The term is strong. But that’s what Platform could be. Based on Amazon’s cloud, this PaaS, in container, should allow to transcend the agility of virtualization.
Commerce Guys, publisher of Drupal Commerce, an e-commerce website management system based on the Drupal CMS, is about to unveil a brand new kind of platform cloud service (PaaS). Called Platform, this offer, hosted on Amazon Web Services, is distinguished by two innovations. Firstly, a continuous integration infrastructure, based on the Git repository management tool, which allows you to clone a site or a web application with its entire stack (configuration files, database, Apache server …). And this, to the nearest byte, and in a few seconds.
A complementary way to design the cloud: the container
“It is possible to clone as many times as necessary, which offers great agility for development and testing,” explains Frederic Plais, co-founder of Commerce Guys. “By having the possibility to create several branches, we can for example launch a priority evolution project following an urgent evolution request, even if a big redesign is already in preparation within a first clone.” Git is there to manage code versions in a homogeneous way, and a rights management orchestrates the access authorizations on such or such part of the project.
The second innovation of Platform is more profound. In addition to virtualization, which makes PaaS and IaaS offerings flexible, Platform is based on a container-oriented infrastructure, inspired directly by the open source project Docker. Its logic? Each layer of the site (application logic, database…) can be placed in a container that can then be deployed on a cluster of instances, with the possibility of running multiple containers on a single instance! “The container infrastructure embodies the second generation of the cloud. It allows for a much more granular, adaptive architecture, and orchestration of load management service by service,” summarizes Frédéric Plais.
For the moment, Platform is optimized for Drupal, Drupal Commerce and the Symfony PHP framework ( some of whose components have been integrated into Drupal). But Commerce Guys’ goal is already to extend its offer to other tools. For this, the company intends to call on its partners – among which are Capgemini or Smile. The integration of a code editor in web mode is for example envisaged.
“Following tests carried out by certain partners, we believe that Platform can save 25% in development time”, estimates Frédéric Plais. Designed in collaboration with the Amazon Web Services(AWS) teams, the solution represents 8 to 10 man-years of development. “In 2013, we put 75% of our R&D investments into it,” says the co-founder.
Platform will be officially launched on Tuesday 13 May at the AWS Summit 2014 Paris. The solution will be available in two versions on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace: a basic version, and an Enterprise version designed for websites requiring triple redundancy. Platform Enterprise will utilize three geographically distinct Amazon data centers (or AWS Availability Zones).