Rails Roadshow Recap

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, but the Rails Performance in the Cloud Roadshow is complete, and we’re all back home! We had a great time getting out and meeting customers and prospects, and, of course, talking about cloud performance. If you missed it, or just want a refresher, the Engine Yard Cloud slide deck is now available.

Attendee James McElhiney beat me to the punch with his review, but I still wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how things went.

We started with Boston, and then moved to Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles and Seattle. Our partners Amazon Web Services, CVSDude, New Relic and Soasta joined us for the trip, meeting with various customers, developers and managers. The crowd was varied, highly technical, and despite the early-morning start, had great energy.

The Roadshow was all about performance, and between the presentations and audience questions, we covered close to everything you’d need to know to meet and exceed your performance goals. Some specifics:

Tom Mornini and I presented Engine Yard’s value proposition, along with a live demo of the Engine Yard Cloud platform. Tom focused on end-user performance and the very significant impact it can have on business metrics, while I went into detail on some performance metrics that should be relevant to all rails developers, highlighting how Engine Yard Cloud can help users scale in the cloud.

Next New Relic walked us through RPM, and how they use it internally to monitor, well, RPM. Self-referential coolness aside, it was a great way to see how a tool can help you identify the bottlenecks in your application, while still remaining easy to setup and maintain. When the first audience question started with “I’m signing up for your service even as I ask this…” we knew things were on the right track.

CVSDude’s Willie Wang presented on enterprise-grade source control management, and how their solutions can help achieve agility in deployments. This is a key component of performance optimization—agile deployments enable us to fix performance problems faster and deliver features to customers more effectively. With Git support in their near-term roadmap, CVSDude was a great addition for our Rails audience.

Many of the attendees were customers of Amazon AWS, and Mike Culver’s presentations described the value proposition of AWS very well. The Amazon team had a busy week—with newly announced services, instance types and a price reduction (which we at Engine Yard immediately passed along to our customers). As expected, a lot of the questions were around their new announcements, and Mike explained how each of these increased the value proposition of cloud computing even more.

Finally, Soasta’s Dave Murphy had a great presentation on load testing using Soasta Cloud Test. Some of his numbers were particularly impressive—seeing them use cloud infrastructure to deploy multi-million user load tests on live production environments really brought home the value of using the cloud model. Tools like CloudTest, in conjunction with Engine Yard, can make it trivial for users to test deployments that would have been impossible to test before.

For me personally, the roadshow was a great way to meet customers, developers and spend cycles understanding their needs better. The biggest takeaway for me was that customers really care about scalability, but realize that they add most value by focusing on user happiness. This was exactly the philosophy we used while designing Engine Yard Cloud—we want you to continue to focus on features that add value to your products, and leave all your scalability, performance and agility needs to the Engine Yard Cloud platform.

If you missed the Roadshow, be sure to register for our upcoming Engine Yard Cloud Demo Webinar; I’ll be walking through some of the topics covered at the Roadshow and taking questions.

We look forward to visiting more cities soon. Until then, enjoy the presentations, and send us your comments and feedback!