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With Platform.sh, Commerce Guys announces Cloud 2.0!

Antoine Crochet-Damais

This is the promise of Platform.sh. Based on the Amazon cloud, this PaaS in container should surpass the agility of virtualization.

Commerce Guys, developers of Drupal Commerce, the eCommerce based website management system based on Drupal CMS, prepares to unveil a service cloud platform (PaaS) in a whole new category. Named Platform.sh, this offer, hosted on Amazon Web Services, is distinguished by two innovations.

The first innovation is that the continuous integration infrastructure is based on the Git code repositories management tool, which allows you to clone a site or a web application with the associated software stack (configuration files, database, web server, etc.), in a few seconds.

“It is possible to clone as necessary, which provides a great flexibility for development and testing”, explains Frédéric Plais, co-founder of Commerce Guys. “So by having the ability to create multiple branches, we can for example create a clone of a project in response to an urgent change request, even if an important revision is already in preparation within the main code branch”. Git is there to manage the code in a consistent way, and Platform.sh controls access permissions to any particular part of the project.

The second innovation of Platform.sh is deeper. Beyond the virtualization that makes up the usual flexible PaaS and IaaS offerings, Platform.sh utilizes infrastructure containers and is inspired directly from the open source Docker project. Its logic? Each layer of the site (business logic, database, etc.) can be placed into a container, which can then be deployed on a cluster of instances, with the ability of executing several containers on a single instance! “The infrastructure in the containers represents the second generation of the cloud. It allows a much more granular, adaptive architecture, and an orchestration of service-by-service management”, summarizes Frédéric Plais.

This promises much shorter development times.

For the time being, Platform.sh has been optimized for Drupal, Drupal Commerce and the PHP Symfony framework (which will be incorporated into Drupal 8). But the objective of Commerce Guys is to extend its offer to other tools. For that purpose, the company intends to call on its partners, whom include Capgemini and Smile. The integration of an integrated code editor is, for example, being considered.

“From testing with our partners, we believe that Platform.sh can save 25% in development time,” said Frédéric Plais. Designed in collaboration with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) team, the solution represents 8 to 10 man-years of development. “Over 2013, we put 75% of our investment into R&D “, says the co-founder.

Platform.sh will be officially launched on Tuesday, 13 May, at the AWS Summit 2014 in Paris. The solution will be available in two versions on the Amazon Web Services Marketplace: a basic version and an Enterprise version that is designed for websites requiring triple redundancy. Platform Enterprise will appeal to those who need to host their site in geographically different data centres (or zones of availability) from Amazon.