All posts by ElasticBox

Build A Kanye-fidence App and Deploy it on AWS

kanyefidence

Kanye West, a man who is so confident that he often likes to compare himself to Jesus, is here today to enlighten you (and your ego) with some words of wisdom. Introducing the ElasticBox Kanye-fidence App, which was recently featured on USA today. This App will boost your self esteem by using direct quotes from interviews that are then paired with Kanye pictures! What more could you possibly ask for?  Read More

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Docker as a Service – Announcing Docker in ElasticBox

elasticbox-docker

ElasticBox is pleased to announce the integration of Docker in ElasticBox as a service that provides another means to deliver applications and services to your cloud resources. With this integration, we’re making it easier than ever for you to add Docker to your DevOps toolkit, alongside Cloudformation, Puppet, Chef, etc. Read More

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Deploying Apps on Google Compute Engine using ElasticBox – How To Configure Networks, Firewalls and Disks

Part 1 of a two part blog post that shows you how we deploy MongoDB Clusters across different providers. Part 1 will cover Disks, Networks, Firewalls, and Tags. Part 2 will focus on network tunnels, routers and connecting VPCs.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, ElasticBox relies on MongoDB clusters internally for our data needs. In order to create redundancy and high availability for our production MongoDB databases, we deploy them in a VPC on AWS and Private Network on Google Compute Engine across different regions. For anyone who’s had the pleasure of trying to configure such a network, you’ll know that it’s no easy feat.

As we started to work on this scenario, we realized that there were better ways to utilize the available services and configurations from Google Cloud Platform and AWS. So today we’re releasing new features that enable full networking support for Google Compute Engine. Specifically, we’ve made changes to  deployment profiles – our default tool for configuring infrastructure – to make better use of Tags, Firewalls Rules, and Routes. While we were at it, we also introduced the ability to specify disk size.

Here are some the production scenarios we have enabled with this update:

  • Deploying machines with specific sets of rules for security purposes or to restrict public access (public IP address)
  • Using either Tags or Firewalls for configuration purposes to make it easier to choose the right settings
  • Specifying Ephemeral IP or IP forwarding configurations
  • Connecting instances in VPCs or private networks (more coming soon)

To demonstrate the changes we’ve made to our deployment profiles to enable better use of Networks and Disks, we’ll be looking at our MongoDB Replica Box. Which, if you caught our previous post on ‘How To Deploy a MongoDB Cluster,’ you’ll know that the MongoDB Replica Box is a replica instance of the Master MongoDB Box.

Tags and Firewalls:

When deploying an instance of MongoDB on your GCE account, you want to enable certain types of traffic to that instance, and so you might use a specific firewall(s) or tag which you would then associate with that instance when deploying.

When configuring your deployment profile, you can choose which firewall you’d like to use by choosing either the firewall, which will then present the associated Tag, or by choosing the Tag instead. This gives you two options for specifying the network configurations for that instance.

In the case of Tags, we’re using what Google Compute called ‘targetTags’, defined as “A list of instance tags that specify which instances on the network can accept requests from the specified sources. If not specified, this firewall rule applies to all instances on this network.”

For Google Compute Engine, you can now use the ElasticBox Deployment profile to specify disk size. Simply turn on the disks feature in the Deployment Profile and specify the disk size you would like to use. You can also add multiple disks if you like.  As a side note, Google recently announced the general availability of SSD persistent disks for all users and projects.

These upgrades to the ElasticBox deployment profile make it much easier to enable the complex scenarios of managing production instances on multiple providers, configuring networks and connecting VPCs. In the next blog post on this topic, we’ll be covering how to connect the MongoDB Cluster instances we have deployed in VPCs across multiple providers such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure.

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ElasticBox Meetup at Netflix HQ

netlfix logo

Join us for an ElasticBox Meetup, April 29th, at Netflix HQ. The ElasticBox team will be presenting the latest version of ElasticBox and the Netflix team will showcase how it uses ElasticBox every day to develop, deploy, and manage internally developed applications that support Netflix’s internal operations and lines of business. Both groups will be available to answer any questions you may have. Thanks to the team at Netflix for hosting us at this event!

