faq

Below you will find some of our most frequently asked questions. If you don't find the information you're looking for please contact us

General

What are some quick links to learn more about Engine Yard - who it is and what it does?
Sure, here are some links to help you get started on learning more about the company and our product.

Company: Overview in PDF | Company Page | What we do
Product: Tour the product video | Datasheet | How it works

How do I find out about new and upcoming news/product releases from Engine Yard?
You can learn about what we’re doing in a few different ways. You’ll find all of our news items and press releases here. Subscribe to our release notes knowledge base here for product updates. Read our blog, or follow us on Twitter at @engineyard to receive information, updates, and links to informative blog posts in your feed.

What types of apps and use cases run on Engine Yard? What are some specific examples?
Apps of all kinds are currently running on Engine Yard, including web 2.0, mobile, campaigns and promotions, e-commerce and software as a service (SaaS).

Our platform is tailored to fit your needs, whether you’re a small web 2.0 startup looking to deploy your product for the first time or an enterprise-level company launching large scale apps. Companies like Badgeville, a leader in gamification, and Bleacher Report, an open source sports network, use our PaaS to save on operations costs and have constant uptime so they can focus their attention and resources on improving their products. They rely on our deep expertise to keep them up and running and respond when problems arise.

For more information, check out our use cases

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Trial

What do I get with a trial account?
The trial account is a great way to see what we can do for you. Through it you’ll get a true feel of how our automation works and how easy it is to run your app on our platform. The trial includes one free medium compute instance of up to 500 hours to use however you want.

How is a trial account different from a full account?
With a full account you gain access to different instance sizes, the ability to boot an instance in different AWS regions, and our Add-ons. You’ll also gain access to our support team with an immediate ability to file support tickets. When you upgrade from a trial account to a full account you may also be eligible to try our Early Access features.

Our deployment engineers are available to help you get started and answer any questions you have and you can always reach out to us on Live Chat.

Why do I have less than 500 hours in my trial account all of a sudden?
The 500 hours given to all trial accounts are distributed across all of the instances you use. So, if you are using three instances, your 500 hours will be automatically distributed, with 166 hours for each of your instances. You only use hours when an instance is running, so if you remove an instance you will see your hours for the remaining instances recalculated to a higher amount.

When I’m configuring my environment, why can I only select the east region?
Trial users may only deploy to the east region. When you upgrade your account, you may select a region that is closer to your customers, which can shorten response times. You can learn more about region deployment here and here.

What happens to all my trial data once I upgrade my account?
Upgrading your account only unlocks the full features of an Engine Yard account, such as access to the full support organization, all instance sizes, differing service regions and access to our third party Add Ons, and won’t disrupt your ongoing activity.

When you upgrade from a trial account you will need a credit card associated with your account for billing purposes. If you already did this during trial signup and the credit card is not expired, your account will immediately be upgraded upon confirming the action. If not, you will be redirected to billing. Upon successfully entering a valid credit card, you will be redirected to the product interface.

If you already had instances running on your account, they’ll still be running and your data will remain intact. If you stopped your instances from running prior to upgrading your account, all your data will be stored in a snapshot. Once you’ve upgraded you can boot up your instance from a snapshot and all your app and data will be available once the instance is back online.

You can learn more about upgrading your trial account here.

What happens to my trial data when my trial ends and I have not upgraded my account?
If your trial ends before you upgrade to a full account, we’ll hold your app and data for 90 calendar days from your trial’s end date. Within those 90 days, you may download your data or convert the expired trial account to a full account to reinstate your app and data. After 90 days have passed, we may delete unconverted apps and data.

Try us here

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Deis

Will Deis be available on Engine Yard Classic?
Initially, Deis support will be offered as a separate and standalone offering. Future directions for control of Deis clusters include integration into and control by future Engine Yard platforms.

What does this mean for my app that is already running on Engine Yard?
It will not impact any customers running applications or instances running on Engine Yard.

What about my apps already using Deis?
If you already have applications with Deis then you continue to run as before. However, you now have the option of adding support from Engine Yard for your Deis environment.

Will I see an increase of my bill now that there is a new service?
Unless you choose to add support for Deis there will be no change to your current bill.

Are there documents on how I can use Deis?
Since Deis is an open source project, with a very active community, there are numerous sources for information on using Deis. We recommend, in order to get started with Deis, that you first read Understanding Deis then use Installing Deis to start provisioning your cluster. The full documentation tree can be seen here.

Engine Yard will also offer assistance in installation of your Deis cluster, training for developers and DevOps and customization tweaks for your unique needs.

