MadeiraCloud: The visual, simple and social approach to AWS

You have a terrible headache: How to design an scalable architecture using Amazon Web Services in a quick and effective way? How to test an architectural approach to a certain problem and share it in a easy way with you fellows? I have an answer for you: MadeiraCloud.

But, What is MadeiraCloud and how it can solve these problems? I had the pleasure to talk with his CEO Dany O’ Prey, and after a few lines, I said: “Wow, this deserve a blog post”.

Ok, What is MadeiraCloud?

It’s a Visual, Integrated Management Environment for AWS, where you can design, deploy, manage, monitor, backup, recover, redeploy, schedule, and finally share your Cloud infrastructure. You should be thinking that I’m a mad man, but actually, you can see it for yourself.

I will describe to you feature by feature:

  • Design:
  • Keeping you in the visual approach, you can see this video explaining all the process to design and provisioning an AWS Cloud infrastructure: [vimeo w=500&h=281]
  • Introduction to Designing and Provisioning your AWS Architecture with MadeiraCloud from MadeiraCloud on Vimeo
  • Deployment:
  • Immediately after you designed your infrastructure, you deploy it using your AWS credentials
  • Management:
  • Did I say to you that you can manage your infrastructure at the same time that you are design it?
  • Monitoring:
  • You will notice that when you design a cloud infrastructure in MadeiraCloud’s IDE, you will see a kind of “living diagram”, because you can see the current state of your instances or services
  • Backup:
  • You can integrate your diagrams to your SCM: Git, Subversion, Mercurial, it doesn’t matter. But if this is not enough, you can create a stack template for your infrastructure and put your disaster plan with it.
  • Recovering:
  • We are human beans and we are not perfect, so MadeiraCloud’s crew had this issue in mind when they designed the platform: You can rollback to a previous version of your diagram if you made a mistake. Do you think that’s cool? Keep reading
  • Redeployment:
  • You designed you cloud infrastructure like a master piece of art, and you think that this approach that you found, can solve other problems in your organization. Ok: simple make a copy of your diagram and redeploy your application stack
  • Scheduling and Sharing:
  • This is one of my favorite features: with a simple button, you can share your cloud design by email with your folks, and schedule your entire stack. You can read more about this in the Dan’s blog post talking to the masses around this topic

How it works

Register here and see how it works:

In matters of seconds,you have a email from Dany in your mailbox with all required data to test the platform.

Then, you can read the message from Dany, explaining exactly what do you should do after login in the platform:

  1. Create a password for your account
  2. Launch IDE

You can note in the right bottom corner that you can send message to Dany, what I recommend you, because, they will appreciate your feedback. The message box is clean and simple, like it should be.

AWS Account Settings

Then, you should configure your AWS credentials to be able to use the platform:

After this step, now you can use the IDE to create your cloud infrastructure using a Microsoft Visio approach for AWS. Nice, eh?

Now you can create a new stack:

And here, you can change the host settings:

Finally, you can share your cloud infrastructure with your folks:

Well, I challenge you if you are a DevOps guy, a CTO of a company or a Computer Sciences professor to teach to your co-workers or students in each case, the benefits of Cloud Computing, and particulary AWS with this amazing way to enter to this challeging but fun world of clouds.

The MadeiraCloud’s Pricing Model

MadeiraCloud is a beta-service now, but in a near future, they will provide several pricing plans based on three topics: Personal, Small Business and Large Companies. You see it here. Again, 5 points for them: keeping simplicity above all things.

The people behind MadeiraCloud

Dan and Zhao Peng, who is the CTO and co-founder have created a dynamic team of 5 persons for this: Jimmy Xu, the Chief Geek, Stone Wei, a Senior Developer and Ken Chen, another developer; all sharing the same passion for Cloud Computing. You can read more about them here

My personal feedback

Business part

Believe when I say that I’m a MadeiraCloud fan, its simplicity and good approach can help a lot of people and keep them aware of a lot of cloud headaches. But, I have some ideas to become to MadeiraCloud in a better platform:

  • Why don’t you integrate the platform to other Cloud providers: Rackspace, Joyent, Google, Red Hat’s OpenShiftetc?
  • Are you thinking to integrate MadeiraCloud to the Heroku’s platform like another of its add-ons? You should be. Heroku’s customers are growing faster, so , you must take advantage of that
  • You must present the platform in the next AWS:reInvent event from Amazon to launch the business to all AWS customers that will be present in the conference.

Technical part

  • You should review the IDE, because, at least here in my machine (an Acer Aspire 5251 1805 running Ubuntu 12.04 64 bits) using Firefox 13.0.1, it seems to be a little slow to work with the canvas area. This only happens with Firefox; I tested with Chromium browser (18.0.1025.168 (Developer Build 134367 Linux) Ubuntu 12.04) and it works perfect.
  • 100 points for the Knowledge Base, it’s simple, and has an incredible information architecture, keep it in that way. This is for me one of the strongest points of the platform
  • All other features works incredible, so I will stay tuned for the evolution of the platform, because I said before, I’m already a MadeiraCloud’s fan

What are you waiting?

Give a try to the platform and don’t forget to send your feedback to the MadeiraCloud’s crew. If you have any trouble, you can contact to Dany directly here or you can use their Contact form. If you can keep updated about the platform, you can follow its Twitter’s account: @madeiracloud, their blog, their Google Plus profile or their Facebook’s profile

Happy Hacking !!!

Marcos Ortiz

Marcos Ortiz