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Cloud Computing: Article

Getting Your Groovy On with Grails and Cloud Computing

Groovy on Grails is catching on in the Java community and it is building steam

David Abramowski's Blog

You need to think of cloud computing in three different layers - infrastructure, infrastructure management & platform as a service. At the infrastructure level you have the basis for cloud computing. This is where you'll find virtual servers or services like Amazon.com EC2. A level above the infrastructure layer you find companies that provide tools to help developers deal with managing their own systems running on top of the infrastructure layer. The third layer is Platform as a Service and is where Morph plays.

Groovy on Grails is catching on in the Java community and it is building steam. We have seen several positive posts about deploying Grails applications to Morph AppSpace and there is even a new plugin someone in the community created to make things even easier. (thank you for that!) Here at Morph Labs, we want to be the place to go when Grails developers think about deploying business quality applications and web sites. We want to make your deployment of your application as quick and easy as programming with Groovy/Grails.


Why do I say "business quality" you may ask? Well our Platform as a Service provides the capabilities a developer needs to deploy, deliver and manage an application. Think of the Morph AppSpace subscription like an IT department for your application. It goes far beyond a host or a virtual server. As a matter of fact, in the Morph world we never even really talk about servers, we talk about compute power needed to run an application (we call these cubes). And we can scale that power on the fly....it's our unique value add in addition to the collection of services we provide from a technology & human standpoint. Regarding scale - imagine that - scale your application within minutes just by clicking a button or two.

One question that was raised in a Grails discussion group was on the value that Morph brings as a cloud computing platform. To help clear this up you need to think of cloud computing in three different layers. - infrastructure, infrastructure management & platform as a service.

At the infrastructure level you have the basis for cloud computing. This is where you'll find virtual servers or services like Amazon.com EC2. These services provide you with the ability to acquire a virtual server image that can be used on demand. In the case of Amazon EC2 there are also images available for you to use to make it faster to load the operating system and software stacks, but you the developer are responsible for making it all work together. EC2 is a great choice if you are looking to replace existing servers or build you own environment from the ground up. (We use Amazon EC2 as our compute platform)

A level above the infrastructure layer you find companies that provide tools to help developers deal with managing their own systems running on top of the infrastructure layer. These tools make it easier to launch new virtual servers and automate the installation of software components. They can provide their own version of auto-scaling bringing a new server online and installing the software automatically and running scripts to re-configure things. The drawback here is that the developer is still responsible for setting everything up and knowing how to perform the configurations and write scripts to automate them.

The third layer is Platform as a Service and is where Morph plays. This layer takes away the concept of servers and provides an application centric environment. It allows developers to just deploy their application and watch it run. No time is spent architecting the environment for high availability, dealing with load balancing, setting up backups or monitoring 7x24. All of those services are already embedded into the Platform as a Service, or in our case a Morph AppSpace. Morph also has system administrators who continually manage the environment. They patch operating systems, upgrade software and deal with alert conditions or faults that may occur. The goal of the Morphsters is to keep the underlying systems up and running 99.9% of the time. We back this goal up with our written SLA you can find on our web site.

Hopefully that answers the question posted. I look forward to more success with the Grails community and becoming the defacto standard for Platform as a Service.

More Stories By David Abramowski

David Abramowski is a technologist turned product leader. David was a co-founder of Morph Labs, one of the first Platform as a Service plays on AWS. He was the GM for Parallels Virtuozzo containers, enterprise business, and most recently he is the leader of the product marketing team for the IT Operations Management solutions at the hyper growth SaaS company, ServiceNow.

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