The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider is rather sensibly marketing itself as a “next-generation hosting platform” – the focus here is on simplicity, letting users spin up a preconfigured server for their website or project within one second. The target market is freelancers and small-to-midsized web agencies, and Jumpstarter is trying to provide a single-click experience for getting things running.
As Jumpstarter co-founder Daniel Marklund explained to me, a good deal of the differentiation here comes from Jumpstarter throwing a new file system into the mix:
“We built a highly available file system that is durable and single-instance. Both your files and your database are stored on the same physical hardware. Usually when you go for Heroku, for example, they usually divide your application; your database is stateful but your files are stateless. That doesn’t comply with all programming languages… We wanted to build something that is generic.
“What’s unique with this file system is all hosting servers within the cluster can access your project files and only your project files. Since we can spin up servers in under a second, we can also move around your project to a bigger instance, for example, if you need more traffic in realtime, without losing any data. Moving your project will only take half a second, which is unique. You as a developer don’t need to pay any attention to that.”
Though the idea is to be more generic than the likes of Heroku, Jumpstarter is initially supporting only PHP and WordPress (see disclosure). Node.js support should be next.
Other features include one-second cloning of whole sites and web apps, team collaboration, cluster monitoring and an “innovative resource allocation system” for handling traffic spikes. All this is virtualized on top of Amazon Web Services infrastructure.
According to Marklund, the company will concentrate on Europe first, then the U.S., where Jumpstarter apparently saw “a lot of activity” during its beta phase.
Disclosure: Automattic, maker of WordPress.com, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Gigaom. Om Malik, founder of Gigaom, is also a venture partner at True.