What’s a Box? Is it Like a Container?

I joined Cloud Application Manager in March and this was one of my biggest questions. So what better topic to kick off my blogging career than what a Box is…

Think of a Box as a set of instructions, a DNA, or a blueprint that tells your application components where to go and what to do.

The formal definition: A Box is a reusable, shareable, and portable layer of an application architecture. To create a multi-tier application architecture, you simply stack these Boxes.

Here’s some examples of Boxes and what they do:

  • A Java Box contains the necessary files/scripts to install java onto a generic linux image.
  • A MongoDB Box makes your database portable and modular. You can also add other variables like database permissions to the Box.
  • An NGINX Box allows you to encapsulate your HTTP web server configurations and settings making them reusable for more than one app.
  • A Chef Solo Box deploys Chef Solo on your instance and let you run a Chef cookbook.
  • A Git Box allows your instance to have an integration with your source code repository which can be used for continuous integration, for example.

So really a Box can be an OS layer, an app server, a database, a queuing service etc.

We’ve even provided some starter Boxes for you to kick off with. Sign up and try them out.

But Why should I Use Boxes?

Great Question!

Boxes are the core building blocks in Cloud Application Manager. The way you define applications in Cloud Application Manager is by “stacking” Boxes, making it an easy and modular process. But the real value of this process is that Boxes are reusable, shareable, and mobile across all major cloud environments.

So what does that really mean for you? It means if you were using Cloud Application Manager and created a Java Box for an app last month, you can just use that Box again for the app you’re working on now. And you can even deploy your current app on a different cloud than the one you used for your last app. If that wasn’t enough, you can even share that Java Box with your colleagues for their apps.

Personally, this is what blows my mind (and I hope yours too)!

Wanna learn more? Contact us to find the services that best suit your needs.

Want to Learn More About Cloud Application Manager?

Cloud Application Manager is a powerful, scalable platform for deploying applications into production across any cloud infrastructure – private, public or hosted. It provides interactive visualization to automate application provisioning, including configuration, deployment, scaling, updating and migration of applications in real-time.

Visit the Cloud Application Manager product page to learn more.