Engine Yard revamps user interface

Engine Yard's new infrastructure will allow the PaaS provider to add in more services

Paving the way for more flexible use of its platform as a service (PaaS), Engine Yard has revamped its user interface and underlying infrastructure, which should provide customers with more ways to configure and run their workloads.

"We're making it much easier for components to be mixed and matched together into what a developer wants for the application," said Carsten Puls, Engine Yard vice president of product management.

Starting this week, customers now can pick which back-end cloud service to run their Engine Yard jobs on, and will soon be able to select specific databases, operating systems and Web server software packages as well.

In order to offer this more diverse selection, Engine Yard had to reorganize its IT resources into a new infrastructure, one that would more easily allow the company to add new software programs and services that customers could use. The company plans to roll out more options in the months to come, Puls said.

Engine Yard actually uses two infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers to run customer jobs: Amazon Web Services and Verizon Terremark. Customers may want to pick a specific IaaS provider for a number of reasons, Puls said. They may want to specify what geographic regions they want their jobs to be executed in, so they can minimize the latency between their services and their customers. Or they may have legal restrictions on where they can run their applications.

Prices for running Engine Yard jobs on the two IaaS services will differ, Gaydos said.

The new interface also allows users to set up and manage a cluster of databases as a single unit, which should cut provisioning, configuration and deployment times. Clusters can be spread across different regions, for resilience against disaster. Engine Yard plans to expand cluster provisioning to other services as well.

To help streamlining the provisioning process, Engine Yard also has released three new blueprints for setting up common configurations.

The new user interface also has tools for monitoring workloads, and for alerting the user when something goes awry. The monitoring agents provide numbers on CPU, memory and disk performance.

Developers are the primary users of Engine Yard, which offers hosted implementations of Ruby on Rails, PHP, and, most recently, the node.js JavaScript framework. The company's services are available in 58 countries.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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