We are deeply sorry to announce that Xeround’s public cloud offering will be discontinued soon.
All Xeround FREE database instances will be terminated on May 8th, and the paid plans terminated on May 15th.
Xeround’s leadership forum has recently decided to re-focus the company’s effort. This means we will no longer be able to support our service over public clouds, across all of our currently active data centers.
What this means for your database?
We ask you to please export your database instance and migrate your database to another service of your choosing before the termination date.
We sincerely appreciate the support that our thousands of customers have shown us over the last couple of years. We regret the inconvenience this causes you, and hope your migration to a new DB solution goes smoothly.
We thank you for your business and for the overwhelming support of our users.
With the deepest respect,
You may also be interested in:
We want to let you know some great news Â - the LongJump team just grew by 5,500 people!
Thatâ€™s right. As of today LongJump is now part of Software AG.
This is terrific news for existing LongJump customers and new customers. Weâ€™ll now have the resources to work with customers globally, weâ€™ll have rock solid financial backing and we can leverage decades of proven mission-critical enterprise software expertise.
LongJump joins the family of industry leading software products mastering the major trends shaping the digital enterprise – Cloud, Mobile, Social Collaboration and Big Data with the brands youâ€™re already familiar with including Web Methods, ARIS and Terracotta.
We started this journey 10 years ago and weâ€™re so grateful that you have trusted LongJump for your business application needs.
Itâ€™s been our pleasure to serve you until now, and as we look into the future we are excited about whatâ€™s coming and we look forward to continuing this journey together.
Pankaj & Rick
Mobile Applications and the Need for Auto-Scaling: Dogfightâ€™s 3 Million Players Fly High with Xeround
InÂ particular,Â Mobile gaming applications are oftenÂ characterizedÂ with fluctuating demand patterns and sudden spikes in throughput- either when there’s a tournament, or during certain hours of the day or periods throughout the year, when more users play the game.
The cloud has all but become the standard for mobile and gaming apps, allowing developers to quickly deploy and go-to-market with their applications, and providing the scalability needed toÂ accommodateÂ the varying demand patterns of those apps – that often start small, but can sky-rocket at any moment.
At Xeround, we see many customers in the business of creating mobile and gaming applications using our database service. Often, they choose XeroundÂ primarilyÂ for our unique auto-scaling capabilities – allowing the database to seamlessly scale-out to support any demand from the application, then shrink back down for when it is underutilized.
One interesting example of such a customer is DogfightÂ - a popular multi-player airplane combat simulator available for Apple and Android mobile devices.
From smallÂ beginnings, the game now has over 3 million gamers world wide – playing against each other in real time, maneuvering historical WWI fighter planes and taking on rival airplanes in head-to-head air battles.
Learn how Dogfight uses Xeround Cloud database to ensure both high availability and seamless, unlimited, scalability to support any spike in demand – even when Apple promoted the game resulting in X3 traffic peak!
With Xeround’s auto-managed database service, Dogfight manages to keep their 3 million users – across three application servers in Europe, US, and Asia – all happy and engaged, as they battle to shoot each other in the skies :)
You may also be interested in:
dotCloud Support provided us the same level of service and turnaround time as a dedicated DevOps team.” said Andrew Foong, Co-Founder of TerseTag
Ever wonder how people come up with brilliant ideas for a startup company?
When Steven Pungdumri was searching for a pre-owned vehicle for himself, he spotted the perfect car on the road. The vehicle was moving too fast for him to catch the seller’s contact information off of the For Sale Sign. If only there was a short, memorable hashtag that could serve as a pointer to the owner of the vehicle, a completed transaction would have occurred. Steven wondered how many missed opportunities happened simply because people failed to capture each other’s contact information. The idea of a short, simple, persistent hash tag or “TerseTag” was born.
TerseTag is a web-based system for creating persistent hashtags that invoke a specific call to action. Terse tags can take the form of a hashtag or a QR code. A terse tag can be a memorable, one word tag, or a QR code which can be scanned with a smartphone scanner sending the users to a link to additional information. Essentially, a link between the physical and digital world.
The founders of TerseTag envisioned that people will find many everyday uses of terse tags besides car shopping. That is why they have a set of pre-built templates for people to do things such as advertising an event, selling a home, posting a job, or promoting a business, and many more. They even engage in some light “dog-fooding”, taking their personal terse tags with them as networking tools, like a digital business card.
TerseTag is still a young, self-funded company. Pungdumri founded the company when he was still a student with his co-founders at Cal Poly where they had the opportunity to test their business model during on-campus recruiting fairs. Together the young entrepreneurs generated terse tags for all the participating companies at each event and were blown away by the positive feedback from each organization.
