Engine Yard, which has specialized in Ruby on Rails application-hosting, is introducing Wednesday a platform to extend SOA to the cloud. The company also is extending its Rails stack to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform, for quicker deployment of Engine Yard customer applications.
Technologies being unveiled include Vertebra, an open source SOA platform for developing and managing secure cloud applications, and Solo, a deployment service to run the Engine Yard Rails stack on Amazon's system.
[ InfoWorld's Test Center examines the trend of more and more services entering the cloud through Amazon in "Can Capgemini convince enterprises to trust the cloud?" | See also: Burton Group analyst Anne Thomas Manes wrote an "obituary" for SOA. ]
Vertebra is intended to orchestrate communication and coherent operations among autonomous agents in many clouds, the company said. The service "future-proofs" for the clouds of tomorrow, according to Engine Yard. Featured is a framework for building cloud-specific applications.
"Vertebra is a way of breaking down applications into small components that can run across many, many servers, and the work can be dispatched across those servers," said Tom Mornini, CTO at Engine Yard. Applications can be sent to servers responsible for the data related to those applications, he said.
Distributed, real-time applications can be built via Vertebra, Engine Yard said. The platform can embrace differences of many clouds and automate processes and application management. The service is initially built to manage customer applications running on the Engine Yard cloud.
Features include XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) infrastructure, which supports instant messaging (IM). Also highlighted are a security and discovery agent to manage security policy and a process automation agent to orchestrate operational tasks involving machines and people.
An analyst lauded the IM technology in Vertebra.
"I think [Vertebra is] very innovative and it's an interesting use of IM for machine-to-machine communication," said Jay Lyman, open source analyst at The 451 Group. The open source nature of Vertebra also could help it, he added. Engine Yard said it is using XMPP for distributed communications.
Other features include a system provisioning registry for applications to become self-organizing and a federated design enabling applications to operate seamlessly similar to e-mail. Distributed auditing/logging and job control are offered as well.
Vertebra initially supports Ruby and Erlang, but other languages will be added. An early release of Vertebra is available for download on Wednesday, licensed under the Lesser GNU Public License. Engine Yard intends to offer commercial management tools for Vertebra.