Published on October 4, 2012
The choice food product of poor college students and programmers alike. I cannot begin to fathom the number of plastic Maruchan packages I have thrown out after emptying their contents into a bowl, with a bit of water, and “nuked” that bowl in the microwave. Tasty, filling, easy, and ultra-cheap, I love Microwave Ramen.
Before the advent of the Microwave oven, you had to dig out a pot, turn on the stove, put the water in, wait for the stove to heat and the water to boil, put in the noodles, cook for 3 minutes, then add the seasoning, drain, and enjoy. Now, I can make a bowl in less than 5 minutes. That’s more time eating Ramen and less time making Ramen.
People ask us: “What does cloud really mean?”—we have seen all of the definitions, the marketing spin, the variations. To us, cloud means simplification, access, and speed. And not always speed of serving content, mind you, also speed of consuming services and resources. We merged IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) with PaaS (Platform as a service) and SaaS (Software as a service) to make something that saves you time. Really, that is the primary pain-point we think cloud should address.
When designing MODX Cloud, we tried to wrap our heads around the set of problems we were hoping to solve. We know what it's like to work with MODX and servers and databases and internet things. We made a short list of the challenges MODX users face and fix the ones that, to us, would make a cloud platform ultra-super-compelling to use.
- Installing MODX takes time. It does. No matter how good you get at it, it even takes a seasoned Linux nut with a fast net connection a good 15 minutes to upload and install MODX. That’s 15 minutes that you are not working on the client’s design work, or integrating something cool for them, or eating Ramen. If you’re like us, you install MODX about 3-4 times a month on average, maybe more, maybe less. That’s about 45 minutes to an hour each month we are not working on other stuff, and that is expensive time.
- Duplicating a MODX install takes time. It’s really not that much different from installing - in some ways, it takes a little bit longer; dumping the database, creating a tarball of the assets and install, moving them someplace new, updating paths and system settings, etc. This could take an hour or more depending on the connection or troubleshooting differing environments.
- Sharing a pre-configured, easy to move MODX install is hard. Some of you have figured it out, but how much time did you spend doing that? What if you want to make iterations of a pre-configured build? How much time does that take?
- How many servers are you keeping track of today? Are they all in one place? Do you have clients on different servers all over the place? We do. Log in. Log out. Log in. Log out. Repeat.
- How long does it take you to restore a backup of your site? How much control do you have over the backup process? Let’s gather ‘round the campfire, grab our hot steamy bowls of Ramen, and tell each other the scary “had to call support to restore a file” stories.
- How do you share a complete install of MODX with someone else?
- How long does it take you to upgrade an install of MODX?
The way we see it, server management for MODX and LAMP applications in general is something that happens infrequently, often takes a completely different skill set than building websites, and can be a complete pain. If you have customers that you are working for, and you are taking up time working with MySQL and PHP and Apache and bash scripts and so on and so on, how much time are you spending each month on that? Wouldn’t you rather spend that time actually making websites?
We know you do a lot of this work yourself. Even a one-click blog system through a CPanel takes time, and you have to setup the database in advance, copy / paste credentials, write them all down. How much is all of that time worth to you?
We think it is worth a lot, frankly, and that is why we designed MODX Cloud the way we did. We want you to click one button and get a ready-to-use MODX Cloud. Click another button to copy the content out and store it away some place. Click another button to make a new Cloud with that content pre-built into it. Share that pre-build with a co-worker, client, friend, or the world. Restore a Cloud backup whenever you want. Destroy a site with one click (and a quick dialog to assure the system you really, really mean it). All those tedious operations boiled, very quickly, down to simple click and move on.
So there you are. MODX Cloud is your microwave oven; nuking all the wasted time uploading, configuring, upgrading, zipping and transferring so you can get it done sooner and then take a break with some piping hot ramen. Get a taste of doing more web and try out MODX Cloud.