PHP is popular, easy to write, and fast -- but writing PHP for the cloud can be annoying, especially if switching cloud environments and having to port the code is a possibility.
There have been a few early birds in the PHP PaaS: PHP Fog, Red Hat's OpenShift, EngineYard, and Orchestra. But I'm sure some developers were wondering why the biggest name in commercial PHP solutions was missing. I'm talking of course about Zend. Today they made their cloud play with phpcloud.com, which lets you choose whether to deploy your applications on Zend or on another platform.
Sean Gallagher from arstechnica.com reports phpcloud.com's major selling points:
- Administration: "The Zend Application Fabric...automates many of the tasks associated with configuring and managing virtual server workloads in a cloud environment, including the auto-scaling of resources to handle surges in application usage. Server instances within the fabric are set up as PHP runtime 'containers'."
- Collaboration: "The applications can be accessed as a code tree using Git, allowing developers to work collaboratively on elements of the application in their development tools of choice, and commit them back to the project in the sandbox."
- Debugging: "PHP errors flash up when the app is run off the site, and a click takes developers straight to the offending line of code. There's also a server-side code trace that steps through code to help find bugs and discover issues in application performance."
It looks like Zend's goal with phpcloud.com is to encourage coders to worry about nothing but the PHP code itself. (Interestingly, at the time of this posting, most of the comments on the arstechnica article were complaining about how poorly PHP programmers usually code.)