Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grails Hosting in the Cloud

How simple can hosting become? I’m not interested in a private cloud or putting servers in a public cloud, I want a cloud web site. To me the difference is with a server in the cloud you need to configure and manage the application server, while hosting an application in the cloud allows the provider to manage the application server for you. Ideally I’d like a solution like Heroku with their instant Ruby platform. What are the choices for completely managed Grails hosting today?

Morph Labs

Used by – The Groovy & Grails Podcast.
Morph Labs appears to be ready to manage everything except writing your application. With Exist thrown into the mix they may even do that for you too.

Google App Engine

Used by groovytweets ::: groovy in the twitter universe.
Google App Engine is from Google so I assume it will eventually dominate the Earth and any additional planets that tap into our Internet. Long denied Java love this solution grew from Google’s amazing amount of cheap servers and can now host Groovy and Grails.

Cloud Foundry

I don’t have an example site but Marcel’s excellent blog post provides detailed instructions on how to deploy a Grails application. There are a ton of comments wishing you didn’t need to bring your own fulltime Amazon EC2 instance with you as that sets the floor for pricing above most dedicated Virtual Private Server offerings.


This one came from a comment on Marcel’s blog and it looks promising. They web site claims to support Grails and it can scale down below a full EC2 instance as well as up to multi-server clusters. Being able to begin with less than a 24/7 server instance sounds appealing but may need further investigation.

Something Else

I’m certain that I must have missed something.  There are probably lots of other capable solutions because there seem to be new offerings every week. Of course they need to support Java. I looked at Rackspace and Joyent but they didn’t seem to cover the management and/or Java requirements. If you know of additional services for Grails hosting in the cloud please let me know in the comments. I’d like to develop a comprehensive list.


  1. Google App Engine ... isn't a bad choice but i really don't consider it to be Grails cloud computing when you are now soo limited on what you can do on there.

  2. @Joseph: I agree that today Grails on Google App Engine is less than full featured. However, it seems like it has traction in SpringSource and the Grails community so I wouldn't be surprised to see it mature quickly.

  3. I listened to Grails Podcast Episode 94 during this morning's commute and learned that is now on the Contegix cloud. From the Contegix website it appears this is a beta offering. Any details from a knowledgeable source would be appreciated.

  4. I've have some experience with Rackspace cloud virtual server. You need to go for a plan with at least 512MB RAM to be able to deploy a single Grails app in Tomcat.

  5. With Cloud Servers, we manage the network, the hardware, and the virtualization layer. You get full control of your virtual instance – that means you call the shots when it comes to the OS, server applications and code.

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