Thursday, August 23, 2012

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Nimble Books

We are often asked about how people use BitNami Cloud Hosting. As with the cloud in general, there are a huge variety of use cases and our customer base is incredibly diverse - ranging from Fortune 500s to universities to solutions providers who rely on BitNami Cloud Hosting to host applications for their clients. This is part of a series of posts that highlighting a few BitNami Cloud Hosting customers and explaining how they are using the platform to save time, money and do things that they couldn't do before they had BitNami and cloud computing.

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Nimble Books

Nimble Books provides an online platform, Nimble Combinatorial Publishing (NCP), for automatically building and publishing e-books based on content that is open access, public domain, user-contributed and other data. The NCP content repository can access more than 10 million documents, which can be selected, combined, and annotated in an almost inconceivably large number of combinations and permutations.
In order to develop the platform and launch the business, the company had to build out its infrastructure and the application itself. Nimble first used BitNami Cloud Hosting to evaluate various applications for this purpose, including WordPress, MediaWiki, Magento, Solr and Redmine, running up to ten separate servers for development and testing purposes. The ability to quickly launch instances with a wide variety of applications made it easy for Nimble to evaluate the apps that would be the best fit for its needs.
After determining that Magento, an e-commerce platform, Solr, an enterprise search platform, and Redmine, a bug-tracking system, were the best fit for the company, Nimble put them all into production. The company is currently running three separate servers for these apps: one for the production store, one for failover and another for research and development. One of the many benefits that Nimble receives from BitNami Cloud Hosting is that it can spin up duplicate machines at will for both development and scaling purposes.
For Nimble Books, BitNami Cloud Hosting provides the foundational technology upon which the product and the company itself was built. The service enabled Nimble to rapidly develop its application without losing precious development time setting up and configuring development environments and provides ongoing value with its one-click server cloning feature, monitoring and automatic backup capabilities. In addition to powering the product itself, BitNami Cloud Hosting is used to host the bug-tracking system for the development team and the Solr-based search engine. According to the company's founder, Fred Zimmerman, BitNami Cloud Hosting provided "obstacle removal and acceleration", speeding time to market while eliminating the need to purchase or configure any servers.
PDF of the complete case study is also available.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Brescia University

We are often asked about how people use BitNami Cloud Hosting. As with the cloud in general, there are a huge variety of use cases and our customer base is incredibly diverse - ranging from Fortune 500s to universities to solutions providers who rely on BitNami Cloud Hosting to host applications for their clients. This is part of a series of posts that highlighting a few BitNami Cloud Hosting customers and explaining how they are using the platform to save time, money and do things that they couldn't do before they had BitNami and cloud computing.

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Brescia University College

The web development team at Brescia University College is responsible for developing and deploying new web applications for the university. Going through the process of requesting, ordering and setting up new servers could take weeks, slowing down new development projects. In addition to having to wait for new equipment, working with physical servers gave the team finite development resources, restricting their ability to experiment with new applications.
The Brescia University web development team turned to BitNami Cloud Hosting and Amazon Web Services to get fast, cost-effective access to servers for evaluation, development and testing projects, as well as for applications they only need for a short period of time. On-demand access to cloud resources allows the team to spin up new servers within minutes so that they can be productive almost instantly, while only paying for the compute resources they actually use. When a project is complete or an application is no longer needed, the team simply deletes the server instance.
The Brescia University College web development team counts BitNami as "a key component of [their] 'flexible cloud' strategy" due to the platform's ability to rapidly provision servers with popular open source applications, its one-click server cloning and automated backups. These features enable the team to deploy new servers with the apps they need in minutes, clone them to set up new development environments or test updates before putting them into production, and ensure that they always have complete copies of their servers available in the event they run into issues. As a result, the web development team gets access to the resources they need, when they need them, and is able to select, develop and deploy new applications more quickly. Because they only pay for the resources they use, they are able to achieve these benefits while staying within a limited budget. Dan Bashaw, a web developer for the university says that BitNami Cloud Hosting saves him a considerable amount of time, enabling him to "do [his] job without getting bogged down in server management and administration."
A PDF of the complete case study is also available.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Waiting for Trac 1.0? The Beta is Already Available on BitNami!

