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Engine Yard Brings JRuby to Cloud

By Sean Kerner (Send Email)
Posted October 3, 2011


Ruby is continuing to make its move into the enterprise cloud server space. Ruby platform vendor Engine Yard is now providing support for JRuby on its cloud platform. JRuby is a Java implementation of the Ruby language.

"This is the first commercially supported way to run applications on JRuby in a production environment," Mike Piech vice president of product management and marketing for Engine Yard told InternetNews.com. "JRuby is really important to both the Ruby and Java world."

According to Piech, JRuby is important to the Ruby world as a high-performance implementation of Ruby. He added that it's the only Ruby implementation that takes advantage of true concurrency. JRuby leverages the Java Virtual Machine's (JVM) threading capabilities to offer concurrency.

"It's interesting to Java, as it allows shops that have an investment in Java software to extend those libraries with Ruby," Piech said.

Piech explained that JRuby is a bridge that will help accelerate the adoption of Ruby by the more traditional mainstream enterprise software community rooted in Java. The Engine Yard cloud will be using the JRuby 1.6 code branch, which debuted earlier this year.

Engine Yard sponsors the lead developers of the JRuby open source project, Thomas Enebo and Charles Nutter.

The JRuby on Engine Yard cloud deployment also marks the debut of the Trinidad Java on Ruby application server. Trinidad is a packaged version of the Apache Tomcat 7 Java middleware server.

"Trinidad allows you to use an entire Tomcat stack as if it was just a command line," Dr. Nic Williams VP of technology at Engine Yard told InternetNews.com.

Williams explained that the way much of Ruby development is done is via the command line. The reason Engine Yard chose to use Trinidad is that it wraps up standard Tomcat stack and wraps it up so it'll be a similar experience for Ruby developers.

While Engine Yard is growing its Ruby base, it's not the only vendor with a Ruby cloud. Salesforce.com and its Heroku cloud are also aiming to grow the Ruby platform. Salesforce acquired Heroku.

"We don't compete with all the shiny 'we just do deployment' platforms," Williams said. "The ability for us to do JRuby and Trinidad is just a starting point for the entire experience of writing an application."

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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