TerseTagM.m4v Watch on Posterous
TerseTag is following the footsteps of Yelp, start local and go mobile. The first customers of TerseTag were their local gym, local businesses, and non-profit organizations. A simple search for “#cambodia” connects viewers to the YMCA’s Cambodia Project. Organizations can create vanity tags for a fee, but even individual users can use the free tier for personal and/or professional branding.
TerseTag’s Tech Stack on dotCloud
The tech stack includes Node.js and MongoDB. TerseTag uses dotCloud’s custom services to run their version of Node.js. Custom service provides developers the flexibility to run any application on dotCloud because the service is not tied to any specific language or framework.
Andrew believes that the greatest compliment to dotCloud goes to our community support. In the beginning, TerseTag’s developers had a lot of questions. Quick turnaround times were essential; the opposite would be detrimental to a young, growing company. dotCloud Support was helpful even with nonstandard modules or service setup.
“We filed many tickets when we first started developing TerseTag. When we wanted to try out a few modules for pdf generation, dotCloud Support was really helpful. We were pumping out pdf’s in full swing within a few days.” Andrew Foong, Co-founder of TerseTag.
QR code and Tag for dotCloud
Follow @TerseTag on Twitter
Questions about EDU pricing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The start of PyCon US 2013 is just around the corner, next month in fact. This will be my second time attending PyCon and I couldn't be more excited.
The conference is officially sold out! 2,500 python enthusiasts will descend on Santa Clara, CA for more than one week of tutorial, talks and networking.
At dotCloud, nearly 90% of our platform is written in Python. So the national PyCon conference is a big deal for us. In fact, dotCloud is flying out myself and two other East Coast engineers to attend the conference.
Some people who have never attended a tech conference ask me what is so great about attending a tech conference. I have given it a lot of thought, and I think it boils down to three things.1. People:
You finally get to meet and hangout with people that you have only previously interacted with online. I personally feel that I can get more done in a 5 minute face to face conversation then I can in many back and forth emails that might take hours to write. So the chance to sit down and talk with folks is something I always try and take advantage of when ever possible.
I also try to take the time to thank the people who have written software that I use, or who have helped me in some way. Developing open source software is sometimes a thankless job, so I try to reach out to the authors of software I use, and make sure to thank them. If you aren't going to pay for the software, the least you can do is thank them. And what better way to do that, then in person?
It is also a great way to meet new people who are interested in the same things you are. I have met some great people at previous conferences that I probably wouldn't have meet any other way.2. Great talks:
There are a lot of smart people who are giving talks on lots of interesting topics. Make sure you plan your time accordingly, or you risk missing out. Before the conference, look through the schedule and mark which talks you really want to see. If you have any holes in your schedule, then feel free to pick a talk at random, you will sometimes be surprised how interesting some of these talks are, even when you know nothing about the topic. It can be a real eye opener.
I highly recommend seeing the talks in person. Sure you could download the slide deck after the conference is over, or wait for the video to become available, but it isn't the same as hearing the talk in person, and then being able to ask that person questions at the end. When the talk is over, the conversation doesn't have too.
Most speakers usually hang out in the hallway or reserve an open space, for more questions and discussions. This is a great opportunity to get a lot of one on one time with an expert in the field, so don't miss your chance.
3. Learning new technology:
If you want a good way to learn something new there is nothing better then listening to a talk from one of the experts on that topic.
Attending one talk is sometimes equivalent to reading a book. The presenter takes their knowledge on a subject they know really well and condenses it down to one talk, so you know it will be filled with the most important information, and all the fluff will be removed. If you want to learn a new technology, or how someone was able to accomplish something that you too might also need to do, what better way to learn this, than from a person with first hand experience?Talks I plan on attending:
There are a lot of great talks, and it is impossible to see all of them, so as of right now, these are the talks I plan on attending.
- MESSAGING AT SCALE AT INSTAGRAM (Friday 10:50 a.m.–11:20 a.m. in Track 2)
- THIS OLD VIDEO SITE: HOW PBS STREAMS VIDEO - AND YOU CAN TOO! (Friday 11:30 a.m.–noon in Track 2)
- MAKING DISQUS REALTIME. (Friday 12:10 p.m.–12:40 p.m. in Track 2)
- TRANSFORMING CODE INTO BEAUTIFUL, IDIOMATIC PYTHON (Friday 4:15 p.m.–5 p.m. in Track 6)
- MAKE MORE RESPONSIVE WEB APPLICATIONS WITH SOCKETIO AND GEVENT (Friday 5:10 p.m.–5:40 p.m. in Track 4)
- PYTHON FOR ROBOTICS AND HARDWARE CONTROL (Saturday 10:40 a.m.–11:10 a.m. in Track 2)
- WHO’S THERE? - HOME AUTOMATION WITH ARDUINO/RASPBERRYPI (Saturday 11:20 a.m.–11:50 a.m. in Track 2)
- BUILDING AN IMAGE PROCESSING PIPELINE WITH PYTHON (Saturday noon–12:30 p.m. in Track 2)
- CRYPTO 101 (Saturday 4:05 p.m.–4:50 p.m. in Track 4)
- DYNAMIC CODE PATTERNS: EXTENDING YOUR APPLICATIONS WITH PLUGINS (Saturday 5 p.m.–5:30 p.m. in Track 6)
- DISTRIBUTED COORDINATION WITH PYTHON (Sunday 1:10 p.m.–1:40 p.m. in Track 4)
What talks do you plan on attending?
