ColdFusion in the Cloud

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Kevin Hoyt is presenting at the Unconference now and has brought up an interesting subject - ColdFusion in the Cloud. (I'll be blogging while he speaks for forgive the grammar.) Says he just got permission to demo this!

Specifically talking about Amazon EC2. Vendor is Stax - he said if you want an invite to the beta, contact him. Saying this is ALL very much beta, may not happen in production, etc etc etc. Mentions Spike Washburn, an old Allaire guy involved w/ CF.

He goes to a web based console of his servers in the cloud. Clicks a button to create a new ColdFusion application. Hits create. And right now, he is pushing ColdFusion to an EC2 cloud instance. It is a pre-built image of CF, minus the admin for security reasons. Essentially a blank slate CF install. Basically click and publish.

So how do you write CFMs for a CF install in the cloud? You can download a copy of the image, extract it (it is a zip), do your edits, then redeploy it.

p.s. I think this means the first big CF news came at the Unconference. Woot^2.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by John beynon posted on 11/18/2008 at 3:57 AM

I've been playing with Stax for a while now. It's not without it's limitations - being built on EC2 means no persistant storage (at the moment) so no writes to disk - or at least peristant ones.

I've got mangoblog up there to play with at http://mangoblog2.jbeynon.s... but it's certainly a cool service and i'll carry on working with it.

Comment 2 by Raul Riera posted on 11/18/2008 at 4:03 AM

The idea to solve the persistant issue is to back it up with Amazon S3, you know.. Amazon wants to eat after all :P

Comment 3 by Devin posted on 11/18/2008 at 4:37 AM

Couldn't data persistance be handled through the apache derby database?

Comment 4 by O?uz Demirkap? posted on 11/18/2008 at 4:45 AM

John, do you have Railo at your link?

We also have big interest for EC2 on our applications and trying to figure out "the easy way".

Comment 5 by Henry Ho posted on 11/18/2008 at 7:38 AM

does Stax the Vendor have a website?

Comment 6 by fgwenger posted on 11/18/2008 at 8:18 AM

Isn't the Elastic Block Store at Amazon the way to persist information?

Comment 7 by John beynon posted on 11/18/2008 at 12:28 PM

stax is at Amazon EBS is the way do do the persistance but the beauty of Stax is that the whole 'Amazon' side of their service is abstracted away so you don't deal with anything on it. Until they offer storage that the apps can write to, ie uploading images, assets through the app etc then it can't be done. But interestingly, how many people build apps that need to be able to write to disk? I know the majority of ours do in some form or another.

Comment 8 by johnb posted on 11/18/2008 at 2:40 PM

that should be

Comment 9 by Gary Gilbert posted on 11/18/2008 at 4:44 PM

Back in September Railo released a EC2 image and supports AS3 as well

Comment 10 by Spike Washburn posted on 11/18/2008 at 10:40 PM

As Ray mentioned, Stax is currently in private beta, but anyone who wants an invite can just drop me a note on the Stax developer site: To fill in the gaps a bit, Stax is providing tools and services that make it extremely for developers to build, deploy, and maintain elastic applications on EC2. Stax is designed to make EC2 much more approachable to web developers. Stax supports a range of Java-based web technologies and we've recently partnered with Adobe to support ColdFusion and Flex/BlazeDS.

Stax is focused on the emerging concept of "elastic" applications, which means its not designed to run all CF applications. John mentioned the no-file persistence limitation, which is a trade-off required to leverage the flexibility of deployments offered by the Stax cloud. Stax provides MySQL database support to give apps a persistent location to store data, and S3 is a great place to store files. These flexible deployments will allow Stax to scale your application deployment costs from very low to very high, based on exactly the computing power you need for your applications.

The comparison to pre-built AMIs will always popup, but anyone who has actually used EC2 for building and deploying web applications will be shocked at how much easier and more flexible it is to use Stax versus the standard approach of building and launching AMIs.

I'll be presenting Stax at the Adobe MAX Flash Platform booth in the pavilion today (Tues 11/18) from 2-3:30, so stop by if you're at MAX.

Comment 11 by Michael Long posted on 11/19/2008 at 10:39 AM

"You can download a copy of the image, extract it (it is a zip), do your edits, then redeploy it."

I want to download and then reupload a zipped copy of my application or website every time I want to make a change? No thanks.

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/19/2008 at 7:45 PM

@ML - This really isn't much different than what you should be doing for production anyway. You don't edit live on production. You edit, and test, on development. In this case, you have to get the package from Stax first. I'm not sure if you can keep a local copy. Maybe you can, and if so, then this is a non-issue, agreed? Even if not, the 'I have to download a zip' part is FAR less trouble compared to having to maintain the hardware. Once you go cloud, you never go back.

Comment 13 by johans posted on 7/15/2010 at 1:36 PM

Ray - did anything more come of CF on EC2. I have not heard anything nor can I find any official Adobe CF AMI for EC2.

Comment 14 by Raymond Camden posted on 7/15/2010 at 3:30 PM

I've not heard anything recently.