Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Simplified BitNami Cloud Hosting Plans

At BitNami, our goal is to make it as simple as possible to deploy and manage your favorite open source (and other) applications in the cloud. Providing simple and clear pricing is an important part of this. As a result of customer feedback, we have further simplified our plans for BitNami Cloud Hosting to eliminate the limit on the number of cloud provider accounts that you can have tied to your BitNami Cloud Hosting account at each plan level. So, you can now connect an unlimited number of AWS accounts to your BitNami Cloud Hosting account, regardless of which plan you are on - no more having to selectively choose which accounts to connect!

Why would you want to have more than one AWS account set up in your BitNami Cloud Hosting account? Many of our customers like to have separate AWS accounts for development, testing and production. Others are using BitNami Cloud Hosting to provide hosted applications to their clients and like to have a separate AWS account for each client. Still others have separate accounts for business and personal use. By connecting all of your AWS accounts to your BitNami Cloud Hosting account, you can view and manage your servers across all of your accounts from a single dashboard, eliminating the need to switch between accounts and keep track of multiple logins and passwords.

With BitNami's recently added capability to move instances/servers across AWS accounts, having more cloud accounts tied to your BitNami Cloud Hosting account makes even more sense - you can easily move servers from your separate development, test and production accounts, or create a "gold" image that includes BitNami software plus your modifications to easily spin up new client sites across different AWS accounts.

Haven't tried BitNami Cloud Hosting yet? Sign up today for a free developer account. You can have your favorite open source apps up and running on the Amazon Cloud in minutes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ThinkUp gives you insights on your social networks

Today we are happy to announce ThinkUp, a new addition to the BitNami Library of applications. ThinkUp is a bit different from our other 'traditional' BitNami apps which are typically either oriented towards development (language runtimes, code review) or collaboration (project management, wikis). ThinkUp allows you to track all your social network activity and store it in a central dabase that you can then use to search, sort, analyze, publish and display activity from your network. ThinkUp supports all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+). You can learn more about ThinkUp on their official website and on the short video below. 

We have packaged ThinkUp and all of its dependencies (web server, database, PHP runtime) and configured everything so when you install the BitNami stack for ThinkUp it will work out of the box. You can download native installers for Windows, Linux and OS X so you can install ThinkUp on your local server or test it on your personal laptop. We also have virtual machines available as well as Amazon Machine Images. Because all of the BitNami stacks are completely free, if you combine the free BitNami AMI with the AWS free tier, it is possible to run your own ThinkUp server 24/7 on the cloud completely free of charge!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

BitNami CEO Interview with Amazon Evangelist Jeff Barr

If you would like to get a little more insight into how BitNami came to be, check out this brief interview with our CEO, Erica Brescia, and Jeff Barr, AWS Web Services Evangelist:

Monday, July 2, 2012

BitNami WordPress now with Varnish Cache

We have just updated BitNami WordPress to version 3.4.1 This version bundles a ready-to-use version of Varnish Cache. 

Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator (also known as a caching HTTP reverse proxy) that can be installed and configured in front of any HTTP server and takes care of caching the content being served. This blog post will show you how to configure a BitNami WordPress Amazon micro instance to use the Varnish for improving the performance.

By default, Varnish is disabled. You can enable it by renaming the control script:

$ cd /opt/bitnami
$ sudo mv /opt/bitnami/varnish/scripts/ctl.sh.disable /opt/bitnami/varnish/scripts/ctl.sh
$ sudo ./ctlscript.sh start varnish

Varnish is installed with a default configuration file, agnostic to the web application being cached. Using this configuration file, although achieving high performance, could lead to some contents not bring properly refreshed in the cache so your users would get an outdated version of your site. The solution is to use a customized VCL configuration file. A good source is the Varnish examples page. In this example, we will change our default.vcl configuration file to a WordPress-specific one (you can find the source file here).

$ sudo mv wordpress.vlc /opt/bitnami/varnish/etc/varnish/

Varnish runs on port 81 by default. You may want to change it to port 80 and change Apache to a different port. We are going to use port 81 for Apache and port 80 for Varnish in this example. You will need to perform the following changes in the server configuration files:


Listen 80  change to  Listen 81



/opt/bitnami/varnish/etc/varnish/default.vcl where it is specified the Apache port.

backend default {
    .host = "";
    .port = "80";  change to  "81"

You can now restart the servers:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ctlscript.sh restart

In our real life tests running WordPress on an Amazon Web Services micro instance server, a Varnish-enabled instance was able to accommodate between 5 and 10 times more simultaneous users than a vanilla WordPress server.