Cloud Computing: Salesforce now offers Europe

Salesforce’s online platform service now has a European zone. As in the US, it relies on Amazon EC2 instances.

In order to boost the adoption of Heroku, its PaaS offer in Europe, Salesforce has just announced the opening of a European zone dedicated to this service. With this new offer, the editor estimates that the response times of Heroku from the old continent should drop by about 100 milliseconds. A public beta version of the service has just been opened for the new zone. A hosting service that relies, as the historical solution of PaaS of Salesforce available across the Atlantic, on Amazon EC2 instances – which, unlike most of its competitors, makes Salesforce dependent and dependent on possible failures of Amazon.

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The Heroku PaaS offering is available in Europe in public beta. Capture Salesforce

Unsurprisingly, Heroku Europe relies on Amazon’s datacenter located in Ireland. Salesforce says it is not yet registered to the Safe Harbor, which legally frames the transfer of personal data to the United States. “Customers must therefore accept the fact that we may transfer some of their applications and data to data centers located in the United States,” says Salesforce.

Heroku was acquired by Salesforce in 2010. Initially limited to the Ruby language, this PaaS(Platform as a Service) service launched in 2007 has since been extended to Java, Scala, Python, as well as Clojure and the JavaScript framework Node.js. But Heroku is also well known for supporting PHP. A support that was initially introduced for Facebook applications, then websites. Because even if PHP is not listed among its official languages, the PaaS of Salesforce offers an official build pack for the scripting language, as well as an associated documentation. On the server side, Heroku is based on the Debian system and its Ubuntu variation.

One of the main features of Heroku is to have positioned itself very early on the development and hosting of Facebook applications. As early as 2011, Salesforce provided its PaaS with a complete solution in this area: Heroku for Facebook. This brick is already available for Europe. A particularly interesting point for Facebook app publishers targeting this continent. Taking advantage of the very high speed network used by Salesforce between its European and American zones, Heroku for Facebook offers an interesting alternative to hosting on the other side of the Atlantic, close to Facebook’s datacenters, which could be necessary to obtain good response times.

Facebook app publisher Betapond, one of the very first users of Heroku’s European zone, recognizes this: “Deploying our apps on Heroku’s cloud in Europe has led us to an 11% improvement in loading speeds,” explains Conor Ryan, its COO.

But for hosting websites or applications, Heroku is also designed to support rapid load increases on high-volume databases – by combining load balancing devices and NoSQL data servers (Cloudant, Couchbase, MongoDB or Redis).

To facilitate the migration of applications to the new European zone, Salesforce offers a kit adapted to developments combined with a PostgreSQL database. The editor also announces thatabout forty bricks and application services (of data servers, supervision, security, video encoding…) are already available on Heroku Europe to build applications.

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