Ruby, the Cloud, and Open Standards

At Engine Yard we have always adhered to a strong belief that open, community-based innovation and standards are the future of computing. We created our platform around Ruby and Rails not just because of their substantial technical merits and open source roots, but also because of the vibrant community surrounding them. Our entire stack is open source, and where standards exist we adopt them. We are laser-focused on providing the best Platform-as-a-Service out there, runnable on multiple infrastructures and supporting the options our customers demand.

In the early days of an emerging technology, attempts to define standards will simply be ignored at best or engender cynicism at worst. But there comes a time where fundamentals are sufficiently understood and optimized that it’s in the industry’s best interests to agree on a standard. Players can then compete on implementations of the standard or move on to compete in newer areas. We’re seeing this begin to happen in the foundational layers of cloud technology, and with the OpenStack standard in particular.

OpenStack is a set of three open source projects/APIs for managing cloud infrastructure: OpenStack Compute, OpenStack Object Storage, and OpenStack Image Service. The Compute API includes the primitives for orchestrating cloud infrastructure, including spinning up and down virtual machines as well as networking, authentication, live migration, etc. It is hypervisor-agnostic, supporting VMware ESX, Xen, Hyper-V, and others. Object Storage is an API for storing data objects in a reliable way, and the Image Service is a layer above Object Storage (or other storage) for managing virtual machine images. All of these projects address important infrastructure-level capabilities that Engine Yard leverages in providing our users with automation and control.

We see standardization at the infrastructure level as a great thing for customers and the industry. We are excited about the community momentum building around the OpenStack standard, exemplified by today’s announcement by Citrix, and we look forward to enabling the Engine Yard platform in the future to run on OpenStack-based infrastructures.

Keep your seatbelt on for a continuing fast ride with cloud, but take comfort in knowing that the suspension is getting stronger by the day!


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