Traditionally, Ruby On Rails developers have had difficulty taking applications from their development systems to deployment (difficulties not experienced developing with PHP, ASP, or Java). But Brightbox, a U.K.-based startup showing off its wares at Startup Camp in London recently, specializes in Rails hosting.The idea really came from Rails development that Brightbox's Jeremy Jarvis was doing along with his partners. When they had these deployment struggles, they built their own solution and gained some experience that others started to notice. As they began helping other development shops, Jarvis realized there was a business there and started Brightbox, which creates an optimized, flexibile, and easy-to-use service. He started the business last June and it went live in September 2007. (They have very cool T-shirts, too.)
Now, it's only available today in the U.K. and Europe, so if you're based in the United States ... consider moving.
The dedicated hosting service uses Xen to virtualize machines so that his customers have the ultimate flexibility; they can grow their servers as demands dictate, or ratchet down if need be.
Jarvis said that there are tools like Capistrano out there that help developers deploy applications, but Brightbox essentially created its own Capistrano recipes. Developers can download these to their own system and with a couple simple commands get it running on the server. Jarvis said Brightbox spends a good bit of time optimizing its servers to make them easy to use and stable.
Customers range from smaller Ruby developers up to Web development agencies, with a good deal of customers running Web 2.0 and social networking sites. Customers can choose the configuration from a pricing matrix, starting at 256 MB of RAM with a modest amount of storage, going up to a 4 GB dual-CPU box.