BitNami Builds On Its Open Source Packaging To Become A Cloud Host

Open Source App Store and installers make move to cloud hosting a no brainer

BitRock is the company behind Bitnami.org the developers of the popular pre-packaged open source packages that more than one million people have used. In addition to the open source packages from Bitnami, BitRock's installers allow many companies to package their software and make it easy to install on a wide variety of platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux. But their pre-packaged open source apps, even including the stacks below the open source app are a staple for open source users the world over.  Now they are taking Bitnami open source packages to the cloud and offering cloud hosted versions on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and soon other cloud providers.

The company originally founded and still headquartered in Seville, Spain also has a significant  presence in Silicon Valley. I had a chance to speak with Erica Brescia, the CEO of BitRock about their cloud hosting service.  The key to it according to Erica is that Bitnami already has so many of these open source applications packaged up. With or without the OS, they have packages with the rest of the stack, tried and tested ready to use. So when a user chooses Bitnami cloud hosting, they are getting the same package that so many have already used without any issue.

This deep lineup is now extending beyond just free open source applications too. With a recent partnership with SugarCRM for instance, Bitnami is offering cloud hosted versions of the non-free commercial versions of Sugar. Brescia says the Sugar partnership will serve as a model as Bitnami moves beyond just free open source and on to other commercial open source applications.

Right now the apps can only be hosted on AWS. But Bitnami is actively working on additional cloud hosts that they will offer their hosted applications on. The vision is to move between cloud hosts seamlessly without losing data or anything.

I had a look at the interface of Bitnami hosting. It is very clean, geared to the novice user. Everything you need to get up and running is just a click away including backup, expandability and configuration. You still get access to Amazon's control panel too, so you don't lose anything in that regard. The Bitnami team has paid a lot of attention to access control and security as well with lots of options on controlling access to your applications.  

Another feature that I like was the ability to combine multiple open source applications into one instance on the cloud. You can then save that as a template going forward. So if you want to set up Sugar and WordPress for instance you can save that config and create instances of that again and again.

All in all BitRock has created an easy to use cloud hosting option for open source applications with Bitnami Cloud Hosting. Their library of open source applications they have already packaged with or without stacks make it a no brainer to use. It will be even better when they expand beyond just Amazon and I expect that to happen soon.

There are other companies offering open source cloud hosting. Standing Cloud is one I have written about before. Both of these companie represent a new breed of web hosts. App hosting may be the next big thing powered by the cloud.

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