Cloudwatch Metrics on Engine Yard

Since the introduction of T2 instance types from AWS, our customers have wanted a solution to see their compute credits. Monitoring this continuously changing metric, outside of our own platform, presented a lot of challenges to us. Luckily, AWS handles the brunt of this load for us through their CloudWatch service.

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Disaster Recovery on Engine Yard Cloud, the Cold Standby Edition

We get a lot of requests for disaster recovery, but what exactly is D/R? D/R can mean different things depending on your business needs. Most people think of D/R as a hot standby, but it can also be a cold standby if that meets your business requirements. The process starts with asking yourself a few questions about business needs. How much downtime can we tolerate? How much data can we stand to lose? How much money are we willing to spend? If the answers to the first two questions are minutes and none, then you’ll need a hot standby which we’ll cover in a follow up blog post. If the answers are several hours and some data, then a cold standby may be the most cost effective option for your business. The following is an introduction to setting up a cold standby on Engine Yard Cloud. For the purpose of this post, we are just going to focus on a simple application with a relational database.

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Connect with your Customers in Seoul

Here at Engine Yard, we recognize the importance of data accessibility and the importance of Region availability. The ability to provision instances through the Engine Yard platform around the globe allows clients to target specific users in geographic regions. In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, latency becomes a huge issue, especially with target markets in non-US territories. With this in mind, we’re happy to announce the Seoul, South Korea AWS region is generally available to all our customers starting today.

This region opens up huge opportunities to companies and applications that have direct target market in the Southeast Asia and Korean peninsula. Now you can be as close as possible to your end users, lowering latency and avoiding data transfer woes that might come with datacenters much further away. The Seoul region has two availability zones, allowing applications to be redundant across the AWS region, as well as allowing for auto-heal between availability zones. The region will function similarly to how Engine Yard offers other regions, with built in database backups and snapshots taken and held for you automatically. The Seoul datacenter will also have access to a majority of the newest instance sizes available from AWS as well as VPC enabling for all clients. Pairing this with Engine Yard’s twenty-four by seven support, you can accurately reach your end users like you’re in their backyard, even if you’re on the other side of the world.

You can read more about the AWS Korea region here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160106006789/en/Amazon-Web-Services-Launches-Korean-Datacenters-Cloud

To access the new region, simply create a new environment in any standard accounts with VPC-enabled by default.. If you’re interested in creating a new account with Engine Yard, please send an email to customersuccess@engineyard.com.

EngineYard.com: Remastered

The Engine Yard website has gone through a lot of changes in our history, and I’m happy to announce another makeover.

To get the job done, we partnered up with our friends at Cloud City. We’ve worked with them before, and they really get who we are and what we do. From the Engine Yard side, we wanted to get broad input from across the business, and involved people from our support team, DBA team, engineering team, and management.

Our main goal was to make it easier for folks to sign up and get started.

A secondary goal was to make sure our messaging was clear that we are, first and foremost, a provider of operational tools on top of AWS.

We also wanted to address some popular misconception about the price of our offerings. Because when you compare Engine Yard like-for-like with other PaaS providers, we often provide the better value for money!

In addition, Engine Yard has been around for more than eight years, and right from the start we’ve had a reputation for community involvement and deep Ruby on Rails expertise. That’s such an important part of Engine Yard’s DNA, and we felt we could do a better job of communicating it.

Hopefully, our new website addresses all these things and more. And while I know some folks might love it, or hate it, or love to hate it—we are trying something new.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to name our mascot: Pat the Panda. Pat has been a part of Engine Yard for years, but sadly never had an official name until now. So expect to see Pat popping up around the site.

You can look forward to some follow-up posts on the new website design. In the meantime, we welcome feedback. So take a look around, and let me know what you think.

Introducing Our New API

A public facing API has been a much requested feature of Engine Yard Cloud. We’ve had this feature available for quite a long time, but this API has a number of drawbacks. Some time ago, we decided that it was time for something new. We call it the Core API.

Why do we call it the Core API?

Well, because this API presents an interface to the core of our product!

We have been using this internally for quite some time, and it has gone through a number of major revisions. Finally, we are happy with the stability and decided it was time to release it to our customers.

If you’re currently using our existing API, this one is a bit different but hopefully easier to use. We do plan to retire the existing API, however we don’t have a set date for retirement at this time.

We’ve written a Ruby gem, ey-core, that makes working with our new API a breeze. It’s an open source gem, and if you would like to make improvements, we welcome your contributions! Head along to the GitHub repository to get started.

The purpose of this post is to look at the API design and help familiarize you with the tooling we already have in place, as well as help you get started creating your own tooling if you desire.

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