Posts Tagged ‘paas’

Deis and Flynn, open source PaaS platform contenders

October 20, 2013

For those of you who have followed some of my earlier posts, deployment of online applications is something that interests me.  And doing this in a cost effective, lightweight and efficient manner is also something that seems like a good approach to take.  I suppose the ideal situation that I would be after would be the ability to host a 100 concurrent user multiplayer Unity game / virtual interactive environment on a small amazon ec2 instance, with the freedom to scale if I so chose to.  Of course, the technology is already at the point where it is feasible to do this.  The key roadblocks for me are knowledge based, and also affordability / practicality of implementation.

Time, of course, should see improvements in the latter, but in regards to the knowledge barriers I’m currently facing, there are several areas I still need to make progress on that, due to my other commitments, are on my ‘todo hiatus list’.  One is using an appropriate subversion or git setup for source control of my Unity game data.  Another is completely refactoring and sorting through my code for the 3D world I’m looking into.  Still another is starting to obtain some familiarity and knowledge in communicating between SFS2X and a MySQL server instance.

And once these are solved, there is the issue of deployment.  There are two choices here – a personal server, or a cloud server.  For the sake of elegance, cloud deployment seems like a good approach in this respect, and I know that it is in principle possible to host a Unity-SFS2X-MySQL stack on a rightscale template interacting with Amazon EC2.

But what if one wanted to run additional software on a rightscale machine?  Or circumvent rightscale entirely?  In other words, what if one wanted to run a private PaaS server, to run not only heavy duty apps such as my ongoing explorations with Unity, but very lightweight applications such as a personal website, personal blog, or low intensity data driven applications (such as data miners / web strippers to collate and organise information, eg train timetables, weather data, social network feeds, rss data, etc.) of an experimental nature?  In fact, the great advantage of a PaaS server is the control one has over being able to deploy many apps in different containers on the same virtual server, so that they don’t interfere with one another – and, of course, make more efficient use of the virtual resources!

Basically, anything that lets me have my own “personal app lab” on the net in an elegant and compact manner is something that interests me.

It turns out that there has been a bit more activity in the area since I last wrote on the subject in June.  In particular, the creator of Dokku and webhooks has teamed up with an architect of the Tent protocol to start working on “Super Dokku”, otherwise known by its project name Flynn which builds upon Docker.  Flynn is currently, however, still in development mode, and, as of the time I write this post, it appears the key developers are currently looking for donations / sponsors to support their open source project.

Another project that is quite a recent newcomer to the scene, in terms of complete functional PaaS solutions is Deis.  Deis is built upon Heroku, Docker and Chef.  The project seems to be quite well documented, and even though I’d admittedly be loath to install so many packages and potentially mess up my PC configuration, it seems that there is a clear way to get started deploying to a personal Amazon EC2 instance.  I’m not sure how one would go through RightScale, ie deploy such to RightScale, however – I did try working with Dokku a couple of months back on such and did not have much success.

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.

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.