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Easily Deploy & Manage Open Source Applications with Standing Cloud

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This post was written and contributed by Dave Jilk, CEO of Standing Cloud, a Rackpace Cloud Tools Partner.

For a professional system administrator, it is not too much trouble to set up an open source application using a Rackspace Cloud server.  To install a LAMP application, for example, you would first use the Rackspace console to start a new server.  Everything else is the same as with a physical server: install the LAMP stack, download and install the application code from the open source project site, configure Apache to point to the code directory, and run the configuration procedure for the application.  It probably takes fifteen minutes if you have done it a few times before.

But for mere mortals, these tasks require a daunting learning curve.  Downloading, installing, and connecting L-A-M-P together can be tricky. Every open source application is a little different, so the installation and configuration process requires figuring out details that will not benefit you at all if you don’t end up using the application.  You will also need to know about database users and hosts, set that up in MySQL, and then configure the application consistently.

The Standing Cloud Trial Edition turns this into a three-click process (once you have registered, which is also easy). Pick your application, click Install, and when it is ready (usually within a minute), click Go to access that application.  Standing Cloud pays for the servers, and it keeps several servers ready all the time so you don’t have to wait.  After a period of inactivity, your server and application will time out, and Standing Cloud saves the data for you so you can re-load it again later (which only takes another minute and three more clicks).

This makes a quick try-before-you-decide possible for end-users, and it can save time and trouble for system administrators as well. Standing Cloud currently supports about thirty different open source applications, including all the usual favorites such as WordPress, Drupal, and SugarCRM, as well as more special-purpose systems like Hudson and Mantis.  We add several new applications each month, and not only LAMP-stack apps! There are also Rails and JBoss applications available, and we’re always taking requests.

Why the Rackspace Cloud? Although the Standing Cloud system can access other cloud services, we’ve selected the Rackspace Cloud as our default provider for several reasons:

  • Rackspace offers smaller server sizes than competitors, and these are perfectly sufficient for many open source applications, making the economics more attractive.
  • Rackspace servers start quickly, so that when many users are active, the Standing Cloud system can maintain its “ready” server inventory.
  • In performance testing, Standing Cloud found that Rackspace servers have more consistent behavior than other services, so you know better what you are getting.

These reasons primarily benefit Standing Cloud for the Trial Edition.  But in about a month, we will offer the Community Edition, where users can get their own Rackspace account and host an application permanently through the Standing Cloud service.  This system will add basic application management services on top of Rackspace Cloud, such as automated backup and one-click restore; application monitoring; and of course, simple installation.  With the Community Edition, these Rackspace advantages benefit you, the user, directly.

Standing Cloud takes a somewhat different approach to the open source application trial and installation process, even beyond making it easy.  Other services emphasize “golden images,” for which a separate development effort is required for each possible virtualization environment and then lock you into that environment.  That environment lock-in relates not only to the particular cloud service selected, but also to the operating system distribution and stack version.  Standing Cloud emphasizes a “configuration” approach so that your application and data are mobile – to other operating system distributions, or to your internal virtualized environment, or whatever you like.

The Standing Cloud team and I are very happy to be a part of the Rackspace Cloud Tools Partner Program. Rest assured, we will continue to add new features and functionality in the future, and work hard to make our cloud service even easier to use for non-technical customers.

For More Information on Standing Cloud, Please Click HERE


Paul Ford - Rackspace Corporate DevelopmentPaul Ford, from Rackspace Corporate Development, is Your Connection to the Rackspace “Cloud Tools Partners” Ecosystem . To find out more about how Standing Cloud and other tools can increase your productivity, satisfy your IT needs, and generally make your life easier, contact him any time at paul.ford@rackspace.com

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Paul Ford.


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