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The funding news of Jelastic, which has just announced raising $2 Million from Almaz Capital Partners and Foresight Ventures, is great especially for Eastern Europe, where Java developers might still be struggling deploying Java apps in the Cloud.
Back in 2010 deploying Java applications was a challenge for the Ukrainian / Russian team of Jelastic some of whom come from Ukranian town of Zhitomir. Originally Ruslan Synytskyy, Constantin Alexandrov and Alexey Skutin were working on creating a cloud-based development environment, but spent too much time on admin work related to virtual machines configuration. Here is why.
Google App Engine and Heroku, the current main alternatives for deploying Java applications force the code to be written in a particular way to work with either of the platforms. Also Google App Engine has its own custom app servers and thereby reduces application compatibility. At the end, a developer gets locked into a particular supplier of PaaS and a hoster. The only way out – rewrite your code. Also there are other problems such as having to host applications in the US (compliance with Patriot Act may be an issue).
Having defined the problem, and having made some progress, in 2010 the team raised $500K from Runa Capital, and launched its beta version in October 2011. This month the Jelastic is commercially available in the US, Europe and Russia via Servint, dogado / HostEurope and Rusonyx respectively.
Jelastic uses standard software stacks, a variety of databases and does not force its users to work with any particular hosting partner. According to Alexander Galitsky of Almaz Capital, the company cuts the deployment time for Java applications from hours to minutes.
For more technical comparison of Jelastic vs Google App Engine or Heroku visit Jelastic blog here and here. Amongst other alternatives, Amazon’s AWS Elastic Beanstalk is apparently not going to be Amazon’s core focus, and VMWare’s Open Source Cloud Foundry is not availably commercially yet.
Jelastic became a finalist of the Ukrainian startup rating this month.
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