foundry, thereby allowing enterprise users to experiment with hybrid private cloud IaaS and PaaS environments. Airframe boasts a push button upgrade to Piston Enterprise OpenStack and simplifies the overall OpenStack installation process as noted by Joshua McKenty, Piston’s CEO and co-founder:

OpenStack installers on the market today are either too complicated to deploy and manage, or just not a complete solution. We felt it was important to provide an ‘easy’ method of installing OpenStack that didn’t require sacrificing a production-class architecture. Users can upgrade from a pilot deployment to a fully-supported production environment without having to start over. We believe that’s a really significant difference. With Airframe we can give people a truly seamless experience from a free to paid and supported solution.

Airframe’s streamlined installation process preserves a “production-class architecture” and differentiates itself from other OpenStack downloads by its ease of upgrade to a production environment. Moreover, its bundling of Cloud Foundry renders Airframe one of the more extensible of the free OpenStack distributions on the market today. Expect users to choose Airframe over Alamo if they are seriously anticipating a quick transition from a proof of concept to a production-grade environment. Airframe will be generally available via download at on September 4, 2012.

Rackspace’s Alamo Targets Private Cloud Enterprise OpenStack Space

Hot on the heels of Red Hat’s announcement of the preview release of its OpenStack distribution, Rackspace revealed the availability of its Private Cloud Software branded Alamo. Available as a free download on its website, Alamo intends to accelerate the adoption of OpenStack across enterprises, with a particular focus on enterprise IT administrators that have little prior experience with OpenStack. Alamo represents an important step in Rackspace’s efforts to transition from its proprietary cloud based software to OpenStack-based solutions given that, earlier this month, Rackspace converted its public cloud service to OpenStack. Alamo allows Rackspace to target private cloud enterprise customers that may elect to leverage Rackspace’s Escalation support solutions alongside its free OpenStack download.

Jim Curry, general manager of Cloud Builders, Rackspace’s private cloud division, positioned the release of Alamo within the broader community of cloud and OpenStack users as follows:

“To date most of the market for OpenStack has been people who were experts in it. We wanted to make it so a systems administrator who doesn’t know anything about OpenStack and maybe knows a little bit about cloud, can easily get an OpenStack cloud up and running so they can evaluate and determine if it’s a good solution on the same day.”

Alamo consists of the Essex release of OpenStack Nova compute, the Glance library of images, the Horizon dashboard and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. The distribution also includes Canonical’s Ubuntu distribution of Linux and Opscode’s chef cloud automation software. Rackspace intends to support Red Hat’s distribution of Linux soon as well.

With the release of Alamo, Rackspace intends to streamline OpenStack installation and productize its entry into the enterprise IT ecosystem. Rackspace President Lew Moorman noted that the installation allows IT administrators to install OpenStack “anywhere within minutes” and quickly appraise its utility as a supplement to existing data center and cloud options. In addition to establishing Rackspace’s footprint firmly within the private cloud enterprise OpenStack space, Alamo is likely to accelerate OpenStack adoption more generally and lend credence to OpenStack’s status as a credible alternative to proprietary IaaS cloud solutions. Rackspace’s release of Alamo marks the intensification of a battle for market share within the private cloud OpenStack space that is likely to feature competition from Red Hat and vendors such as Piston Cloud and Nebula as well.

Etsy, Airbnb And The Climate Corporation Use Concurrent’s Cascading Big Data Application For Hadoop Programming

Concurrent Inc. has recently announced that enterprise customers such as Airbnb, Etsy and The Climate Corporation are using Concurrent’s Big Data management application Cascading in combination with Amazon Elastic MapReduce to manage Big Data processing in Hadoop. Cascading is a Big Data processing application that allows developers to use an API to construct data processing and analytic operations on Apache Hadoop clusters without leveraging advanced programming languages such as Pig and Hive. In comparison to Pig and Hive, Cascading enables programmers to write Hadoop-related code with comparable granularity and superior job orchestration and management capabilities. A Java application, Cascading can be used within both a private data center environment as well as a cloud based development ecosystem. Airbnb uses Cascading to “determine factors driving room bookings as well as user drop-off” whereas Etsy’s Cascading deployment “powers all A/B analysis, a variety of analytics and dashboards, behavioral inputs to our search index.”

Cascading’s use across of a number of industry verticals for Apache Hadoop programming and analytics points to a quiet revolution in the Big Data world marked by the increasing currency of programming frameworks that simplify and streamline the construction of data processing tasks within a Hadoop cluster. Speaking of the milestone constituted by Cascading’s usage by customers such as Etsy and Airbnb, Concurrent CEO Chris Wensel noted that Cascading “has been battle tested in rigorous production environments for many years. Developers rely on Cascading and the growing ecosystem of community sponsored projects to build complex data intensive applications that drive their business.” Expect more and more enterprises to leverage Cascading to simplify Hadoop-programming both within cloud environments and traditional data center infrastructures as the demand for big data analytics intensifies both in scope and business urgency.