Thursday, June 26, 2014

EspoCRM added to Bitnami Library!

EspoCRM is the latest winner of the Bitnami monthly packaging contest and we are happy to announce that it is now available as part of the Bitnami library.

EspoCRM is an open source web application that allows you to see, enter and evaluate all your company relationships regardless of the type. It can assess people, companies, projects or opportunities, all in an easy, intuitive and fast interface. It is accessible on all devices, from smartphones and tablets to large screen desktops.

Thanks to their efforts in encouraging their community to vote during the Bitnami contest, EspoCRM is now ready to install in a few clicks with the Bitnami EspoCRM installers (available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X), Virtual Machine images (VMs), cloud images for the Amazon EC2 and Azure cloud platforms.

We also had the opportunity to interview Alex Avramenko, one of the lead developers of the project,  who was kind enough to answer some of our questions:

How was the EspoCRM project started? What are the origins of this project?

There are no Open Source CRM products that have been implemented with the latest web technologies. That's why we created the Single Page Application, which gives us an advantage in the speed of our CRM.

What is the main goal for EspoCRM?

We have created a CRM that relies on speed, a lightweight user interface, and easy customization. How effective it is will be seen in the near future.

What are some of the features of EspoCRM?

There is still a lot of work ahead. We plan to integrate with Google services, create a report builder, and focus on the analytical information.

Which projects or organizations are using EspoCRM currently? What kind of projects do they use it for?

EspoCRM is a relatively young CRM system, but we have had many companies showing interest in it. The areas of usage vary greatly: medicine, insurance, trade and others. We have customers from all over the world, from North America to Asia.

What do you expect will be the main benefits of having Bitnami packages available for EspoCRM?

We believe that more companies will be interested in EspoCRM  if it is able to be quickly and easily installed. It will increase the quality of our services. This is very important to us.

Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!

Friday, June 20, 2014

New “Education & Research” category within the AWS Marketplace

Amazon Web  Services has just launched a new "Education & Research" category in the AWS Marketplace. With this new category of applications, educational institutions will be able to easily browse and select software focused on teaching and research. Among others, you can find the Bitnami Moodle cloud image which provides a one click deployment for Moodle, one of the most popular open source e-learning platforms.

The University of San Francisco, University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Medical School are just a few of the AWS users who are benefitting from these educational applications. AWS also provides education programs that enable the academic community around the world to easily leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services for education and research. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Get a free, limited edition Bitnami tshirt!

Have you checked out Microsoft Azure yet? Get a free shirt just by deploying an image in the Azure cloud via our nifty Bitnami Launchpad for Microsoft Azure. Just deploy an image of any application and we'll send you a link to redeem your free t-shirt. Really, it's that easy. You will need to have an Azure account and Bitnami account to complete the deployment. If you'are unsure what to do, we've created videos showing how to deploy Redmine, GitLab and WordPress in Azure, and the same process will apply to any other application.

We are running this campaign to show off the Launchpad for Azure and demonstrate how easy is to deploy your favorite apps in the cloud. You're just a few clicks away from cloud hosting.

  1. Visit Azure Launchpad
  2. Select the image an click the orange Launch in Account button. 

Follow the steps to complete the deployment. We will email you with a link to redeem this free limited edition Bitnami t-shirt!

The fine print:

- Free 1-hour demo image deployments will not qualify
- Only one shirt per account
- The campaign ends on July 30 or whenever we give away all 500 shirts.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

AbanteCart added to Bitnami Library!

We are glad to announce that AbanteCart, one of the winners from our monthly app contest, is now part of the Bitnami Library!

AbanteCart is a free and open source shopping cart and ecommerce platform for small to medium size business. AbanteCart is powered with a robust and expandable core platform that can be customized with a large and growing number of extensions.

Thanks to their successful effort in promoting the Bitnami contest to encourage their community to vote, AbanteCart is now ready to install in a few clicks with the Bitnami AbanteCart installers, available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, Virtual Machine images (VMs) and cloud images for the Amazon EC2 and Azure clouds.

We also had the opportunity to interview Pavel Rojkov, the Lead Developer Architect and Founder of AbanteCart,  who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the project.

How was the AbanteCart project started? What are the origins of this project?

AbanteCart was founded by a group of experienced ecommerce developers with
lead software engineers Pavel Rojkov and Dmitry Suprunenko. Development
began in 2010 and the group released its version 0.9 in November, 2011.

What is the main goal for AbanteCart?

The main goal for the AbanteCart application is to provide powerful and easy to manage ecommerce tools for small to medium size merchants. We also want to grow the development community with a large number of extensions to allow merchants (users) to expand their ecommerce capabilities.

What are some of the features of AbanteCart?

Fee Open source license. Mobile storefront. Secure, fast and optimized for performance. Powered with extensions interface and API, Multi-Lingual, Multi-Store, User optimized administrator interface, Storefront and Admin API, Many other features that are standard for modern ecommerce applications.