Trac developers are preparing their next major release: Trac 1.0. And although it is not ready yet, Trac 1.0beta1 is available for download. We are happy to offer a ready-to-run package with Trac 1.0beta1 so you can get an early look at this much-anticipated release.

The most visible changes for Trac 1.0 are:

- Graph log support in the revision log
- Added support for Git
- Refreshed default theme for the user interface

A full list of changes can be found in the release notes.

This version of the BitNami Trac Stack bundles Python 2.7, Subversion 1.7.4 and Trac 1.0beta1. And, as always, it is available for free as ready-to-run installers, virtual machines and Amazon Cloud Images.

We plan to add new features and components in the next release of BitNami Trac Stack, keep an eye on the Trac new release and on the BitNami package!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Free Passes to CloudCon for BitNami Users

A couple of weeks ago, we announced our participation in the upcoming CloudCon Expo taking place in San Francisco October 1st through 3rd. In our post, we mentioned that free expo passes were available through August 15th, but those passes quickly sold out. You are not out of luck yet, though - we  have secured another batch of free passes for BitNami users! We only have a limited number of those passes available, as well as a batch of 50% off coupon codes for those who don't register in time to claim one of the free passes. As only a limited number of free and discounted passes are available, we ask that you only claim one if you are sure you will be able to attend the conference.

To get a free pass to CloudCon Expo:
  1. Go to the CloudCon Expo registration page.
  2. Enter the code BitNami50 to see if any free passes are still available.
  3. If the above code does not work, that means that the free passes have all been claimed. Enter the code BitNami25 to see if any of the 50% discount coupons are still available.
We hope to see you at the show! If you do attend, you may want to check out BitNami CEO Erica Brescia's talk on the Dark Matter Cloud on Wednesday, October 3rd at 11 AM.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New BitNami Stack for ownCloud - Sync and Share Files

We are happy to announce that ownCloud has been added to the BitNami Application Library! OwnCloud is a flexible, open source file sync and share solution. Whether using a mobile device, a workstation, or a web client, ownCloud provides the ability to put the right files at their employees’ fingertips on any device in one simple-to-use, secure, private and controlled solution.

Store your files, folders, contacts, photo galleries, calendars and more on a server of your choosing. You can access that folder from your mobile device, your desktop, or a web browser. In addition to this, you can also share your data with others, and give them access to your latest photo galleries, your calendar, your music, or anything else you want them to see.

As usual, the BitNami ownCloud Stack is now available in the form of ready-to-run installers, virtual machine images (VMs) and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for the Amazon Cloud. owCloud will also be available in BitNami Cloud Hosting within the next few days. If you haven't tried it yet, sign up for a free account to get automated backups, monitoring and more!

Upload and share files

Sync your calendar and contacts

Desktop and mobile apps

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Promethius Consulting

We are often asked about how people use BitNami Cloud Hosting. As with the cloud in general, there are a huge variety of use cases and our customer base is incredibly diverse - ranging from Fortune 500s to universities to solutions providers who rely on BitNami Cloud Hosting to host applications for their clients. This will be the first in a series of posts that will highlight a few BitNami Cloud Hosting customers and explain how they are using the platform to save time, money and do things that they couldn't do before they had BitNami and cloud computing.