Schedule:

6:15 to 6:45: Social / food & drinks

6:45 to 7:15: Introduction to ElasticBox

7:15 to 7:45: How Netflix uses ElasticBox

7:45 to 8:15: Extended Q&A

If you have a specific subject you would like us to cover, please tell us in the meetup comments so that we can adapt our presentation accordingly. Note due to space constraints, we will need to cap attendance at 150 people, for those unable to attend in person we will be streaming the event via Google Hangout.

Cant’t make it this time? Join our Cloudaholics Meetup group to stay up to date on all our upcoming Meetups.

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Docker Meetup at ElasticBox

We’re pleased to announce that ElasticBox is hosting a Docker Meetup on Wednesday, March 5th at 6:00pm. For those who aren’t familiar with Docker, it is an open source project where application components can be isolated as portable, lightweight containers ready to run on virtually any environment.

Docker is one of the many deployment and configuration management tools that can be used in ElasticBox. On March 5th you’ll get an overview of ElasticBox and Docker, as well as get a chance to see how Docker can be used in ElasticBox to deploy applications right away.

If you’re a developer that deploys and manages cloud applications small and large, come learn more about two awesome new products that can revolutionize your workflow.

What to Expect

On March 5th, we’ll show you how to get up and running with Docker and ElasticBox in just minutes. The schedule will be as follows:

6:00 to 6:30: Social / food & drinks

6:30 to 7:00: Introduction to Docker

7:00 to 7:30 What’s new in the last release + Docker Demo

7:30 to 8:00: Advanced Q&A and lightning talks*

*Lightning talks

- How to use Docker in ElasticBox (Containers in Boxes)

- How Shippable is leveraging docker for its CI service

We’ll start with a brief overview of ElasticBox and demo some awesome new features. We’ll also highlight two examples of how you can use ElasticBox and Docker to deploy applications right away.

First we’ll be showing you how we use Docker, Apache and Github to deploy and serve a static web page on AWS. Then we’ll demonstrate how you can deploy and manage a complex multi-tiered application. Those of you who are experienced with managing complex n-tier applications will find this portion of the Meetup extremely exciting.

See You There

Initially we opened the Meetup to only 75 attendees. But due to incredible demand, we have decided to double the capacity to 150 awesome developers!

Make sure you RSVP for the Meetup before we reach capacity. We promise that this will be a great opportunity to learn about exciting new tools in the development and virtual infrastructure space.

Details

Where:

ElasticBox HQ (at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real)

800 West El Camino Real, Suite #240 (2nd floor)

Mountain View, CA 94040

Free parking is available onsite – the entrance is on High School Way between Castro Street and Oak Street

When: 6pm-8pm

Expect plenty of pizza, soda, beer and awesome gear from both Docker and ElasticBox.

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ElasticBox At DeveloperWeek

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It’s February and DeveloperWeek is just around the corner. For us at ElasticBox, there’s love in the air—our love for making developers’ lives easier that is! Come find us at DeveloperWeek Expo, Feb 18-19.

Why Not Join Us?

Want to attend DeveloperWeek but don’t already have a pass? Turns out we have a few extra floating around. We are giving away 6 complete passes, which give you access to the following: conference sessions, keynote & open talks, expo, week-long series of events and hiring mixer. To join us, tweet why you should win with #ElasticBox AND #DeveloperWeek and we’ll pick our favorites!

Developer Edition Sneak Peek

At DeveloperWeek, we’ll be showcasing the Developer Edition, which is currently in a limited beta. We’ve already received incredible feedback and are eager to hear more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching two major features, which are sure to completely blow people away (at least that’s what folks in the usability session are saying:)). Come be the first to get a sneak peak at DeveloperWeek!

We Love You

As a developer focused organization, there’s nothing more exciting than talking one-on-one about your development challenges and unique use cases. We love to help you solve hard problems, and create opportunities to improve your workflow.

Powered by Boxes

See how ElasticBox can transform the way you develop today by using boxes and their powerful capabilities:

  • Leverage plug-and-play box configurations from a catalog of the latest platforms, language runtimes, and tools to define new or existing applications.
  • Define boxes once but reuse them multiple times across environments like dev, test, and production.
  • Share box configurations to collaborate with others in the developer community.
  • Go cloud-ready in minutes by deploying to any public, private, or hybrid provider you choose.