Will you provide migration services for my App that is using Deis to Engine Yard?
If you are currently using an app within Deis and Docker, there is no need to move to the Engine Yard AWS environment. However, we can certainly provide professional services that can help move apps from or to Docker and Deis.

How can I get assistance with Deis?
Engine Yard offers assistance in installation of your Deis cluster, training for developers and DevOps and customization tweaks for your unique needs. Additionally, you can engage the Deis community on twitter at @opendeis, IRC at #Deis on freenode, on GitHub or on stackoverflow.

Does this mean Engine Yard is supporting other Languages/Frameworks than Ruby and PHP?
Deis can deploy any language or framework using Dockerfiles. Docker images or buildpacks with support for: Ruby, Python, Node.js, Java, Clojure, Scala, Play, PHP, Perl, Dart and Go. The most comprehensive list can be found at http://registry.hub.docker.com.

How do Deis and Engine Yard work together?
Initially, Engine Yard will offer support and services for Deis. Our direction includes pairing Deis and Docker with the Engine Yard Cloud Orchestration Platform to provide monitoring, analysis and response for both cloud native and containerized apps.

What support will be provided for Deis on Engine Yard?
Along with the continuing open source community support of the Deis, Engine Yard will offer its enterprise class support for Deis in customer environments.

Will there be any docs on how I can containerise my app with Deis on Engine Yard?
There are numerous guides to creating apps for Docker containers and working with apps with Deis. Check out the Understanding Deis documentation on applications.

Additionally, Engine Yards professional services is ready to directly assist you in understanding the concepts and structures needed to containerize your app.

What are Deis/Docker benefits vs using the Engine Yard stack?
Deis is not restricted to Ruby and PHP stacks. With Deis you can use any language or framework that runs inside a Docker container. Deis also has a command-line workflow that includes features like configuration and release management, log aggregation and support for `git push` deploys.

Why Deis? (why have we decided to go particularly with Deis vs something else)
Deis is the first and leading open source application platform purpose-built for Docker. Deis is designed to run microservices, service-oriented architectures and other applications that follow best practices for distributed systems. Deis curates applications as Docker images and then manages the orchestration of containers across a cluster of CoreOS machines, streamlining the deployment and management of modern, distributed applications.

How much will it cost to use Deis?
Deis is free to use. Deis is an open source project and that will continue. Engine Yard will offer enterprise class support with the same pricing schedule as offered formerly by OpDemand. Please contact directsales@engineyard.com for more information.

Do containers scale as VMs do, or is it just stacking like with physical hardware?
Depending on proper setup, containers can perform and scale with equal or greater power than standard virtual machines.

Will I still be able to have high availability like I do on Engine Yard Classic?
Yes, Deis is a highly-available platform that uses the Raft protocol for cluster consensus. In a 3-node Deis cluster (the minimum size), Deis can tolerate the failure of one host. A 5-node cluster can tolerate the failure of 2 hosts and continue operating normally. To learn more about cluster size requirements and high availability, see: https://github.com/goraft/raft#optimal-cluster-size

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Languages and Application Stacks

What languages do you support?
We currently support PHP, Ruby and Node.js. and are always looking to add more languages. You can learn more by visiting our stacks and capabilities.

What instance sizes do you offer?
We currently offer eight (8) general purpose, three (3) memory optimized, and seven (7) compute optimized instances. Because server selection should be based on the specific needs of your app, LiveChat with one of our deployment engineers during your trial period. They can help you identify the best server and number of instances for your needs.

Dedicated Instances (seven different instance sizes) are also available for HIPAA compliance if needed, as well as EBS Optimized sizes for an application needing high-I/O. Please speak to an Account Manager if you are interested in either of these options.

Note that some larger instances sizes are only accessible after talking with a member of our Support staff, deployment engineers or an Account Manager.

You can find more details on our different instance sizes here.

What is an application server?
Simply put, an application server runs your app’s code. The application server is one of the many layers within the application stack which includes the web server (nginx), your app, and your database.

We support both Passenger and Unicorn application servers. You can learn more about the merits of each here.

What is a load balancer? How do I make sure my environment is properly set up for load balancing?
A load balancer is a networking method that allows the distribution of workloads across multiple servers. At Engine Yard, every instance comes with a software load balancer as part of our application stack. These software load balancers help to evenly distribute web requests in times of high traffic and ensure high availability to your web app.

You can read more about what’s included in our platform architecture here.