BitNami Customer Spotlight: Promethius Consulting

Promethius Consulting provides network maintenance and support as well as website development and application hosting services to small and medium-sized businesses. Alfresco is one of several applications for which Promethius provides custom development and hosting services. Initially, Promethius was hosting Alfresco on internal servers with a multi-tenant setup, but the company was unhappy with the performance and lack of flexibility that approach provided.
After evaluating several options, Promethius came to the conclusion that running their servers on the Amazon Web Services cloud platform (AWS) would give them the best combination of performance and flexibility. Promethius chose BitNami Cloud Hosting to automate and facilitate the deployment and management of their Alfresco servers on the AWS cloud.
Aaron Toops, Director of Managed Services for Promethius, says they chose BitNami because "We save time and money, so we can focus our development team on making our product better for the customer instead of manually managing and deploying instances. " Promethius takes advantage of BitNami Cloud Hosting's one-click deployment process, automated backups, monitoring and management tools to speed up their development and deployment processes, allowing them to deliver solutions more quickly to customers while reducing costs. One feature that Promethius finds especially useful is the ability to clone servers across different AWS accounts. This allows them to use a "gold image" - a version of BitNami's Alfresco application that includes their own customizations and improvements - to deploy new servers for clients on separate AWS accounts in one click.
Mr. Toops also appreciates the support he gets from the BitNami team, commenting that "BitNami has been a great partner, actively listening and responding to our needs as a customer. Their support is simply outstanding, attentive, timely, and vested in fixing any issues we encounter. "
With BitNami Cloud Hosting and AWS, Promethius has been able to build out a new line of business around the Alfresco Enterprise Content Management System without any capital expenditure. BitNami's automated deployment process saves Promethius valuable development time, allowing them to deliver solutions more quickly and efficiently to their growing customer base.
A downloadable PDF of the complete case study is also available. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BitNami stacks now ready for OS X Mountain Lion

The latest version of Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) has Gatekeeper enabled by default. Gatekeeper is a system designed to restrict which sources users can install applications from, in order to reduce the chance of inadvertently executing applications containing trojan horses, virus and malware. The default settings will prevent running applications that have not been downloaded from the Apple app store or digitally signed by a developer. If you download an unsigned installer, you will be greeted by a pop-up similar to the below and will be unable to install it unless you modify the system-wide settings

To avoid this, BitNami OS X installers are now digitally signed. Since you likely downloaded them from our site, OS X will still prompt you to confirm that you want to run them, but other than that you should be able to use them as usual.
We have tested the installers extensively, but please let us know if you run into any issues. While we are at it, we have decided to add digital signatures to the Windows downloadable installers and will be rolling those out in the near future.

Monday, August 6, 2012

2-for-1: Join BitNami at LinuxCon and CloudOpen in San Diego

How can get you get the most bang for your conference buck? Make sure you're in San Diego at the end of this month, where the Linux Foundation is running both LinuxCon and CloudOpen and one ticket gets you into both! In addition to those two conferences, there are a ton of related events being held, including the Linux Kernel Summit, Xen Summit, Linux Plumbers and the Linux Security Summit, among others. The speaker list includes experts from Google, HP, Oracle, Canonical, OpsCode, Twitter, Facebook, Intel and OpenStack, among others. 

BitNami CEO Erica Brescia will be presenting a talk on "The Giant IT Vending Machine" at CloudOpen on Friday the 31st at 2:10pm. You can read her session abstract and view a complete schedule on the conference website.

LinuxCon and OpenCloud are both taking place August 29th - 31st at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego. Registration is filling up quickly and the conference is just around the corner, so make sure you register soon to secure your spot!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Updated BitNami Django Stack Includes the Latest Security Fixes

While our focus at BitNami is on ease of use, we never want to sacrifice security and strive to always provide you with the latest stable and most secure versions of the applications that we package. Two days after the release of the latest Django version, v.1.4.1, which includes several several security fixes, we are happy to announce the release of an updated  BitNami Django Stack which includes the latest Django version. As always, the BitNami Django Stack is available free of charge as a native installer, VM and AMI for the Amazon Cloud. We are also working on updating our Django-based stacks (Review Board, OSQA and Pootle).

We have also taken this opportunity to update the Python interface to Amazon Web Services (boto) to the latest version (currently 2.5.2). Several important new features are included in this release, such as:

- Support for IAM Roles for EC2 Instances
- Added support for Capabilities in CloudFormation
- Spot instances in autoscaling groups
- Added tenancy option to run_instances
- Support for Amazon Cloudsearch Service.
- Support for Amazon's Marketplace Web Service.
- Latency-based routing for Route53
- Support for new domain verification features of SES.