DeveloperWeek Schedule

Take a peek of these features and more. Swing by the E4 booth and visit us Feb 18-19. We’ll have plenty of neat-o t-shirts to give away.

Here’s what’s on the roster at DeveloperWeek:

Our goal is to give you the power and speed you need to innovate and go to market faster. That’s the promise we’re delivering this valentine’s season. Come connect with us at DeveloperWeek. We hope to see you there!

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Wow! What a Year!

hero_year_review

2013 was pretty great in general, but here at ElasticBox, it was downright incredible.

This year, we entered the market with a single goal of meeting the needs of enterprises and developers tasked with taking applications to the cloud. We were thrilled to hear you say things like, “this is incredibly powerful” and “this is exactly what we needed.” With your help and support, we have been given the opportunity to build a product that meets your needs.

We expect 2014 to only get better as more and more Enterprises and Developers adopt our solution. This year, we’ll be counting on your feedback to completely surpass your expectations with ElasticBox. To properly celebrate, we want to thank you again, by extending an invitation to the ElasticBox Beta Developer Edition.

In case you missed it, the Beta ElasticBox Developer Edition is a free, single-user version of the ElasticBox enterprise solution. Based on the incredible feedback we’ve received this past year, we want to support developers around the world by providing them with the same powerful tools our enterprise customers love.

With the Developer Edition, you can innovate and rapidly develop cloud applications rather than manage underlying virtual infrastructure. As a single developer or bootstrapped startup, we know how difficult taking your application to the cloud can be. We want to make that process seamless.

We hope you enjoy the Beta ElasticBox Developer Edition as much as we do. Thank you for being a part of the ElasticBox community. It’s people like you that make our journey so fantastic.

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Thinking Inside the Box

Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending quite a bit of my time familiarizing myself with the new Developer Edition of Elasticbox and while it’s still in Beta I thought I might give a few highlights for those of you who weren’t able to see the preview at AWS re:Invent.

The biggest news is the release itself! Elasticbox Developer Edition is a new product that we’re releasing in addition to our Enterprise Edition. The Enterprise Edition will continue to provide a rich set of enterprise class features such as public and private cloud support, LDAP/AD integration, users/roles/groups, and usage policies. Meanwhile the Developer Edition features a single user SAS experience that has the same powerful set of capabilities when it comes to deploying and managing applications to the public cloud.What really has me excited though are some of the new features we’re introducing in both versions.

The core building blocks in ElasticBox are “boxes” and we’ve made some exciting new changes to how they work. First a definition.  A box is a set of files and/or scripts along with metadata that can be applied to compute resource. For instance I could define a “Java” box that contains the necessary files/scripts to install java onto a generic linux image. It might use Puppet or Chef to accomplish this, or it might be a simple bash script. Regardless of how I implement it, it would represent a unit of configuration, a building block if you will, that I can combine and re-use with other boxes to build an application stack. From that point on anytime I wanted to define and deploy an application that required java I would only have to reference this box. For instance I might build a Websphere or Tomcat box that requires java and rather than duplicating my previous efforts  I can simply use the java box I built to fulfill this requirement.  This concept of “stacking” box allows Elasticbox to provide a truly modular way to define applications.

Another feature we’ve introduced is box versioning. If a new or updated version of java is released (and we all know it will be) we can simply create a new version of our java box and selectively update our application stacks to use it where appropriate. I can even update my application instances on the fly and save those changes as a new box version, and all of this is done in a way that keeps our application stack decoupled from the cloud provider. The application stack I’ve created will deploy equally as well regardless of what provider I choose, whether it’s AWS, Google Compute, OpenStack, Rackspace, HP Cloud, Openstack, or VMWare.

I hope in the weeks ahead as we open up beta registration for our new Developer Edition you take some time to sign up and see how thinking inside the box can help you deploy and manage your applications. Update: Developer Edition is now live!

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We’re Hiring Developers!

Want to be part of a fun family? See what it’s like to work at ElasticBox. We’re looking for kick-ass developers like you to join our growing team. Check out our openings. We want to hear from you!

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