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Environment Set Up, Configuration, Deployment, Scaling

How do I add more users to my account?
You can add or remove team members from your account management screen in the product interface. Click on the ‘Account’ link on the top right of the interface, then click the ‘Account Settings’ button, and at the bottom of the page you can add members to your account. Type in the email address of the person you want to give access to, then click ‘Add User’.

You can learn more about adding and managing users here.

I currently have a single instance. Why can’t I add more instances to my environment?
With a single instance, your app and database are combined and, to add more instances or create a cluster, you will need to stop the current instance (via the ‘Stop’ button in the interface). Once the instance has stopped you can use the ‘Boot’ button to restart it. From there you can change your environment setup to one of the other pre-configured options that have dedicated app and database instances, then boot that configuration. Moving away from the single instance option will separate the app and database and more easily allow you to add more instances in the future.

You can find a simple tutorial here.

My deployment was successful but when I click the ‘Visit’ link I received an error message. What should I do?
If you have a trial account you can always Live Chat with one of our deployment engineers from within the interface. They can help you troubleshoot what went wrong with your deployment. You can also place a support ticket in our queue through the interface to ensure that someone looks at the problem and resolves it quickly.

Sometimes it’s best to SSH into your environment directly and look at the log files to troubleshoot. You can learn more about log files here and how to set up your SSH key here.

Can we use SVN (Subversion) instead of Git?
We currently use Git to deploy apps. If you are using SVN, GitHub has resources readily available on how to convert from SVN to Git.

Learn how to migrate from SVN to Git here.

Do you handle DNS? How do I point Engine Yard to my own domain name?
We don’t manage DNS, so to point your app to a specific domain you’ll need to work with one of the many DNS providers.

You can find a tutorial for setting up your domain here.

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SSH Access

How do I SSH into my instance?
First you will need to set up your SSH keys within Engine Yard and within your app environment. You can do this by following the four steps outlined here.

After completing those steps, you have two options for connecting to your instance via SSH. You can either use your favorite SSH client such as terminal (by way of OpenSSH) or putty or you can click the SSH link under ‘Application Instances’ in the interface.

You can read a more in-depth tutorial on connecting to your instance using SSH here.

Why am I not able to SSH into my instance after adding my SSH key?
You may not have applied the SSH key you added to your environment. By hitting the ‘Apply’ button in your instance it will apply configurations to your environment. One of these configurations will check that an SSH key has been added to your profile and apply it to your environment.

You can learn more about what the ‘Apply’ function does here.

If you are still having issues you can always reach out to us on Live Chat or by creating a support ticket.

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High Availability

High availability is important for my app. What options are available to me through Engine Yard to protect my app?
Our infrastructure is designed to maximize uptime and high availability for our customers. To this end, we automatically distribute new replicas across different AWS EC2 availability zones within a given region as they are added. When adding new replicas, we’ll automatically distribute them across different availability zones within a given region. You also have the ability to control the distribution of replicas yourself.

You can find step-by-step guidelines to protect your app in this way here.

Our Professional Services team is also available to help you set up redundancy across multiple regions. Learn more about what Professional Services has to offer here.

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Security and Compliance

What are your security policies?
We’re committed to maintaining a safe and secure platform for our customers, business partners, and the broader community. We work with our customers and our IaaS providers to ensure a shared level of responsibility in security.

You can learn more about how we ensure the security of your apps here.

You can learn more about how we work with you to define the needed security of your app by reading this white paper.

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SLA

What does your service level agreement (SLA) offer?
We provide a 99.9% platform level (uptime) SLA for all Premium and Managed support accounts.

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Professional Services and Support

What is Engine Yard’s approach to support?
Support is always our first priority, which means that no matter what your paid account level someone will always be there to help you. Our support staff consists entirely of trained and experienced engineers, so you’ll speak directly with someone who understands your problem.

Do you offer tiers of support? How do they differ from one another?
Engine Yard offers three support plans to meet your needs: Standard, Premium and Managed.

  • With the Standard support plan, we are available during business hours to assist planning, deploying and managing your running apps.
  • The Premium support plan extends support around the clock and includes additional proactive services including customized alerting and communications plans setup.
  • Through our Managed support plan, we are actively involved in managing your running application on your behalf.
You can learn more about what’s included with each of our plans includes here.

What professional services do you offer?
We provide a broad range of services to our customers, a range that’s always expanding. We create custom Chef recipes for your app environment, and carry out load testing and launch services for your app. We also provide custom backup and recovery tools, and can optimize cross-region high availability to make sure you’re always up and running.

To get a better sense of the full list of available services, visit our professional services page or reach out using our contact form so we can more specifically address your needs.

