First look: Zend's PHP developer cloud

Zend Developer Cloud woos PHP developers with enterprise-grade development features, snapshots for easy recovery and project sharing, and the promise of single-click cloud deployment

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Zend Developer Cloud: Compelling cloud development
Security is always a concern when dealing with the cloud. That is no less the case here, though ZDC is a development system, not a deployment system. When you create a container, ZDC creates an SSH key pair, which you use to tunnel into your container for synchronizing your local copy of your application's source to the copy on the cloud. Nevertheless, there are plenty of news reports of compromised cloud services, and although we're certain the engineers at Zend have made every effort to protect ZDC, developer concern is not unwarranted.

As mentioned at the outset, ZDC is in beta, so pieces are missing. Some of the documentation is still under construction. For example, there is no information in the documentation concerning snapshots. How many can you take? Are they accounted against your disk storage quota? Do snapshots have lifetimes? More importantly, once you have your application working on ZDS, how do you move it to one of the Zend partners' sites? Not only is this information missing from the documentation, but deployment infrastructure is still under construction. We're told the Zend engineers are working on a simple one-button deployment from ZDC to a production system, and we hope it's available soon.

Much of what you can do in the Zend Developer Cloud is accomplished by assembling individual components yourself. ZDC's attraction is that it does much of that legwork for you. Add to that the enterprise-level instance of Zend Server and the ease with which you can take and share snapshots, and the Zend Developer Cloud is a compelling option for PHP developers.

Zend Developer Cloud (beta) at a glance

Pros
  • Access to Zend Server's rich development features
  • Snapshot feature provides easy recovery and easy sharing of projects
  • Gallery provides easy installation of well-known PHP platforms
Cons
  • Documentation still under construction
  • Limited to one MySQL database (in the free version; might be different in paid version)
  • Simplified deployment scheme still to be worked out

This article, "First look: Zend's PHP developer cloud," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development, PHP, and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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