Designing cloud architectures can be a daunting task, with the stacks, applications and interfaces that need to be programmed and setup. MadeiraCloud offers an easier way to design and implement cloud computing setups, by letting users design, build and manage apps on top of Amazon Web Services using a WYSIWYG interface.
Drag and Drop
MadeiraCloud is a SaaS offering that offers drag-and-drop setup and customizability to an environment running on AWS. The Beijing-based startup actually started building the application mid-2011, although it has gained increased attention recently by placing fifth in the recently-held ChinaBang LaunchPad competition for startups.
MadeiraCloud works on the assumption that engineers will usually draw an architectural diagram to plan and design systems. However, when actually implementing a cloud system, this diagram will only serve as a conceptual reference. Administrators will have to configure new environments manually, which may include setting up the load balancer, firewall, operating system, web server, database, app server and the like. This can be time-consuming, and often deviates from the intended design as diagrammed. This can also be made tedious once redundancies need to be put in place.
MadeiraCloud, on the other hand, lets engineers create the actual systems using a drag-and-drop interface. Icons can be dragged and dropped and connected as if diagramming the design in the first place. Madeira will bootstrap servers, mount storage media, deploy code and setup connections.
MadeiraCloud lets users create AWS-based cloud setups using a drag-and-drop interface.
The service goes beyond the cloud setup, explains Madeira Cloud's Daniel O'Prey. The app also offers an architectural-level view of your cloud implementation, which includes each component's state and load levels, and also how errors and performance deterioration will affect these factors. These settings can be saved as stacks and apps for later use, or for troubleshooting.
MadeiraCloud has recently released new features, which include improved app management:
- Intelligent network management. MadeiraCloud will dynamically resolve for new IP addresses when resources are shut down and relaunched, which often results in new, unique IP addresses. This will prevent problems when re-launching applications.
- Running apps can be saved back to stacks. Templates, which include apps, resources, security group rules, dependencies and code, can be saved and relaunched back into an application multiple times without the need to do repetitive work.
- Identical app cloning. Apps can be cloned into an identical copy when an identical (but distinct) environment is needed.
MadeiraCloud has also added minor updates, which include real-time app modification, default regions, new quick-start AMIs and app resource status icons.
The MadeiraCloud team will be offering support for Eucalyptus and OpenStack soon. The service is currently in beta, and is currently free up to one user, two apps, five nodes per app and 10 stacks. Interested AWS users can request an invite.