A full list of recent improvements in the Python interface to Amazon Web Services is available on the project wiki.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BitNami Cloud Tools with Amazon EC2 High I/O instance support

One of our goals at BitNami is to make it easier to develop and deploy applications in the cloud. As part of this effort, we are happy to announce a new release of the BitNami Cloud Tools stack. The BitNami Cloud Tools installer packages the Amazon Web Services command line tools together with pre-configured Java, Ruby and Perl language runtimes. It is a self-contained, easy to use distribution that simplifies the process of getting started using AWS services from the command line. In this latest release, we have updated the AWS SDK for Java, which now includes two great new features: Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS support and Amazon EC2 High I/O Instances support.

Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS is a new Elastic Block Store volume type for running high performance databases in the cloud. Provisioned IOPS are designed to deliver predictable, high performance for I/O intensive workloads, such as database applications, that rely on consistent and fast response times. With Provisioned IOPS, you can flexibly specify both volume size and volume performance, and Amazon EBS will consistently deliver the desired performance over the lifetime of the volume.

The AWS SDK for Java now provides a convenient enum value to use when launching the new Amazon EC2 High I/O instance type. High I/O instances provide tens of thousands of low-latency, random I/O operations per second (IOPS) to an application. They are well suited for NoSQL databases, clustered databases, and OLTP (online transaction processing) systems.

For more information, see the release notes.

For a complete list of components and versions included in the BitNami Cloud Tools Stack, visit the BitNami Cloud Tools Stack page.

RubyStack now with Rails 3.2.7 and Varnish

We are happy to announce a new version of BitNami RubyStack that includes the latest version of Rails, 3.2.7.

BitNami RubyStack simplifies the development and deployment of Ruby on Rails applications for development, testing and production. It can be deployed using a native installer for Windows, OS X or Linux, as a virtual machine or in the Amazon cloud. Thanks to the Amazon Free Tier, you can try BitNami RubyStack in the cloud for free during one year.

In addition to Rails we have upgraded the following components:

- Ruby 1.9.3-p194
- Git
- Subversion 1.7.5
- NGinx 1.3.4
- Passenger 3.0.14
- PHP 5.3.15

It also ships the following components that you can use in your applications:

- RVM 1.13.6
- DevKit tdm-32-4.5.2 for Windows
- MySQL 5.5.21
- Apache 2.2.22
- ImageMagick 6.7.5

In this release we include an optional new component: Varnish Cache server 3.0.1 for Linux and OS X. It is a web application accelerator that can be deployed in front of any HTTP server and can significantly improve performance. You can learn more in the BitNami Varnish quick start guide.

It takes just minutes to deploy BitNami RubyStack and we are always looking for ways we can improve it. So go ahead, give it a try and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join us at CloudCon Expo in San Francisco

Join BitNami and other leading cloud companies, such as Rackspace, Google, Amazon and at CloudCon Expo in San Francisco from October 1st-3rd. With keynotes from Steve Wozniak, Val Bercovici (Big Data & Cloud Czar at NetAPP) and Jinesh Varia (Technology Strategist for Amazon Web Services) and talks from executives at, Intel, GE, Kaiser, Cisco and many others, this event is sure to be a success!

BitNami will be exhibiting and our CEO, Erica Brescia, will presenting at 11 AM on October 3rd on "The Dark Matter Cloud" and participating in a panel discussion on migrating applications to the cloud. In her talk, she'll discuss how cloud computing has forever changed the way that startups and internet-scale companies deploy and manage their infrastructure. One of the interesting trends we see at BitNami is that a growing number of small and medium business are also moving big chunks of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, but their decision is not driven by features traditionally associated with big deployments such as elastic compute and storage capacity or capex/opex concerns. Instead, they are leveraging open source and the automation capabilities from leading public Cloud vendors to solve down-to-earth, everyday problems while saving money in the process. 

To learn more about how the cloud is being used by enterprise organizations and small businesses alike to improve the way they do business, as well as network with industry and thought leaders who are using the cloud today, be sure to attend the CloudCon Expo. If you plan on attending, be sure to register by August 15th to save $200 or get a free expo hall pass.

 The event is taking place at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco from October 1-3. For more information, visit: