Posts Tagged ‘dotcloud’

Latest developments in the PaaS universe

June 28, 2013

Hi folks,

I’ve been considering the feasibility of maybe setting up a small PaaS on RightScale using Amazon EC2.  There are a few bits and pieces that might facilitate this.  However, most recently, I came across this interesting post, which pointed me to Dokku, a project that is only a few days old, but looks quite promising and very interesting.

An alternative strategy for PaaS cloud hosting might be to write a RightScript or three and get Sandbox installed subsequent to Docker on a virtual box on EC2, via this tutorial (a key difference being that RightScripts would likely be taking the place of Vagrant in setting up the system, if using RightScale).  However Docker itself only supports Python (as yet – of course, the project is still young!), and does not yet (it would seem) support databases, as required with Django apps.  Dokku, however, I believe supports Django and a number of other techs that are not even Python based – and it has some quite clever chaps from MIT, I believe, driving it.

Dokku builds not only on docker, but makes use of a couple of other useful github projects in order to work its magic.

Essentially it should allow the admin to deploy multiple data-driven websites / cloud services (eg, data monitoring / data feed input, then email / sms notify relevant subscribed users, say by google cloud messaging) / applications on the same server, but, according to the project description, it does not yet support multitenancy – which I assume would mean multiple admins / admin user logon (controlled by master admin), not does it yet support multihosts (ie, scaling to multiple virtual boxes, or failover between same).

More here.


Two excellent pieces of news

May 22, 2013

Hi folks,

I’m afraid this is not another content post, but the following items may be of interest.

The first is that Unity is now allowing developers who use their software to deploy not only to standalone, and to the Unity webplayer, but now also to Android and Apple mobile platforms for free.  In order to do this, merely open up Unity, open the “Unity” tab, click “Manage License” and then select “Check for Updates”.  Your license will be updated automatically, and mobile unlocked.  Via this post.

Another interesting development – you may recall that earlier I wrote about dotcloud’s amazing opensource release of Docker.  Now the same chaps have made it even easier to independently deploy “sandbox” style applications on same, via their release of a new project on their GitHub pageSandbox.  The original blog post describing this release is located here.

I have not yet investigated this wonderful new tool, but if you, the reader, are interested in checking it out, the installation instructions, both for docker and sandbox, can be found at this location.

dotCloud is going OpenSource

April 13, 2013

Hi folks,

I have now moved my blog to this location, since dotCloud’s Sandbox mode is now moving to an OpenSource implementation, which I have to say is quite commendable of the chaps.  Since I can’t currently afford to maintain my own servers on a 24/7 basis, I consider this an affordable low maintenance solution.

However this does lead me to become more motivated in order to actually build a live application on dotCloud that meets their desired criteria: “Our core competency is and will continue to be the operation and support of large-scale cloud services, for tens of millions of visitors, 24 hours a day, every day.”  Certainly something to aim for!  I’m not entirely certain the nature of a service that I would like to build, but, while I’m casually brainstorming:

  • it could be a service for building rooms for online collaboration, via manyuser-video conferencing, leveraging off TokBox; I would charge some nominal (small) fee for the service on an hourly basis, and then pay TokBox a portion of the take – since TokBox is fairly cheap (I think $200 / 250 for the first 75000 hours of usage per month total), this doesn’t seem like a poor strategy.
  • an online wiki.  Running on mediaWiki, I could host a not for profit specialist wiki focusing on some area that wikipedia might not focus on in the depth that I might like – eg a research wiki.
  • a forum registration service.  Running multiple user forums, the profit model would be advertising revenue and banner space.
  • a game.  I had difficulties with doing this before, however, in terms of where I wanted to take it.
  • an online provider of digital course content that I create, or
  • a provider for MOOCs (massive open online course) that simplifies the process of creating an online network of materials for students to use in their courses.

My impression is that the first and third points are probably the ones I’m most likely to want to try.  And the third would probably be the best to get started with.

The first step to enact the forum idea in particular might to consider Django as the technology to approach the matter.  I know that the lightbird tutorials cover forums in this respect, so I would not be starting from scratch.  It would then be simply a matter of extending / abstracting away from a single forum to creating a database of forums.

I guess in terms of how I would go about testing prior to implementation is that I would deploy on a Sandbox server, self-hosted, then contact dotCloud should I mean to move to Live / Enterprise mode.  Broadly speaking though, I think consideration of a live service is really only worthwhile if one has a passion or driving need to work in an area and sees an opportunity for improvement.  And largely speaking I’m learning a bit more fooling around with Unity currently! and see no obvious ways to simplify online transactional foolishness.  Learning is perhaps the most important thing for me at the moment – knowledge is, afterall, the best enabler of serendipity.

Hello world!

March 14, 2013


Welcome to my blog.  Unfortunately I’ve lost a bit of history to this site, since I was a bit too trusting of the specifications for installing plugins to WordPress with the dotcloud-on-wordpress app.  Turns out that it broke with a particular change from PhP 5.3 to 5.4; so with a new machine I lost a few posts.  Regardless, I will attempt from memory to recap on the content of what came before, and, if nothing else, I will be very mindful to learn how to backup mysql databases on this architecture, as per this listing.

Oh, well.  At least I can remember roughly what I wrote (and at least it was only a few posts).  I will attempt to repopulate based on memory in this first post.

Basically, I’ve played with a few compilers and languages over the last few years.  First I looked into C++, then Java, Java3D, cross-over / bridging techs, then libraries for Java (in addition to Java3D – lwjgl & joal), Eclipse, python, pydev…  Then Spring and a few other things.

[wpzon keywords=”java, python” sindex=”KindleStore” sort=”salesrank” listing=”2″]

One of my first objectives was to learn Java3D and build something useful with it, or at least something that worked.  I ultimately found out the utility of the language was limited due to the fact that it required a kit to be installed to run, even for a standalone executable; this has since changed with its incorporation into JavaFX in Java runtime 7.

Then I looked into Flash and a few other techs motivated by enhancing PDF files.

Consequent to this (in 2011 – 2012), I started looking into django.  When I finally got to the point of being able to build working data driven websites, I became interested in deployment.  Google app engine was my first choice, but it turned out, at least at the time, to be clumsy and unwieldy, mainly due to the fact that it relied on a fork of django that did not have a large community backing it (since app engine runs on NoSQL, which is incompatible with standard Django).

Ultimately I found out that dotcloud was better and easier to use for what I had in mind.  I deployed a few sites to it; a simple photo album, the original version of this blog, a personal webpage, a spring site or two, some javafx examples.

But my interests continued to develop and I found myself interested in experimentation with Game Engines.  I ultimately chose Unity, due to the fact that it is relatively indie friendly; it has an asset store and is comparatively easy to get started with.  In terms of deployment, dotcloud was inadequate to host SmartFoxServer 2X instances of Unity3D games, so I ended up gravitating to the RightScale cloud management platform, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

I have since made some progress.  I currently have plans to develop my current Unity3D game (which has as base code from a series of tutorials from bergzergarcade) into a freemium multiplayer game on RightScale, although I have, for now, decommissioned the original website on RightScale where I tested the architecture and am testing things locally.

I am also now currently looking into genetic algorithms and neural networks written in C++ (as one does), as well as scientific programming in python.  RStudio is another tool I’d like to get up to speed with, together with the R programming language.

By the by, for those who did not follow earlier, this installation is based on dotcloud, a PaaS that I have found useful for experimentation.