I will be hanging out at the dotCloud booth #157 off and on throughout the conference, so be sure to stop by and say hi.
Also, for those of you who sign up for a free dotCloud account at our booth during PyCon, we are giving you $25 credit to take your first app live on our PaaS.
We are proud to share dotCloud API Winner FlyVerify's product demonstration at DeveloperWeek 2013
We'll have more videos to come of all the teams that presented at DeveloperWeek
We also sat down with team leader, Ryan Gerard, to hear more about how FlyVerify works, what it was like to work on dotCloud and what their next steps will be.Hear about it firsthand
Ryan shares why he chose to build on a Node.js and MongoDB stack and compares his experience running on dotCloud to his previous experience on Rackspace. He also talks about his refactoring process after the hackathon.
We also ask him what we can improve about the process of getting started. Afterall, user feedback is the best way to improve our offering. Watch the interview and tell us if you agree with his observations!
Finding just the right gift for someone can be tricky. There are no fewer than a dozen occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings for gift-giving in a year. Shipping merchandise returns or taking returns to the store can be a hassle for the recipient. Re-gifting can be a faux pas for both the giver and the recipient. GiftOpera is trying to bring efficiency into the gift-giving process by helping users become more proactive around gift planning throughout the year. Users can publish their wishlist so that their friends and family will always know exactly what to get them. GiftOpera takes a community approach towards gift-giving so that groups of people can collaborate and share the costs of a group gift.
We sat down with Vineet Choudhary, CTO and Founder of GiftOpera to understand how his company is changing the online gift-giving landscape.
dotCloud: What was the big idea behind GiftOpera?
Vineet: GiftOpera started as a group gifting site, similar to a department store gift registry in which people would use GiftOpera to let people know what they want. Communication was one way and there wasn't as much social interaction taking place as we would have liked.
dotCloud: How has GiftOpera evolved into the community that we see today?
Vineet: GiftOpera is trying to turn gift-giving from a chore into a collaborative experience. We wanted to build a social community around gift-giving, conceptually similar to an interest group.Users can engage their friends around a common topic, which in this case is gift-giving.
dotCloud: How does GiftOpera work?
Vineet: GiftOpera has given gift-giving a makeover. We pre-populate the user profiles by pulling in friends' birthdays stored in their Facebook profile and send reminders to our users about upcoming events such as birthdays, anniversaries. Users can bookmark gifts and designate them to specific people and occasions and then get reminders about the occasion as the event gets closer. GiftOpera can be used in office gift-giving too, where a group of co-workers can share the cost of a group gift.
dotCloud: How is GiftOpera different from other mobile gift-giving apps such as Facebook's Karma acquisition?
Vineet: What separates GiftOpera from typical birthday reminders is that we are proactive and we gently push information to our users. We showcase and categorize staff picks' on our website. Users can find gift options under categories for people such as gifts For Him, For Her, Kids/Baby, Pets or for the recipient's interest areas such as Tech, Sports & Outdoors, Do-It-Yourself & Crafts, many others.
dotCloud: What drew you to using Platform as a Service?
Vineet: Our investors came from the finance and banking industry. They understood the online gift-giving industry which represents about $125B in US alone according to Forrester, but the technology holdups were not as apparent to them. With dotCloud, we were able to simplify the developers' workflow and launch our service in 12 weeks. We could scale our app without having to do the underlying configuration work. We did our Development and Test in the sandbox. The time and cost savings not only came from not having a dedicated systems administration team, but also from having a more contained development and test environment.
dotCloud: What is your Tech Stack and why was it more suitable for PaaS?
Vineet: We're a Python-based application, we were attracted to dotCloud in the early days as the dotCloud engineers seemed to have a solid foundation in Python. Our stack includes Django, Celery, Redis and mySQL. We found all of our answers to our technical questions from dotCloud's documentation and searching through the support forum.
dotCloud: What features will be coming into GiftOpera?
Vineet: On the product side, we are expanding our partnerships to draw more curators and add more curated content. This is similar to the store within a store concept in which a designer branded boutique is co-located in a department store. On the technology front, we are developing a mobile IOS version of GiftOpera and browser extensions.
