An Architect's View

CFML, Clojure, Software Design, Frameworks and more...

An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as hosted

Try Railo hosting for free

May 29, 2009 ·

Alurium's Peter Amiri just announced 60-day free trial accounts that offer Railo with full Web Administrator capability, so you can see how Railo works for you without even needing to install it yourself! Sounds good? Visit Alurium and click on the 60 Day Free Trial badge on the home page to sign up!

Tags: coldfusion · hosted · railo

Living in the Cloud

February 10, 2009 ·

I submitted a talk on cloud computing to Scotch on the Road 2009 and just discovered that it has also been accepted for CFUNITED 2009. The talk will cover what it took to migrate Broadchoice's ColdFusion-based CMS (our "Community Platform") from a traditional data center to Amazon EC2, what sort of application design issues you need to consider and what it's like to live in the clouds. Here's the talk abstract:
The dream of cloud computing is cheap, scalable, on-demand power. What is it really like to run your production applications up in the cloud? What are the design issues you will face? How could you migrate from a traditional data center? Broadchoice runs its two main products on Amazon EC2 and uses S3 for persistent storage. Come and find out how we did it and the challenges we faced along the way - and why we like Amazon as a hosting environment!

Tags: cfunited09 · coldfusion · hosted · scotch09

ColdFusion in the Cloud Revisited

January 09, 2009 ·

About a month ago, I talked about my experience of setting up clustered ColdFusion instances on EC2. Since then we have migrated the Broadchoice Web Platform completely from a regular data center, where it had lived since launch, to the Amazon cloud and now all of the * sites and all of our client sites based on the Web Platform are happily running in the cloud. We've been very pleased with the performance and stability of EC2 so far and we're comfortable about scaling out as demand increases. We took advantage of Amazon's EBS (Elastic Block Storage) that allows you to mount S3 storage directly as part of the file system on EC2. This essentially replaces the NAS we were using in the data center where all uploaded files were placed. We run two ColdFusion instances on a medium EC2 instance and run MySQL on a separate EC2 instance (actually on the instance that is currently running our AIR application, the Broadchoice Workspace for Salesforce, along with its MySQL database). We replicate the MySQL databases to another server (in a data center) so that we can restore / recover in the event of a problem with EC2. We also run scheduled backups of the EC2 instances to S3. As I noted in my earlier entry, we're using Apache and the JRun Connector to manage the two instance cluster and failover. I'm still suspicious of the connector due to past experience but so far it has been behaving well and when we restart instances for maintenance, we're generally seeing uninterrupted service, from a user's point of view, as requests silently failover to the other instance. If you're interested in running ColdFusion in the cloud, you'll need to talk to Adobe about licensing (either Adam Lehman or Kristen Schofield) but they are being very encouraging because they want this to happen. The more of us who do this, the better the argument they can present internally to get the EULA changed to support ColdFusion running in the cloud! If you want to learn more about how we handled the migration and/or what to watch out for when designing applications that run well on the cloud, feel free to contact me via this blog or directly (c'mon, you know my email address!).

Tags: adobe · coldfusion · hosted · saas

2008 in review

January 04, 2009 ·

As "usual", I start the year with a round-up of the highlights of last year, based on things that I blogged. It's been a strange year for me. After (seven) years with Macromedia / Adobe and most of 2007 spent freelancing, I took a full-time job with a startup and hired some amazing CFers to be part of my team. I (finally) learned Flex (and AIR). I learned a new language (Groovy) and did a lot less CFML programming than I've done in years while at the same time joining first the Open BlueDragon Steering Committee and then the CFML Advisory Committee, as well as attending more ColdFusion-related conferences than usual (cf.Objective(), Scotch on the Rocks, CFUNITED, Wee Dram of Scotch, MAX).

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Tags: adobemax08 · air · bacfug · bluedragon · broadchoice · cfdevcon08 · cfml-advisory · cfobjective · cfunited08 · cfunited09 · coldfusion · coldspring · edmund · flex · fusebox · grails · hosted · iphone · openbd · oss · personal · railo · ria · saas · scotch08 · tdd · weedram08

ColdFusion in the Cloud (and clustering)

December 13, 2008 ·

This week has seen my focus shift back from ActionScript / Groovy to ColdFusion, although not specifically programming in CFML. A couple of blogs have been buzzing about the pros and cons (and plain ol' whys) of running ColdFusion in the cloud, such as on Amazon's EC2 service. Obviously you can run Open BlueDragon or Railo without worrying about cost but for many people, only Adobe ColdFusion will really do what they need and the current EULA does not really accommodate that (partly because the "per 2 CPU" aspect doesn't cover the Amazon situation where you simply don't know how many physical CPUs you actually have!).

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Tags: adobe · broadchoice · coldfusion · hosted · openbd · railo · saas

CFML in the Cloud

December 05, 2008 ·

I was just reading a couple of blog posts about deploying Open BlueDragon in the cloud (I started with Matt Woodward's extended blog post on cloud computing) and they've gone as far as integrating OpenBD into Elastic Server - a service that lets you easily configure a server instance based on a number of resources. Very impressive. Broadchoice Workspace is deployed on the cloud and whilst most of the machinery is Java/Groovy behind the Flex/AIR application, we also have the iPhone-compatible web version which is powered by CFML. It's a Model-Glue 3 / ColdSpring application that reuses the core Groovy services (via a Spring adapter that Joe Rinehart wrote). So we've been running CFML in the cloud in production for nearly two months now and it's working out really well for us. We're using Railo 3.0, another option for cloud computing. Adobe have said that cloud deployment is something they want to make possible with ColdFusion so at some point we'll have an embarrassment of riches in terms of choices for CFML in the cloud. Who else is using CFML in the cloud today? Who is thinking about doing so?

