AppFog Expands Beyond PHP Servers in the Cloud

By Sean Kerner (Send Email)
Posted Aug 15, 2011


The market for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions is one that is rapidly becoming highly competitive, as companies new and old aim for their slice of the emerging market. Startup formerly known as PHP Fog receives new funding as it expands into the PaaS server space.

Portfland, Oregon based startup AppFog is among those that are trying to grab PaaS share. Until this month, AppFog was known as PHP Fog and focused exclusively on providing a PaaS solution for PHP developers and servers. The company is now expanding beyond just PHP with a PaaS platform for multiple languages including Ruby, and Java. The expansion is being fueled by $8 million in Series B investment led by Ignition Partners. In total, AppFog has raised $9.8 million in funding to date.

"We're not moving away from PHP," AppFog CEO Lucas Carlson told InternetNews.com. "The new funding gives us the opportunity to broaden our scope and take to other technologies what we've built for PHP."

What AppFog has built is an easy access ramp for PHP developers to deploy their applications in a multi-tenant, elastic cloud model. Carlson explained that currently the AppFog technology is hosted on Amazon's EC2, and also noted that the service can move to other clouds.

"We built it from day one not to care about the underlying infrastructure," Carlson said. "So now that we have more resources we can deliver on that promise."

In terms of what the underlying technology is behind AppFog, Carlson didn't spare too many details. He noted that the system is using the latest version of PHP, Apache and MySQL. They are also using the ngnx server as well as Varnish for caching. Carlson said that on top of those open source components is a proprietary system that AppFog has been developing. He added that AppFog will be providing additional details on the platform in the next couple of months.

The AppFog system already provides an integration point for developers.

"If your IDE supports version control through GIT, then it's a push/deploy action," Carlson said. "We have been talking to Adobe about tighter integration, but just having the source control support is a pretty good start."

The market for PaaS solutions is a crowded one already with Red Hat's OpenShift and VMware's Cloud Foundry all pushing their respective vision for PaaS. Carlson isn't too worried about competition at this point.

"It's a greenfield market and there is a lot of open space," Carlson said. "And because it's such an open space, we've chose to focus on what we're good at, namely user experience."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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