Search engine Yandex, Russia’s equivalent of Google, has launched open-source Platform as a Service tool known by the unlikely name Cocaine, which is designed to provide an automatically scalable platform to manage custom web apps and their processing demands.
Cocaine is available for download on GitHub and, according to Yandex, can be installed on most web servers and be used to create custom cloud hosting apps similar to Google App Engine or Heroku. But unlike App Engine which is run on Google servers, Cocaine doesn’t force its users to run their applications on Yandex servers, allowing it to run anywhere in the world.
A key feature of Cocaine is the “Cocaine Dealer”, which is the entry point for communication with the Cocaine cloud. User requests go to the Dealer, which keeps track of Cocaine cloud nodes and schedules tasks appropriately.
Yandex currently uses the Cocaine PaaS for its web browser Yandex.Browser, online login system Yandex.Passport, and internal Yandex infrastructure.
The open-source Docker project is the technology behind Cocaine’s infrastructure virtualization and app isolation. Docker allows each application to run in lightweight, portable and self-sufficient containers that can run in virtually any environment. Docker also provides tools for configuring networks and creating images of apps using a layered filesystem that minimizes the overhead on deployment and distribution of apps.
Reactions to the Name
Thus far, most of the attention given to Cocaine has been to its odd name, which has spurred some humorous responses on Twitter.
Here’s a sampling:
OH MY GOD YANDEX YOU CAN’T JUST CALL AN APP ENGINE “cocaine”
— Proxima Industries (@Pr0x1ma) October 17, 2013
Who names their PaaS product ‘Cocaine’? Imagine trying to justify that to the finance department. #Yandex
— Patrick Socha (@PatrickSocha) October 17, 2013
Looks like some of my colleagues now want to visit Russia because of the new Yandex service “Cocaine clouds”
— iRoller (@iroller) October 17, 2013