Follow GiftOpera on Twitter @giftopera
A big thank you to everyone who participated at the DeveloperWeek Hackathon in SF February 1-3. With more than 150 participants and 21 total teams the event was a great success. We've got more photos of the weekend on our Facebook page.
As a partner sponsor, dotCloud offered an API prize to the best project deployed on dotCloud. Our head of Developer Support, Andy Rothfusz, evaluated projects based on functionality, novelty and usefulness.
FlyVerify edged out their competitors by being highly functional and fulfilling a real need. We're proud that dotCloud could help them focus on their project instead of on infrastructure. - Andy RothfuszAbout FlyVerify
You can learn more about the project on its HackerLeague page, but the idea is simple...to eliminate the need for business' to validate the email addresses of new users.
FlyVerify is a webservice that stores already verified email addresses using a REST API. If an email address isn't in the FlyVerify system, they will handle the work of sending out an email confirmation and relaying to businesses that an address is verified using a simple callback mechanism. The system gets smarter over time.
Team Leader Ryan Gerard noted that "our team chose to use dotCloud because it was easy to use, had a wide variety of supported frameworks and languages, and offered unlimited support for sandbox development."
"We were able to get up to speed on dotCloud really fast. We had less than 3 days to turn our idea into a reality, and it was important that we focus on code. dotCloud provided us with a solid infrastructure that was easy to integrate and build on top of." - Ryan Gerard, FlyVerify
Ryan Gerard and his teamate James Wildman plan to work on FlyVerify in conjunction with the work they do at the startup they co-founded, PickMoto.
They've also created a Google apps account so users can now email them at email@example.com with any questions.
Next they will incorporate SSL support to integrate payment solutions, add logging/error reporting so that they know when something goes wrong and develop a marketing plan.
See them demo FlyVerify on Wednesday at DeveloperWeek!
We will be sunsetting our RabbitMQ service on May 1st, 2013. Starting today, you will no longer be able to deploy a new RabbitMQ service to our platform.Why are you Sunsetting RabbitMQ?
Over the past year we have observed an incredible explosion in the number and diversity of queuing systems. In addition to RabbitMQ, we’re seeing developers use anything from Redis, Beanstalkd and MongoDB to proprietary services like Amazon SQS, IronMQ or a even home-made systems built on ZeroMQ. Sometimes these tools are abstracted away by a task manager such as Celery, Resque or Gearman - and sometimes not.Our job at dotCloud is to recommend standard components to application developers, and offer the best available implementation of these components. Unfortunately, the reality is that today no such standard component exists for message queuing. There are many solutions out there - too many - and until a broad standard emerges that we can blindly recommend for all use cases, we feel it is wiser to walk developers through the process of choosing the best tool for their particular needs, without forcing their hand.After careful deliberation, we made the difficult decision to pull the plug on our RabbitMQ service, so we could redirect engineering resources towards our core services - but only if we could find a partner of sufficient quality to offer you, our customers, a smooth and reliable transition.
We believe CloudAMQP.com passes that bar with flying colors. They offer an outstanding service and have been extremely diligent and helpful as we prepared the transition process. Even better: they offer a clustering feature which was still on our roadmap - that means that the transition will actually *improve* the reliability of your RabbitMQ service.What do I need to do?
Everyone who currently has a RabbitMQ service on dotCloud, will receive an email explaining in more details, what needs to be done, and by when. To learn more about the migration, and integrating CloudAMQP's service with your dotCloud app, read the migration and integration documentation.How long do I have to do it?
The deadline for migration is Wednesday, May 1st. We will send you a reminder 2 weeks before, then again on Monday, April 29th (3 days before).
On May 1st, all remaining RabbitMQ services will be shut down. After an additional grace period of 7 days, they will be permanently deleted on May 8, 2013 along with any data.
If you feel you need more time to prepare for the migration or you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"dotCloud allows us to focus on building a better product for our users instead of worrying about how to manage our application infrastructure," said Adrien Cahen, Founder & CTO TapCanvas.
Building a mobile application is currently far too complex and expensive for most people to justify. TapCanvas aims to make developing mobile apps so easy that anyone can create them in a few minutes using a drag and drop editor.
The big idea is to make it so fast and simple for a person to develop, deploy and promote a mobile web app without ever having to write a single line of code. The user fills in the content, selects and customize the features using widgets and TapCanvas takes care of the rest. The result is a polished, professional-looking app that works on any mobile device.
The founders of TapCanvas believe that people will access the internet on their smartphones and tablets more frequently than on their laptops in the near future. Their goal is to make distributing content using mobile apps as prevalent as what Apple has done for editing movies with iMovie.
