November 05, 2008 - by jason
It’s with excitement that I announce the newest version of the Joyent Accelerator. The Joyent Technology team deserves a round of applause for their diligent work on this latest version of the Accelerator template. It is a tremendous piece of technology, and I certainly tip my hat to the team and say thank you, as both a client and an employee. To that end, I wanted to write a brief overview to explain a bit more about what an Accelerator is, what it comes with, and some of the ways Joyent customers use them.
What is a Joyent Accelerator?
Joyent Accelerators are virtual servers based on the OpenSolaris Nevada operating system, but imbued with more friendly GNU userland tools and the PKGSRC packaging system. Joyent Accelerators are the ideal building blocks for serious work at serious scale. You can start small and grow big on-demand. Web 2.0 Developers, SaaS, and PaaS providers enjoy the ease of use and simplicity of the Joyent ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS) Cloud. The enterprise-class technology stack that surrounds an Accelerator, which we call a Pod, is comprised of routers, firewalls, load balancer, networks, high speed internet connections, switches, remote access, and much more. By embedding our virtual servers in this core technology stack, Accelerators enable extreme computing and scalability at the level necessary for today’s online applications. This allows developers and service providers to focus primarily on the application, reduce total cost of ownership, and add ‘agile’ to the words used to describe the IT arsenal your business brings to the table.
Moreover, all Accelerators come with the built-in support of a tremendous pkgsrc repository of over 600 packages! We work hard on these packages to help you keep your systems up-to-date, easy to build and deploy. There are probably thousands of cumulative Systems Administrator hours put into this, which you get by default just for being a Joyent Accelerator customer.
What Frameworks or Programming Languages can I use on a Joyent Accelerator?
Most existing frameworks and languages run very well on Joyent Accelerators. A Joyent Accelerator can easily run the most demanding applications written in Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Erlang. A partial list of the frameworks we have personally tested or know to work well are:
Tomcat, Gigaspaces XAP, Axiom Stack, GlassFish, CakePHP, Symfony, Drupal, Django, Merb, Ruby on Rails, CouchDB, .NET in mono, Ejabberd, SunGridEngine, and more. You can find how-to guides and installation information for all of these and more on our wiki at http://wiki.joyent.com.
What are people doing with their Accelerators?
Here are some recent examples of ways our clients are using Joyent Acclerators:
We have what is likely one of the largest Drupal installations anywhere. It has been tested to run at upwards of 1000 req/sec! That’s 2.5 billion page views per month!
The recent launch of Aptana Cloud powered by Joyent’s IaaS was an exciting step as well. Aptana cloud compute nodes launch in about 45 seconds and cost as little as $0.04 per hour.
Static asset clusters using BigIP and Nginx that easily serve 2000 req/sec per node and more, and can scale nearly linearly with the addition of our managed load balancing services. These are frequently used to augment dynamic web sites.
Large scale ejabberd installation that runs for Major League Baseball live chat during games.
A Symfony site serving as many as 12,000 SELECT queries per second and huge numbers of HTTP requests for a large application that has been successfully handling the substantial bursts of activity during the recent presidential campaign debates.
A distributed java application development platform with Gigaspaces XAP on Joyent. This makes developing and deploying distributed cloud computing applications a breeze.
Sun Grid Engine working out traditional HPC work loads on-demand in our environment.
We are excited about this new release and so are our early release clients and beta testers. The Accelerator is a tremendously flexible IaaS offering, that has customers saying things such as:
“The new template is so fully configured that pretty much everything that had been causing me issues is now just installed by default.” -Client
“I really like it as it is full of the latest and greatest stuff ready to be used. Really cool!” -Client
“Only thought I had for you was that it’s nice that the accelerator comes with subversion, bzr, mercurial, and git, along with enough ruby gems to choke a horse (including both merb and camping).” -Client
“Congrats for the release. I’m sure your clients will love it. I do ;-)” -Beta Tester
Joyent Accelerator 2.1.4 (aka 2008Q2) Release Notes:
Here is a list of the highlights of this release. I’m sure there is more that I missed, but this gives a good idea.
Phusion Passenger (modrails)
Ruby on Rails 2.1.2
Postgrey 1.31 Postfix 2.5.5
Build a Boost (boost-libs) package
cmake package for use by hypertable and kfs
Cleaned Up a lot of orphaned SMF services
Fixed a postscript SMF restart bug
Upgrade Virtualmin to 3.62
Disable mod_fcgid out of the box
Update ruby to fix a vulnerability
Update MySQL to fix vulnerability
Update RMagick to 2.7.0
Create a package for the fastthread gem
Enable Phusion Passenger for use on Joyent
Fixed a Python Symlink issue
Upgraded Rails to 2.1.1
Upgraded Mongrel to 1.1.5
Upgraded Rake to 0.8.2
Upgraded RMagic to 2.6.0
Upgraded Ruby Hoe to 1.7.0
Added Accelerator version info to MOTD banner on shell login
Several Email-related improvements
Update to PHP PDO
Fixed an Eventmachine Dependency Issue
Improvements to Nginx
Updated Ruby to 1.8.7
Improved mysql SMF scripts
Add several extras for Merb users
memcached and PHP5 updates
Increased the default file descriptor limit out of the box
fixed some log rotation issues
MySQL slow query log on by default
A large number of updates related to making Elrang Apps run better out of the box
[Update: a review http://www.agileweboperations.com/review-joyent-accelerator-21-beta]