Engine Yard (previous CloudAve coverage), one of the earliest PaaS players to enter the market, today announced the availability of Node.js support on their platform. This is the next step in the evolution of a company that started as a pure play Ruby on Rails PaaS player on AWS. The last few announcements clearly indicate that Engine Yard is changing their priorities to catch up with the market trend.
Yes, it is easy to dismiss Node.js’ momentum as fad. However, we are seeing large scale adoption of Node.js not just among the Youtube generation of developers (a term I use for younger developers who spent most of their teens in the Youtube era) but also enterprises wanting to take advantage of some of the modern application trends. Node.js is a popular language of choice for real time applications. Even though Ruby leads Node.js in terms of overall adoption due to their earlier entry into the market, the insights gained from Google Search shows a dramatic relative growth in the interest for Node.js compared to Ruby (as shown in the figure below)
Moreover, many credible PaaS players in the industry have supported Node.js including Microsoft which not only added Node.js support to Windows Azure but also using it as a strategy to lure in younger generation of developers to their platform. Taking these factors into account, Engine Yard’s support for Node.js becomes a necessity, to stay competitive in the market.
Engine Yard’s Evolution
Engine Yard started out as pure play Ruby on Rails player on top of AWS. They differentiated themselves in the hosted space by focussing on DevOps mantra than a NoOps approach taken by some of the competitors. While offering a seamless platform to developers, they also offered VM level control for those who needed it. Even though most of the younger developers and SMBs don’t need the VM level control, it is critical to attract niche cases where such control is needed and, also, to attract organizations that have embraced DevOps as a part of their cloud adoption strategy. This is especially true of some enterprises wanting to use PaaS. Windows Azure’s move downwards towards infrastructure with support for VM Role is an indication of this market need.
From a single language Ruby PaaS on a single infrastructure (AWS), Engine Yard has evolved into supporting not just multiple languages but also multiple infrastructure in the backend. They already support Amazon Web Services (AWS), Citrix CloudPlatform, HP Cloud Services and Terremark. There are indications that they will support more cloud infrastructure platforms in the future.
The PaaS space is competitive and every player has a different differentiating element in their offerings. Engine Yard is marching ahead touting DevOps and it will be interesting to see their progress in the coming two years.
Disclosure: Engine Yard is the sponsor for DeployCon 2012, a conference I ran on enterprise PaaS.