Adrien Cahen, CTO and Founder TapCanvas
TapCanvasL.m4v Watch on Posterous
Users can add interactive features to their app by selecting from a library of widgets right off of TapCanvas' app builder. Widgets are pre-packaged functionality for popular services such as Eventbrite, Twitter, Facebook, a dozen more. Widgets make it easy to add popular services such as an interactive map, an agenda builder, live RSS feeds to their mobile app. TapCanvas is constantly adding more widgets to the growing library.
TapCanvas App Builder showing mapping widget
TapCanvas was initially designed for users to make disposable, single-use applications intended for a limited shelf life. For example, an event organizer wants to get RSVPs for a one-time event or a company wants to promote a new product launch. The founders later discovered that people were also using the product to create longer lived applications in order to build lasting relationships with their audience.
TapCanvas Chooses dotCloud
According to Adrien Cahen, TapCanvas CTO, the tech stack choice is the main challenge for anyone starting a new project. One should consider all architectural aspects such as the capabilities of the software, developer productivity, ease of maintenance and deployment before settling on the tech stack. "dotCloud enables TapCanvas the flexibility to easily try several stacks before settling" said Cahen.
Some of the technology choices were fundamental to TapCanvas. TapCanvas chose Node.js because it is one of the first to support WebSockets. The Socket.IO library makes real time apps possible for every browser and mobile device. Another example is the Underscore.js library which exist both on the client (browsers) and the Node.js server environments. Having the same tools and the same environment on the frontend and the backend means there is less context switching which ultimately means higher developer efficiency.
"At the time, dotCloud was the only PaaS provider that supported websockets and our version of Node.js" said Cahen, "With custom service, TapCanvas can use any version of Node.js we want, zero complaints on the Node.js set up since then."
What's Next for TapCanvas
TapCanvas plans to expand their library of widgets and increase their interactive functionality to ensure that even novice users can build mobile apps with enhanced features and sophistication.
TapCanvas has a free tier for individual users for up to 20 viewers and will be adding commercial pricing so that business users can use Tap Canvas to build mobile apps for their own organizations.
Think of TapCanvas as your personal mobile app developer - always available, always online. The need for professional consultations and billable hours goes away with TapCanvas.
Follow @TapCanvas on Twitter
My name is Ken and I’m a geek. Like most geeks I like to stay up to date with the latest technologies, and normally try to find some excuse to play with them. As a dotCloud engineer I take advantage of our once a month hackdays to do just this.One of the technologies I have been hearing a lot about lately is a new programming language called Go.
On the Go website it says “Go is an open source programming environment that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.” At first pass that sounds like a lot of programming languages, so what makes it better than the rest, and why is this so special?To answer those questions, I’m going to steal some sections from the Go FAQ. Go is a concurrent, garbage-collected language with fast compilation. It was started at Google and was released to the public on November 10, 2009. Features of Go
- It is possible to compile a large Go program in a few seconds on a single computer.
Go provides a model for software construction that makes dependency analysis easy and avoids much of the overhead of C-style include files and libraries.
Go's type system has no hierarchy, so no time is spent defining the relationships between types. Also, although Go has static types the language attempts to make types feel lighter weight than in typical OO languages.
Go is fully garbage-collected and provides fundamental support for concurrent execution and communication.
By its design, Go proposes an approach for the construction of system software on multicore machines.
If you have never seen a Go program before, here is the typical Hello World application written in Go.
If you want to learn more about Go, I recommend their excellent tutorial http://tour.golang.org. I also did a quick search on amazon and it looks like there are already a number of Go books. So pick one up today, and start learning.Learning Go on dotCloud
We are starting to use Go on a few internal projects at dotCloud. I like what I see so far, but before I get too ahead of myself, I still have a lot to learn. I personally find the best way to learn is to have a small, real world, non-critical project that you can use as your guinea pig.Reading books and going through tutorials is a good place to start, but it’s a lot like high school physics, when you ignore friction, wind resistance and gravity. Once you start doing real world problems which include those variables, things never go smooth the first time.
That is why it is always best to get your hands dirty on a real project as soon as possible. dotCloud's free sandbox apps are perfect for this.I’m not sure about you, but a lot of the projects that I work on lately are web-based. I was sad to find out that there were not many options for hosting Go applications. It seems you could run your own server (VPS, etc) or you could deploy to Google App Engine. One of the many advantages of working for dotCloud is having access to this awesome deployment platform, where I’m like a kid in a candy shop. I can take these different services, write some code and easily deploy them to dotCloud, all without breaking a sweat.
Last Friday we had a hackday at dotCloud, where everyone takes the day off from their normal projects and we can work on anything we want. I took this time, to work on a Go on dotCloud custom service. It is still very early, but it allows you deploy your Go applications to dotCloud as easily as all of our other services.Try it out on dotCloud
I have put the code up on github so that everyone can use it, and submit pull requests. It is still very early beta, but I welcome everyone to try it out, and please let me know what you think, good or bad. If you have a suggestion on how to make it better, feel free to submit pull requests and issues.Using it is pretty straightforward. Assuming you already have a FREE dotCloud account, you just need to follow these steps.
