Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

PLUSH Report Summary

Project ID: 674285

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PLUSH (Platform Universal Self Hosting, a hybrid-cloud Platform as a Service reducing web application development cost by 40% for SMEs)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The PLUSH project - Platform Universal Self Hosting – was meant to create a next generation PaaS (Platform as a Service) – that can run multiple applications in multiple computing languages using multiple data backends on a Hybrid-Cloud infrastructure. PLUSH allows for different modes of operations for client applications (on a single public cloud, on a private cloud, on a hybrid-cloud, on multiple clouds). It is a distributed and decentralised system powered by a high-availability grid of micro-services.

To achieve this we set forth four main features that needed to be developed

1. Multi/Hybrid Topology (for the PaaS itself and for each application deployed on it);
2. Full infrastructure management (multiple application servers, multiple data backends) through the development of a unique Container Management Platform;
3. Fast cloning of a full production system and ad-hoc creation of staging and development environments;
4. High-Availability for all components and for each application cluster.


With PLUSH we were able to expand our technological advance thanks to the evolution of our pre-existing PaaS “platform.sh”, that has already been deployed by 2000+ clients since its launch, three years ago. The success of the PLUSH project has allowed us to go beyond being a public PaaS provider and offer our technology as a building block for other cloud solutions. As such Magento, the leading world-wide e-commerce vendor has built their own flagship product, Magento Cloud, with us, the same is true for Sensio.Cloud, the cloud solution of Symfony, the most used software development framework (close to a billion downloads), eZ Platform, an enterprise grade CMS (and smaller players). Our support for multi-cloud deployments is allowing us to accelerate our penetration of the enterprise market (and singularly within fortune 500 companies in the US) as we can now deploy not only to dozens of data-centers but also in Mainland China, an elusive target for most providers.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

All of the objectives for the project have been implemented Platform.sh now runs on Multiple clouds with full infrastructure management, fast cloning and high availability primitives. Platform.sh has won multiple awards for its break-through technology including EuroCloud and the Digital Innovation Competition in France (Concours d'innovation Numérique).

Leveraging our multi-cloud capabilities, we were able to add sovereign hosting capabilities, letting our customers make full use of a modern productivity oriented PaaS while keeping their operations in compliance with data protection requirements (we have an exclusive deal with Orange Business Services to offer our services, through their product catalog as a French Sovereign solution, and the same with Microsoft in Germany on the T-Systems infrastructure).

At the same time multiple software vendors have chosen us to build their own cloud solutions leveraging both the multi-cloud capabilities and the high-availability and productivity gains guarantees.

We went beyond what was initially planned in the project adding support for many runtime environments (PHP, HHVM, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, Golang, Java with .NET in alpha) and many persistant services (MySQL, PostgreSQL, ElasticSearch, Solr, Redis, InfluxDB, Kafka, RabbitMQ...) all of which have fully automated operations.

The R&D work on the project is continuing full-steam we plan to add more automated compliance controls, more hybrid cloud capabilities and better scalability (we can run dozens of services in a cluster at tera level currently but there are use-cases where people run hundreds of services in a single cluster at the high-tera level).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Platform.sh is probably the first Container Management Platform to allow for high availability primitives out-of-the-box without having to write custom code to achieve these features.

The work on making sure layering was correct allowed us within the project time-frame to create a secondary product offering where our solution is used as a framework to build other cloud services (like Magento, previously cited).

Though this can not be easily demonstrated we believe we currently have the best container density in the industry (we can run a thousand live MySQL servers on a relatively modest instance) making our system extremely price competitive). This was not part of the initial project's goals but has proven to be a side-effect of other elements we did right (read-only deduplicating file system to name one)..

Our multi-cloud capabilities have proven incredibly useful in allowing us to offer European Sovereign hosting solutions in Germany and France while also giving us access to the Chinese market. This gives access to companies and public entities that have privacy and security concerns to enjoy best-of-breed productivity gains offered by our container powered second generation PaaS.

All of these allowed us to go from a relatively obscure player in the open-source ecommerce market to a contender in the Platform as a Service market (with triple digit yearly growth), and a leader in one of its segments (PHP CMSs and ecommerce). Our company went from 11 people when the project was initiated to currently more than 50.

In a very crowded space of PaaS systems and frameworks and container management platforms (like Kubernetes or Mesosphere) we hope our advancements will allow us to emerge as a viable option for truly large scale projects.

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