Tags: air · broadchoice · coldfusion · flex · hosted · iphone · openbd · oss · railo · saas

Adobe Photoshop Express

March 27, 2008 ·

I might as well mention it because everyone else has... Adobe released a beta version of Adobe Photoshop Express last night. It's a slick Flex-based consumer-targeted photo-editing / -sharing service. Free, lots of storage, lots of cool Photoshop-inspired effects and tools, share your photos with your friends. It's what Flickr would be if it was created by a multimedia company instead of your regular Web 2.0 crowd. Kudos to Adobe for getting out there in the Software-as-a-Service market with another cool Flex-based offering, showing what the technology can really do. My only grumble was the length of time it took for my verification email to arrive (which may not have been Adobe's fault). Once I was in, uploading, touching up and sharing photos was a breeze. A great experience!

Tags: adobe · hosted · saas

Sean Corfield joins Broadchoice, Inc.

February 15, 2008 ·

For immediate release

On-Demand Services Attract In-Demand Architect

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. -- Feb. 16, 2008 -- Sean Corfield today announced that he will be joining Broadchoice, Inc. headquartered in San Mateo, California as their Chief Systems Architect and Vice President of Engineering. In this new position, Corfield will oversee the evolution of Broadchoice's Digital Marketing Manager™ platform, expanding the capabilities and scaling the on-demand service to meet the ever-increasing customer base. Corfield said "Broadchoice has a really gifted team that has already created a winning service, used by companies such as Cisco. I'm excited to be part of that team and to have the opportunity to really take the platform to a new level." Broadchoice's Digital Marketing Manager™ is created and powered by Adobe technologies.

Richard Bennion, Broadchoice Founder & CTO, is a long-time advocate of ColdFusion and has been a pioneer in digital marketing for twenty years. "Bennion's energy and enthusiasm was key in attracting me to this role," said Corfield, "and he and I share an enthusiasm for great experiences created by great technology."

Also joining the Broadchoice team is Luke Kilpatrick, co-manager of the Bay Area ColdFusion User Group (BACFUG) and manager of Fire on the Bay, an Adobe Fireworks User Group serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Kilpatrick brings a wealth of experience in UI development and content management systems to the Broadchoice team. Corfield said "Kilpatrick's a friend of mine and I'm looking forward to having him on my team."

About Sean Corfield
Sean Corfield has been a freelance consultant since leaving the Hosted Services group at Adobe Systems, Inc. in April 2007 and was formerly the Senior Architect for the IT division of Macromedia, Inc. for almost six years. Prior to joining Macromedia, Corfield drove the architecture of a number of high-traffic, high-profile websites for a diverse group of companies after working on the ANSI J16 C++ Standards Committee for eight years and building compilers, interpreters and runtime systems. He is also manager of BACFUG and a frequent speaker at ColdFusion conferences around the world, as well as a contributor to a number of open source ColdFusion projects.

About Broadchoice, Inc.
Broadchoice is the leader in providing on-demand marketing solutions for the enterprise. The Digital Marketing Manager™ platform provides a fully integrated, enterprise application for web content management, enterprise marketing management and channel partner management.

For those who aren't sure, this is intended to be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek announcement but the news is real. I start the new job on Monday, February 18th, and I'm looking forward to hiring some of the best talent to help me grow a very exciting product! Stay tuned!

Tags: bacfug · broadchoice · coldfusion · hosted · personal

Thank you Apple and Google

January 16, 2008 ·

Some people were not very excited about Apple's keynote yesterday but the 1.1.3 firmware update for the iPhone is plenty enough for me, along with Google's updated mobile apps. I use Gmail a lot on my iPhone and one of my clients has standardized on Google Mail/Docs for their communications so I'm constantly reading mail and documents on my iPhone. Gmail was OK on the iPhone and Google Docs was bearable but Google Reader was a nightmare. At the weekend, I noticed Gmail suddenly got a lot nicer with a very iPhone-style UI, sliding panels between labels and mail. Great... now what about the other apps? Tuesday night, I got home from said client's site and eagerly updated my iPhone firmware. The new "location" feature in the Maps application is very sweet (and seems sufficiently accurate for my needs). Then I started reorganizing my home screen. Screens. That's when I noticed that Google had updated most of its apps to be iPhone-friendly. Google Docs makes a great reader now, even for fairly large spreadsheets. Google Reader is a huge improvement! So now my iPhone has:
  • 43actions - a great little GTD (Getting Things Done) task manager
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clock - with 10 cities
  • Maps
  • Notes
  • Stocks
  • Weather
Followed by: Then my menu bar is:
  • Mail
  • Phone
  • Safari
  • Settings
On screen two, I have a row of games: Then my multimedia tools:
  • Camera
  • iTunes
  • iPod
  • Photos
  • Text
  • YouTube
And, yes, they are in alphabetical groups. Call me anal retentive and see if I care! Anyway, a big thank you to Apple and Google (and those games companies) for making my iPhone an even more lovable and addictive little toy!

Tags: blogging · hosted · iphone · osx · personal

Xmas comes early at Adobe

December 14, 2007 ·

I've had my head down working hard on client projects lately and finally got some time this evening to catch up on blogs. Wow! Adobe sure has been busy! AIR Beta 3, AIR extensions/updates for Flash CS3 and Dreamweaver CS3, Flex 3 Beta 3, BlazeDS, Brio Beta, Flash Player 9 Update... Good grief! I just installed the new Flex Builder plugin but won't get a chance to put it through its paces for a few days. The AIR installer is sitting on my desktop and I'm just about to install the updated Flash Player. Oh, and I have my Brio account but haven't had time to play with that either. Maybe Adobe think we need something to keep us busy over the holidays? Check out Adobe Labs to see what you might be missing!

Tags: adobe · air · connect · flex · hosted · oss