Saturday, March 16

IronFoundry

I was looking for service provider which allow me to deploy ASP MVC applications.
I found all kind of providers like DiscountASP, AppHurbor but the one that got my attention is IronFoundry.

The reason is that is a mixture of IaaS and PaaS as I see it and it is not .NET only.

I start to read about IronFoundry and found it was a fork of Cloud Foundry, a VMWare backed open source project for building open clouds. By open they mean you can actually run an entier cloud solution right on your development machine, you can even run a production cloud in your data-center or you can use a provider such as Tier3. All of those solution use the same software and the same tools to deploy, monitor, scale and manage your cloud so unlike Amazon you can really have a private cloud inside your organization.

Hello Cloud
I hope you don't take what I'm saying for granted and like me want to give it a try.


  1. Go to IronFoundry.org and sign up for free account (Please pay attention to enter your email in lower-case letters)
  2. First you will need Visual Studio 2012
  3. Download and install IronFoundry extensions for Visual Studio 2012
  4. Open Visual Studio 2012 and select File -> New Project
    1. On the left pane under Visual C# select Web
    2. On the center pane select ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Application
    3. Make sure on the top framework combo box you select .NET Framework 4.0 (On the time of writing this IronFoundry project is already updated to .NET 4.5 but IronFoundry.me is not yet up-to-date)
    4. On the Name box enter IronFoundryTry
    5. Click OK
    6. In New ASP.NET MVC 4 Project dialog select Internet Application
    7. Click OK
  5. Select Tools -> Cloud Foundry Explorer
  6. Click on the left-most icon which say Manage Clouds
  7. Click on the cloud drop down and select IronFoundry
    1. Make sure the URL is http://api.ironfoundry.me
    2. On the Email box enter the email you register with on step 1. Make sure you write the exact same letters (lower and upper) because it is case sensitive
    3. Enter your password
    4. Click Validate Account
    5. If you see Account Valid everything is great. If not, something is wrong. Try to re-enter your email and password. If nothing works open a support ticket on IronFoundry help site.
  8. Close the Cloud Explorer
  9. Right click on your project and select Push Cloud Foundry Application
    1. In the Cloud drop down select Iron Foundry we configure before
    2. In the Name box enter a short name for your application inside Iron Foundry
    3. In the URL enter a full url which will be use to get to your application. Enter something like MYAPP.ironfoundry.me
    4. Leave the rest of the settings on default for now
    5. Press Push
  10. After the push process complete open your favorite browser and open the application URL you enter.
  11. Great work, you have just deploy your first ASP MVC application to Iron Foundry.
  12. To make sure this is really your application, open HomeController.cs file and change Index action first line to be ViewBag.Message = "This is my first Iron Foundry Web App";
  13. Right click on the project and select Update Cloud Foundry Application
    1. Make sure Iron Foundry is select on Cloud box
    2. Select your application from the name drop down
    3. Click Update
  14. Refresh your browser and watch the updated web site.
Iron Foundry also support the command line tool vmc to manage the cloud but that will be in a different post.

Caveat
Iron Foundry look very promising peace of technology but it is not production ready just yet.
Still I think it is great time to get on-board to learn and even contribute to this project.

Conclusion
I keep me eyes and hands on Iron Foundry because it has much bigger potential than classic hosting providers by having elastic abilities as well as services, frameworks and language selection that will only get better in time.
Keep your eyes on Cloud Foundry, the original project of VMWare Iron Foundry was forked from, because after all this is the master that will set the course of Iron Foundry.