- Create a new application
$ dotcloud create -f sandbox mygoapp
- Fork my github repo, and then clone it.
$ git clone git://github.com/kencochrane/golang-on-dotcloud.git
- Add your code in the src directory.
- Edit the dotcloud.yml
- Change the build_package config variable, to the name of your GO package
- Change the processes so that you can run the correct processes
- Add or remove ports depending on your application needs.
- Push the application
$ dotcloud push mygoapp .
That should be about it. Best of all you can do all of this for FREE since dotCloud doesn’t charge for services in the Sandbox. So deploy as many times as you like, and let me know if you have any questions or problems.
Coming from a Python background, I am most interested in the fact that Go is a fast compiled language with concurrency built-in. I don’t think it will replace Python as my go-to language, but when I need something small and fast with concurrency, it is nice to know there is another option at my disposal.
I’m looking for new ideas for my next hackday, if you have any suggestions, please let me know.
"For our shop, development is our key activity. The volume of the workload is inconsistent with peaks and valleys which makes it more suited for a cloud provider."
David Runkles, Founder, Bulb Inc
We sat down with David Runkles, Founder and Director of Strategy and Design of Bulb Inc. Bulb is an early stage Software as a Service startup based in Colorado, USA. Bulb is trying to tackle the problem of online knowledge sharing for everday Internet users.
David: Bulb started with a stellar development team ahead of the business idea about 18 months ago. The angel investors funded the team of developers that came from my previous company Ssuru. We started to tackle the problem of online sharing and found most of the stuff to be antiquated and tied to teaching paradigms around Higher Ed/University
dotCloud: What is a Bulb?
David: A Bulb is a collection of knowledge with a system that allows users to find the knowledge when they want it and explore other topics related to it. Knowledge can take on any medium such as diagrams, images, text, and/or video.
Bulb created by University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
David: Bulb can offer online courses too. Bulb allows for non-sequential content structure, with an immersive, rather than linear approach. Learning can then be absorbed, synthesized and passed onto others. Bulb is much easier to use...The Health Science Center at the University of Texas San Antonio is using our application to provide health awareness information. Another content owner is using Bulb to create private, contextual content for adults with low computer literacy.
Content about chronic pain treatments from UTHSC
dotCloud: What was the inspiration behind Bulb?
David: Teaching and learning are fundamental human activities that have been around for a millenium. Bulb is optimized for tablets and enables peer-to-peer teaching and learning, anytime, anywhere.
dotCloud: How is Bulb different from other Ed Tech companies such as Blackboard or Coursera?
David: Learning management software like Blackboard can be cost-prohibitive for most organizations outside of Higher Ed. Standalone learning portals can take thousands of dollars to set up and maintain. An individual can set up an account on Bulb in minutes, at no charge.
dotCloud: How does Bulb differ from Coursera?
David: Coursera is interesting because while they also offer courses that once required university admission, they are focused on open classes from traditional sources like universities, Bulb is focused on capturing knowledge for anyone who has something to teach. Content can come from anyone such as a healthcare professionals, a sports coach, a contractor or a musician or from any organizations such as healthcare, soccer clubs or high schools.
dotCloud: Why did you choose a cloud provider?
David: It was essential for us to focus on product development instead of infrastructure. Our investors were looking for an alpha release within four months. We wanted our developers to learn new programming techniques and libraries to solve the technical problem. They are not immune to traditional systems admin task such as configuring their own testing environments. It's just a matter of focus.
dotCloud: What were some of the technical reasons for choosing Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider?
David: Our experience proved to us that we would always behind the curve if we hired consultants for systems administration. Server downtime is not always hardware related, some problems can be traced back to the network or due to frequent configuration changes or DB replication issues.
dotCloud: How did you choose amongst the PaaS providers?
David: Bulb uses Java, Spring and MongoDB. Many providers were either in beta or some offered DB hosting only at the time. We looked for a single vendor that could provide the whole tech stack. Without dotCloud, we would need to hire another part-time or potentially full time developer.
dotCloud: What is the next milestone for Bulb?
David: Self sign-up is the next milestone. Plans for Pro accounts later this year. Lots of use cases for Bulb, especially via mobile. In our private beta, about one-fourth of the traffic came from an iPad. There's a mass to consumer model for training, similar to Vimeo has done for video sharing. Another engagement model could be on a per-seat basis, particularly useful for organizations offering in-house training. Legacy internal training portals can be displaced all together. Try Bulb by requesting an invitation to the public beta.
Team dotCloud's Jérôme Petazzoni to brave the Midwest chills to deliver keynote address at MidwestPHP conference.