Which projects or organizations are using AbanteCart currently? What kind of projects do they use it for?

AbanteCart is mostly used by small to medium companies that sell products online. Products can be physical or digital. We have a large number of small to medium merchants around the globe using AbanteCart.

What do you expect will be the main benefits of having BitNami packages available for AbanteCart?

A great user experience is important for us. We like to provide an easy interface and stable tools for our users, so they spend less efforts on installation and management.

Bitnami helps the AbanteCart project by allowing users to have a quick start with installation and set up. The virtualization that Bitnami offers will help AbanteCart users move between environments (dev, test, prod) and between hosting platforms.

To keep up to date with what is going on in AbanteCart, you can follow the project at facebook and twitter. At Bitnami we will continue to update the packages to always provide you with the latest version. Subscribe to this product to get the updates and don't forget to write a review to share with other users. Thanks!

Would you like your favorite app to be part of Bitnami? Be sure to suggest and vote for it in our monthly contest!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Performance enhacements for Apache and PHP

In addition to updating and expanding the Bitnami Library, we are continuously looking for ways to improve our existing Bitnami stacks. In this latest round of updates, we focused on improving the performance of our Bitnami Stacks in limited resource systems such as Amazon EC2 micro instances, which have 1 virtual CPU and 613 MB of RAM, and Microsoft Azure extra-small virtual machines, that ship 1 CPU core and 768 MB of RAM.

We have now configured our Virtual Machines and Cloud Images to use the Apache Event MPM and PHP-FPM, resulting in reduced memory usage and an increase in the number of simultaneous requests that they can handle.


What is the Apache event MPM?

Apache supports three different Multi-Processing Modules (MPMs) that are responsible for binding to network ports on the machine, accepting requests and dispatching children to handle the requests.

- Prefork: Each child process handles one connection at a time. This is the default mode for Apache.
- Worker: Uses multiple child processes with many threads each.
- Event: This mode was designed to allow more requests to be served simultaneously by passing off some processing work to supporting threads and freeing up the main thread.


What is PHP-FPM?

PHP-FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) is an alternative PHP FastCGI implementation with some additional features useful for heavy-loaded sites. It has been bundled with PHP since version 5.3.3. PHP-FPM has the ability to start workers with different environments and to manage these processes.


Why are event MPM and PHP-FPM recommended for production?

The default configuration for Apache and PHP in Linux systems is to use the prefork MPM with an embedded PHP interpreter. This is a very robust configuration but it means that Apache needs to spawn a separate process for every simultaneous request it wants to serve. Because every child process loads a PHP interpreter and associated libraries, this configuration takes a significant amount of memory. In addition to this, a whole process is tied up when waiting for requests when browsers open a persistent connection to the server (which is particularly common with AJAX-heavy web applications.)

On high traffic websites, an alternate MPM (the event MPM) is preferable because it has the ability to serve a large amount of requests while maintaining low memory usage. It does so by using threads to serve requests. It retains some of the stability of a process-based server by keeping multiple processes available, each with many threads so a thread potentially misbehaving would only affect all the other threads in the same process.

Additionally, the event MPM uses a dedicated thread to deal with the kept-alive connections, and hands requests down to child threads only when a request has actually been made. That allows those threads to free back up immediately after the request is completed.

Because PHP is not thread-safe on Unix environments (in particular many of its most popular extensions), it is not possible to embed an interpreter in each event MPM process. It needs to live as a separate PHP-FPM process. Apache will serve all static resources (images, CSS, etc.) directly while PHP-FPM serves the PHP-related requests.

In the examples below, we provide some benchmarks. We used two different Amazon EC2 instances (micro and small) to run our tests. Both instances had the same WordPress installation and the same memory settings. We used the Siege tool, an HTTP load testing and benchmarking utility. We also used the tool, which allows you to run speed tests from multiple locations using real browsers.

The test below uses the Siege tool to do a request to the WordPress web page and all the static files. We used 30 concurrent users for 1 minute and we got the following results:

Small EC2 instance with MPM prefork and "mod_php"
Used memory (Apache):        525MB
Transactions:        1606 hits
Availability:       89.92 %
Elapsed time:       59.08 secs
Data transferred:       12.49 MB
Response time:        0.89 secs
Transaction rate:       27.18 trans/sec
Throughput:        0.21 MB/sec
Concurrency:       24.28
Successful transactions:        1411
Failed transactions:         180
Longest transaction:        5.89
Shortest transaction:        0.11
Small EC2 instance with event MPM and PHP-FPM
Used memory (Apache+PHP-FPM):  278MB (max)
Transactions:        2480 hits
Availability:       91.75 %
Elapsed time:       59.10 secs
Data transferred:       21.30 MB
Response time:        0.69 secs
Transaction rate:       41.96 trans/sec
Throughput:        0.36 MB/sec
Concurrency:       29.11
Successful transactions:        2480
Failed transactions:         223
Longest transaction:        6.17
Shortest transaction:        0.11

The main differences when using PHP-FPM with the event MPM are the following:

- The used memory is much lower.
- The amount of data transferred is much higher.
- The transaction rate is higher and there are less failed transactions.

