EngineYard Roadshow Wrapup – Inside Scoop

I recently returned from visiting five cities as part of Engine Yard’s Roadshow (read the recap)- Boston, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The focus of the roadshow was on Ruby-on-Rails Performance in the Cloud. So, how is Codesion related to Ruby on Rails, and why was I invited? I describe that in the article below.

But first, learn more about Codesion’s plans for git and security architecture in the video below.

Rails’ performance on the Cloud is not only about application performance, for which Engine Yard provides a fully automated, turnkey solution.  Rails performance is also influenced by the development process itself, that is, the speed at which teams can code and deploy their apps. 

In this regard, Codesion ’s Enterprise Source Control solution helps by enabling fast startup times, ensuring high availability to online code repositories, and providing comprehensive security, disaster recovery, and support.

The internet has opened new opportunities to leverage global teams and collaborate in real time, and the new generation of technology companies are simply less competitive if they don’t adopt such services (full disclosure: Codesion uses nearly all cloud-based apps). During the Roadshow, a number of themes emerged around why Enterprises often stumble in adopting a Cloud-based provider for mission-critical systems. I would like to discuss those below.

Can you Trust the Cloud?

In certain cases, there are legitimate business requirements that will prevent an organization from leveraging the Cloud. But should the rest of us necessarily store all our data on our own locked down laptop with disk level encryption and no internet access?

No- but before selecting a Cloud vendor, one should ask, does the Cloud vendor have documented, multi-tiered security processes that span every aspect of the service?  Can a cloud vendor have similar if not better security processes than internally hosted systems?

At Codesion, we build our systems and processes to deliver the highest level of security that our development team and business experience in serving thousands of customers can produce.  That is why we partner with a SAS-70 compliant hosting vendor and have spent much of the last year upgrading our platform and infrastructure.

Expect the Unexpected- Planning for the 0.1% 

As Engine Yard noted, nobody can guarantee 100% uptime. Software and SaaS applications will break at some point. Therefore, even though cloud vendors do their best to achieve perfection, it is incumbent on the prospective customer to ask the tough questions – what support systems and contingency plans has the provider built-in, to ensure that they are prepared for the 0.1% of the time when things do go wrong?

At Codesion, we have published an industry-first Code of Conduct. In case of any incident, we first ensure that no data is lost or affected on production servers by running extensive tests.

We have built repeatable, quick ways of restoring service.  This is why Codesion has focused so much of its engineering resources to developing our over-the-top backups features and strategies, and now provide users the ability to recover complete repository backups from the past 100 days.  We also store backups in multilple datacenters (Dallas, Washington DC, Seattle).

In addition, we architect our system for quick recovery, with redunancy in all areas of our architecture.  The bottom line is, internal hosted data center is not immune to downtime, and I would argue that with vendors, like Codesion, who focuses all their energy and expertise on Source Control solutions, we have a more reliable system, battle tested, than internal hosted solution.

Fear of Vendor Lock-In

One should always be concerned about whether committing to a particular cloud vendor will leave them at the vendor’s mercy (are you “locked-in”?). At Codesion, our strategy is to leverage open source tools for our platform, making them Enterprise secure, integratable, and supported. A customer who uses our hosted Subversion can easily schedule downloads of their SVN repository dump (backup) files, and reload them on internal servers.

This means that customers can always migrate their data somewhere else.  Of course, any migration requires effort.  However, with Codesion’s open source-based cloud approach, the cost is less. We believe that by working hard to offer a secure, reliable service, we can earn our customers’ trust- a belief that is supported by the fact that we acquire far more customers each month than we lose.  Codesion compete on offering the best service at the best price, not on vendor lock-in.

Making the World More Productive

As Enterprises make decisions on how to achieve their source control mangement requirements, many have traditionally differentiated between core and non-core assets.  For example, an Enterprise may decide to keep their core software technology assets in house, while using providers like Codesion to manage non-core developments like web sites, one-off client software, and other web applications.

What we are seeing in 2009 is that as Enterprise recognize the agility, reliability, security, and cost effectiveness that can be achieved by leveraging the cloud. In doing so, more and more are trusting their core technology to the cloud, which is no doubt helping make the world more productive. At Codesion, we are looking forward to refine our platform, products, and services to provide better capabilities to serve our customers.

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