MidwestPHP is a two-day conference in the heart of Minnesota featuring 40+ sessions by industry leaders covering a wide range of topics ranging from PHP basics for newbies to advanced PHP concepts, frameworks, databases, third party tools and components, and web development.Keynote: Deploying PHP on PaaS - How & Why
PHP has been around for 17+ years. Back in the days, it was FTP, PhpMyAdmin, and sometimes CVS or SVN. Things have changed: git and mercurial have risen; everybody wants a “staging” or “pre-production” environment; replication, scaling, and load-balancers are not only for expensive, high-end projects; and developers want to mix & match languages, which led to the coming of “polyglot” platforms. We’ll see how Platform-as-a-Service has become a very solid offering for PHP hosting; the numerous advantages and productivity improvements that it provides; and how to embrace it in the most efficient way.
Here's the abstract.
Learn about dotCloud's PHP and PHP Worker services via dotCloud documentation.Other Awesome Talks
You can see the complete list of sessions here but we are especially looking forward to:
- Aaron Saray: Enterprise PHP Architecture through Design Patterns and Modularization
- Wim Godden: Caching and Tuning fun for High Scalability
- Ken Harris: Using Backbone.js in a PHP Environment
Use the code DOTCLOUD to save $30 (15%) on your ticket to MidwestPHP Conference. Register Now!
Cloudera is co-presenting the sold-out Strata Conference + Hadoop WorldÂ in New York this week, and if you’re an attendee, you have a great week ahead!
Hereâ€™s a quick guide to where you can find Clouderans during the conference. There are of course many other great activities planned as well that are not covered here.Keynotes
Cloudera CEOÂ Mike Olson (@mikeolson)Â takes the stage on Wednesday to kick off the plenary sessions, and Apache Hadoop Co-founder and Apache Software Foundation chairÂ Doug Cutting (@cutting)Â is part of the Thursday morning plenary sessions. (See abstracts here.) Arrive early to make sure you have a seat; you wonâ€™t want to miss their vision for the future of Hadoop.Presentations & Tutorials
As we have previously blogged, experts on the Cloudera team have put together some compelling and informative tutorials and presentations. They include:
- Given Enough Monkeys â€“ Some Thoughts on Randomness
- Large Scale ETL with Hadoop
- HDFS â€“ What is New and Future
- High Availability for the HDFS Namenode: Phase 2
- Upcoming Enterprise Features in Apache HBase 0.96
- Data Science on Hadoop: Whatâ€™s There and Whatâ€™s Missing
- Designing Scalable Network Architectures for Fast Moving Big Data
- Taming the Elephant â€“ Learn How Monsanto Manages Their Hadoop Cluster to Enable Genome/Sequence Processing
- An Introduction to Hadoop
- Testing Hadoop Applications
- Using HBase
- Building a Large-Scale Data Collection System Using Flume NG
The week is a great one for Hadoop book fans – book authors Tom White (@tom_e_white),Â Lars George (@larsgeorge),Â Eric Sammer (@esammer),Â Amandeep Khurana (@amansk)Â andÂ Nick Dimiduk (@xefyr)Â be available in the Cloudera booth to sign your copies and answer your questions.Â If you don’t have a copy yet, we’ll be giving away 100 copies of each book on Wednesday and Thursday respectively during specific times – check out the book giveaway schedule here.Meetups
Make the most of your evenings and attend one of the many meetups taking place. Itâ€™s a great way to network and meet others that are working on similar projects and challenges. Check the schedule here.Find Cloudera at Booth #100
Visit our booth to check out our demos, learn what’s new, engage with our team and get a free t-shirt or book. If you can’t attend, at least follow us on Twitter and join the conversation. #strataconf
We look forward to seeing you in New York City!
This is a guest post by Oliver Guinan, VP Ground Software, at Skybox Imaging. Oliver is a 15-year veteran of the internet industry and is responsible for all ground system design, architecture and implementation at Skybox.
One of the great promises of the big data movement is using networks of ubiquitous sensors to deliver insights about the world around us. Skybox Imaging is attempting to do just that for millions of locations across our planet.
Skybox is developing a low cost imaging satellite system and web-accessible big data processing platform that will capture video or images of any location on Earth within a couple of days. The low cost nature of the satellite opens the possibility of deploying tens of satellites which, when integrated together, have the potential to image any spot on Earth within an hour.
Skybox satellites are designed to capture light in the harsh environment of outer space. Each satellite captures multiple images of a given spot on Earth. Once the images are transferred from the satellite to the ground, the data needs to be processed and combined to form a single image, similar to those seen within online mapping portals.
With any sensor network, capturing raw data is only the beginning of the story. We at Skybox are building a system to ingest and process the raw data, allowing data scientists and end users to ask arbitrary questions of the data, then publish the answers in an accessible way and at a scale that grows with the number of satellites in orbit. We selected Cloudera to support this deployment.
Processing raw imagery is a complex computer vision task that involves many pixel-level calculations over multiple images. Image Scientists create algorithms in C and C++ to efficiently perform these calculations. Hadoop prefers MapReduce jobs written in Java, so we have developed a proprietary framework called BusBoy to wrap the native algorithms into a standard Hadoop job. This allows our Hadoop engineers to develop efficient storage and publication solutions while our Image Scientists focus on developing better image processing algorithms.
Developing against CDH and using Puppet to manage our deployed extensions and configurations allows Skybox to develop our architecture on our in-house cluster. Once the solution is robust, we then have the option to deploy our solution at scale using Amazon’s EC2 hardware or other scalable computation and storage platforms. We have tested a large number of hardware configurations to validate our scalability assumptions and to determine the right balance between CPU, memory, disk, and network resources. This information informs the purchasing process for our next in-house cluster.
Making all data available on spinning disk allows data scientists to efficiently ask any question of the data. Traditional systems tend to archive older data to tape based systems. This makes speculative examination of the data prohibitively expensive. The Hadoop ecosystem of large scale compute and storage coupled with Apache Oozie‘s ability to chain complex processing jobs together that publish results to accessible, structured storage in Apache Hive and Apache HBase is allowing Skybox to create a sensor network that takes the pulse of the planet 24×7.About Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging is a commercial, remote sensing start-up revolutionizing access to information that describes daily activity on our planet. Founded in 2009 and backed by leading venture firms, the company is designing, manufacturing, and operating the worldâ€™s first coordinated constellation of high-resolution microsatellites. With its constellation, Skybox will deliver timely, global imagery and video as well as an analytics platform capable of creating new sources of value from such data. Skybox is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and was named to MIT Technology Reviewâ€™s â€śTop 50 Most Innovative Companiesâ€ť for 2012. For more information, visit www.skyboximaging.com or follow Skybox Imaging on Twitter.
Earlier this month the Apache Hadoop PMC released Apache Hadoop 2.0.2-alpha, which fixes over 600 issues since the previous release in the 2.0 series, 2.0.1-alpha, back in July. This is a tremendous rate of development, of which all contributors to the project should feel proud.
Some of the more noteworthy changes in this release include:
- HDFS HA supports automatic failover using ZooKeeper (HDFS-3042).
- The FUSE-DFS module now supports secure HDFS clusters (HDFS-3568).
- The (non-standard) Kerberos over SSL has been replaced with SPNEGO for image transfers and for secure HDFS web access in general (HDFS-2617).
- SASL encryption can be enabled for block data transfers in HDFS (HDFS-3637), and the MapReduce shuffle can be encrypted using HTTPS (MAPREDUCE-4417). There is also HTTPS support for the web UIs (HADOOP-8581).
- A new type of Hadoop Metric, a quantile metric, has been added to provide latency histograms for various HDFS metrics (HDFS-3650).
- The Capacity Scheduler now supports delay scheduling (YARN-80).
- There are various performance improvements including support for fadvise in the shuffle handler (MAPREDUCE-3289) and datanode (HDFS-3697)
- YARN is now a subproject of Hadoop (YARN-1). The separation will make it easier for folks who want to write YARN applications that are independent of MapReduce. (See Harsh Chouraria’s “MR2 and YARN Briefly Explained” post for more on the relationship between YARN and MapReduce.)
You can download the release from an Apache mirror. Alternatively, you can try CDH 4.1, since it includes most of the changes from Apache Hadoop 2.0.2-alpha. Note that MR2 in CDH 4.1 is still experimentalâ€”in line with the Apache releaseâ€”however MR1 in CDH 4.1 is stable and fully supported in production.A Note on Release Numbering
Historically the numbering of Apache Hadoop releases has been somewhat confusing, but things have improved since the Hadoop community voted to adopt 1.x for the current stable branch (renamed from the 0.20.x series) and the 2.x branch for the new line of development (previously 0.23.x), which is still currently unstable as mentioned above.
Some confusion lingers in that there is still an 0.23 branch which is still producing releases (Robert Evans is the release manager). However this branch is a special case: it is an earlier version of the branch-2 line that Yahoo! is using to stabilize YARN for their own use, with plans to move to a 2.x sometime next year. The Yahoo! Hadoop team are also backporting fixes in the 2.x branch to the 0.23 branch as needed, and of course all changes that go into 0.23 go into trunk and 2.x first, so all the valuable stabilization work they are doing will benefit future 2.x releases.Â From a feature point of view, the biggest difference between 0.23 and 2.x is that 0.23 lacks HDFS High Availability.Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the many people from many different organizations who contributed to this releaseâ€”from the smallest bug report to the largest feature, all contributions are appreciated. Also, thanks to Arun C Murthy who acted as release manager for this release.