The next test shows the connection and page serving times for running 9 concurrent users using EC2 micro instances with the same WordPress sample site.

1. Apache MPM prefork with "mod_php"

2. Apache event MPM with PHP-FPM

The main differences are the following:

- The load time is much lower in the second case. Note that the load time in the first case could be very different for different tests depending on the number of free child processes.
- The "time to first byte" for the requests is much lower in the second case.

In conclusion, the Apache event MPM increases the performance of Apache, allowing it to serve more requests with less memory. If you want to deploy a PHP application you should use PHP-FPM to handle PHP requests. This is highly recommend for running applications in servers with limited memory, such as like cloud instances with 512MB or 1Gb RAM. You can find more info about these tests on our Wiki and feel free to ask any questions in our community forum.

Want to try deploying a Bitnami application in the cloud? Select your favorite application at and launch it in minutes with just a few mouse clicks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Development PHP Platform Stacks released with 5.6.0beta4

Development of PHP 5.6 keeps moving forward and this week a new beta version has been released. This version is just a bugfix release, and is intended to be the last release in the beta phase. You can find more information about the changes for PHP 5.6.0beta4 here.

We just released new versions of the PHP development installers, virtual machines and Amazon EC2 and Azure cloud images that ship the new PHP version.

Bitnami PHP development stacks ship Apache, MySQL, PHP in addition to other libraries and dependencies. You can click in the images to download the files.

In addition to that, we have also upgraded our PostgreSQL-based development environments: LAPP for Linux, MAPP for OS X and WAPP for Windows.

Try now if your application is ready for PHP 5.6! Check out Bitnami AMP/APP stacks and post your feedback in our community forums.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New Bitnami Ubuntu 14.04 images on Azure

We are happy to announce updated Bitnami application images for the Azure cloud. These new images are based on Ubuntu 14.04, the latest long-term support release of the popular operating system.

Ubuntu 14.04 provides improved performance, usability and security for a large number of scenarios. This includes cloud deployments, where Ubuntu is already the preferred operating system for many users. You can learn more about Ubuntu 14.04 new features in the release notes announcement.

Over time, we will be making Ubuntu 14.04 the default operating system for our virtual machines and other cloud offerings. Currently the best way to enjoy this new version is to head over to the VMDepot website or use our own Azure Launchpad to launch your favorite apps on Microsoft Azure with one click. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Azure Brazil South region support in Bitnami

The Bitnami Azure Launchpad makes it easy for you to deploy dozens of popular open source servers applications in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Microsoft just announced General Availability support for their Southern Brazil region, located in São Paulo state and we are excited to let you know that we have added support for it!

Brazil is one of the top countries in terms of Bitnami adoption and this new offering provides a cloud hosting option with reduced latency and improved performance.

You can now launch all Bitnami images in Brazil through the Microsoft OpenTech VMDepot  or the Bitnami Azure Launchpad.  Microsoft is offering promotional pricing for Azure Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Storage, SQL Database, Web Sites, and Data Transfers through July 31, 2014. 

You can learn more about this new region at the official Microsoft blog post or try out the Bitnami Launchpad for Azure

OpenSSL CCS Injection Vulnerability

A number of OpenSSL security vulnerabilities were announced on 2014-06-05 that affect most versions of OpenSSL currently in use. The most significant one was CVE-2014-0224, which allows an attacker to intercept communications between two vulnerable OpenSSL implementations (such as a browser and a web server). In most web-related scenarios (i.e Bitnami), that is not an issue since consumer browsers do not typically use OpenSSL.

Having said that, this is an important security issue and we recommend all Bitnami users to upgrade their servers if their Bitnami application was released previous to 2014-06-05. For that purpose we have released a patch installer that can be downloaded and run in your systems.

You can find detailed instructions in this wiki post

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Public OpenStack Cloud with Cloud & Heat and Bitnami

One of our main goals at Bitnami is to make open source server software accessible to a large number of users by making it easier to install and manage. We do so primarily through the website and the Bitnami library of prepackaged popular open source applications

In addition to this work we also partner with other companies and organizations that want to offer Bitnami to their customers. We are happy to announce Bitnami for Cloud & Heat, the latest cloud provider to add Bitnami to its offering.

Cloud & Heat Technologies is a provider of cloud-based computing services with a twist: the waste heat produced by the running servers is used for heating buildings and for heating water. The cloud server will be installed directly into the heating system and connected to the Internet via a virtual data center. All this is completely transparent to the end user.

Cloud & Heat is based out of Europe and powered by OpenStack, a flexible and popular open source cloud computing platform that has quickly become the platform of choice for both private and public cloud providers.

As part of the Bitnami Launch promotion, Cloud & Heat is offering 500 hours of free usage on their platform for new customers. Check it out!