In less than a year, San Francisco startup DCHQ Inc. has moved from company and product launch to user acquisition, a partnership with Red Hat and sponsorship of the Linux Foundation. Today, the company continues that pace with a new, hosted version of its product in India on http://dchq.in. The fast-moving startup is simplifying the containerization of multi-tier applications and is giving away one server for application deployments for the first one hundred sign-ups for three months.
Its first hosted product, DCHQ.io Hosted PaaS, launched in mid-August and quickly gained several hundred users. Today, the company releases to general availability a hosted version of the product in India to cater to the millions of application developers looking for a secure and local cloud application platform to automate the deployment of Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python applications.
The Product Suite
DCHQ, available in both hosted as well as on-premise versions, is a deployment automation solution that delivers enterprise discipline to Docker-based application development. The platform provides the most advanced application composition framework that extends Docker Compose through environment variable bindings across images, BASH script plug-ins that can be invoked at request time and post-provision and support for clustering for high availability across multiple hosts and auto-scaling. Once an application is provisioned, developers can access day-2 operations like scale out, backup, monitoring, plug-in execution and continuous delivery workflows.
DCHQ does not just automate the application deployments, but it also integrates with 12 different cloud providers to automate the provisioning and auto-scaling of clusters with software-defined networking enabled. It also supports capacity-based placement and historical monitoring with alerts and notifications.
All of this under a governance layer that allows users to define granular access controls to clusters, application templates, plug-ins, builds, and Docker repositories.
A Cost-Effective Alternative to Heroku
DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS gives public cloud users a new option, ideally suited for development teams that want to automate the deployment and life-cycle management tasks associated with application containers while reducing the cost of application management.
“The benefits of DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS are obvious: deploy applications to your local machines or any public cloud and get a full-featured PaaS experience without the high cost of Heroku,” said A. Afanah, founder and CEO of DCHQ. “With the launch of DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS, we’re the only hosted PaaS in India that offers application modeling, deployment and life-cycle management with support for the most popular public cloud services.”
Benefits of DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS
Hosted by India’s tier-4 datacenter CtrlS, DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS is the only secure and local cloud application platform that delivers optimized network latency while securing the data within Indian borders.
Unlike many public PaaS offerings, DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS is flexible and scalable – allowing development teams to register their local machines or use cloud providers they’re already using, including DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer and Google Compute Engine. Using an agent-based architecture, DCHQ.in Hosted PaaS automates the provisioning and auto-scaling of virtual infrastructure with out-of-box support for software-defined networking.
The solution offers intuitive and extensible application modeling as well as free templates for Java, Ruby, Python and PHP developers to quickly stand up complex application stacks.
Integrations with GitHub and Jenkins facilitate continuous delivery via supported Docker repositories like Docker Hub, Quay and Red Hat Container Registry. Users can automate the provisioning of updated application stacks at a scheduled frequency or whenever a code commit is made.
Continuous Delivery for Docker Java Applications
For developers wishing to follow the “immutable” containers model by rebuilding Docker images containing the application code and spinning up new containers with every application update, DCHQ provides an automated build feature that allows developers to automatically create Docker images from Dockerfiles or GitHub projects containing Dockerfiles.
However many Java developers may wish to update the running application server containers with the latest Java WAR file instead. For that, DCHQ facilitates a continuous delivery workflow with Jenkins to refresh the Java WAR file of a running application without disrupting the existing dependencies and integrations.
After an application is provisioned, day-2 operations like backup, scale in/out, log analysis, and application updates allow developers to speed up application development without accessing the underlying host. Developers can monitor the performance of running containers and the underlying hosts in order to correlate issues to application changes or build deployments. Notifications and alerts warn when a host or container is down or when the CPU/memory utilization of either the host or the running container is above a defined threshold.