PowerBroker Mobile on a $35 Linux Box
SaaS is more than just architecture
A lot of time and effort went into PowerBroker Mobile as a SaaS solution, we spent a lot of time designing the most scalable, fault resistant system possible. What we came up with was a system that could scale across multiple geographic regions with no single point of failure. After a lot of careful planning and thought we developed PowerBroker Mobile with these architectural assets in mind. However, cloud architecture means little without well thought out software. We went to great lengths to modularize, decouple, and instrument every possible aspect of PowerBroker Mobile to leverage the elasticity and redundancy of virtualized computing. Load balancers, firewall, CDN, DDoS protection, web application servers, worker jobs, caching, and databases were all built from the ground up to work in a highly elastic and distributed fashion.
It’s about the software
In case you are thinking:
Wait, I thought this blog was about an enterprise class mobile management and security solution running on a $35 computer.
You are right, I’mma finish in a second. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about “the cloud” both in what it does and in how it works, and it’s necessary to clear the air about software designed for SaaS. Many enterprise software companies would have you believe that shoving whatever on-premise solution they’ve shipped for years in the cloud will suddenly reap all the benefits of elastic and distributed computing. Dressing up software originally designed as an appliance, and then putting it “in the cloud” is the technological equivalent of putting toothpaste back in the tube. While theoretically possible, it’s going to be a mess.
But, what about the other direction? Can you take a bunch very modularized components and put them on a single Linux box? On a $35 raspberry pi powered by an ARM processor? Over a weekend? Yeah — and it was fun too.
Though I haven’t had the chance to do real benchmarks, I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well PowerBroker Mobile. I’ve only tested it on my families 5 devices but so far, the box barely breaks a sweat. Overall, it was a great weekend project and reinforced our strategy of creating super efficient, components be it deployed on Amazon’s massive compute cloud, or my $35 matchbox sized server.Permanent Link