Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jelastic - Holy grail of Java hosting?


Today's article is technical. I want to write about a weak point of the Java EE world. If you start to learn Java EE, you have to go through many tutorials and learn a lot of information. Then you can write a simple, useful application and want to put it on the internet for others to see. There is a problem. Where is some hosting for the application written in Java? Yes, the weak point, that I mentioned, is hosting.

One point at the beginning. Next these lines are from a beginner's point of view. I dont want to talk about enterprise solutions.

So you search over internet and find probably these possibilities. But each of them have some restrictions:
  • Dedicated server - The configuration is in your hands. You have to do everything by yourself. If you need only simple hosting for your showcase it's expensive.
  • Amazon Web Services - Again, a very complex and later a expensive solution. The first year is free. But there are a lot of possibilities how to configure it and beginner can easily lost.
  • Cloud Foundry - Your application is tied to a service provider and you need a virtual computer to run VMware images. For me, as a Mac OS user, it's again a little bit expensive.
  • Google Apps Engine - Quite a good choice. An easy interface for configuration and deployment. But your source code is tied to the provider API.
  • Others ...
There is quite a new service that has ambitions to solve these restrictions.  Its name is Jelastic. Jelastic is based on well known products which are usually used on dedicated servers. The runtime environment can be Java 6 or 7 and the server is probably the most popular java server, Tomcat. Everyone can choose their relational database (for example MySQL, PostgreSQL) or NoSQL database like MongoDB. For applications with a high load there is the possibility of vertical and horizontal scaling. Everything is setup in this simple form.


GUI for administration is simple like environment configuration. You can upload WAR applications. Deploy them to Tomcat. Start and stop single services or the whole environment.

You can find important information about pricing here: http://blog.jelastic.com/2012/02/16/next-generation-java-paas-jelastic-announces-commercial-availability-and-pricing-in-us-and-europe/

Now I would like to summarize everything I've said.
Pros:
  • Simple
  • You don't have to depend on a provider

Cons:
  • It's in Beta status now, so it can be unstable.
  • Doesn't have a completely free edition for noncommercial use or low load applications

I have a really good feeling about Jelastic. I hope that pricing will be friendly and in the basic configuration it will be completely free. I don't know now about any critical restriction so Jelastic can be recommended for your java web experiments.

1 comment:

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