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Pricing

How do you price your services?
Engine Yard uses "Transparent Value Pricing" to break out your price for our value-added services alongside the Infrastructure-as-a-Service price, on your monthly bill.

How much am I really going to pay?
Your costs will depend on hourly usage and instance size, among other variables such as support level.

Go to our pricing section at https://www.engineyard.com/pricing for more details on how the price model works.

Additional costs related to other Amazon services may apply including Amazon S3, EBS, ELB, reserved IP addresses, and more. These additional services are provided through Engine Yard with a 20% uplift from Amazon’s published pricing.

Your ongoing costs are computed daily and displayed on your account screen, so at any time you can always see what you are actually spending.

What is Transparent Value Pricing?
Engine Yard has introduced “Transparent Value Pricing” as a better way for our customers to understand and pay for our services. It breaks out Infrastructure-as-a-Service prices alongside Engine Yard prices for value-added services on your monthly bill from us.

This is different from the standard or “bundled” pricing structure in the Platform-as-a-Service industry where providers just give you a single price for platform and infrastructure services bundled together. This bundled pricing practice makes it difficult for customers to understand the make-up and value of the services they are purchasing, especially when the pricing of the infrastructure component changes.

Transparent Value Pricing from Engine Yard puts the emphasis on the value of services we provide to help increase the agility and efficiency of managing, deploying and supporting your applications. Your new bill will break out the costs for IaaS resources (at a 25% savings over AWS On-demand regional prices) and the costs for our Platform services so it’s clear exactly what you’re paying for.

What value do I get from Engine Yard platform services?
Our services give you peace of mind through comprehensive orchestration of your application and databases. You get rapid deployment, network, security and data protection automation, and continuous monitoring by our expert app support engineers and DBAs. We manage these tasks for you, so you are free to concentrate on building your business.

You can rely on immediate response with Engine Yard support to help resolve any issues or concerns, 24/7, including a choice of support levels. And we conduct continuous updates to ensure high availability and security through the testing and optimizing application and database servers, load-balancers, and caches, and patching for more than 200 software components. It’s all part of how we deliver unmatched value to thousands of production customers worldwide.

What’s the advantage of TVP over traditional bundled pricing from other PaaS providers?
Traditional PaaS bundled pricing costs you more as you grow and scale up. Your price is based on the amount of virtual resources provided by the underlying IaaS plus a percentage markup for services bundled together. Under bundled pricing, the more resources you use as you grow, the more you will pay for PaaS. That means the traditional pricing models can quickly become price prohibitive as applications become more successful.

Engine Yard’s value is not tied to the sheer amount of IaaS resources you as a customer consume, therefore it makes sense that pricing should not be based on the traditional bundled model. Under Transparent Value Pricing you are able to get the newer technology and better performance of larger servers without paying a cost prohibitive premium of bundled pricing models.

Bottom line: TVP from Engine Yard gives you the only sustainable pricing model that makes the most sense as you grow and become more successful.

What’s the easiest way to calculate my price?
Go to our Pricing section at https://www.engineyard.com/pricing to find an explanation of our pricing model along with:

  • A Pricing List showing all server types and sizes, support levels and their corresponding prices by the hour, or as monthly estimates
  • A convenient Price Estimator to calculate your monthly price for a complete environment with multiple servers

Can I cancel my account at any time?
Yes, you can cancel your Engine Yard account at any time. You will be responsible for paying for your usage up until the time that you cancel, but there are no cancellation fees. If you want to stop paying for your instances but don't want to migrate your data just yet, you can backup your application and data and terminate all running instances. We will hold your data for 30 calendar days. As long as you leave your environment active, you will only pay nominal costs for backup data storage.

Is there someone I can talk to if I still have questions?
Yes. Call Engine Yard at 1-866-518-9273 and/or email us at sales@engineyard.com during regular business hours from 8 am to 6 pm Pacific Standard Time.

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Billing

How can I contact billing?
Email us at billing@engineyard.com

Call us at (866) 518-9273 x3

Fax us at (866) 877-4202

How can I cancel my account?
You can learn how to cancel your account here.

How can I see month to date usage on my account?
This function is limited to admins only. Once you log in to your account, select ‘Account’, then ‘Account Settings’, then ‘Current Monthly Usage’.

How can I update my credit card?
This function is limited to admins only. To update your information, please login into your account and select ‘Account’, then ‘Account Settings’, then ‘Payment Information’.

If you're have trouble updating your card, please try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Be sure that you are not entering your credit card's "valid from" date in the expiration date field by mistake.
  • If you are updating your credit card info with a new card's information, please be sure that you have already activated that new card by calling your credit card company before you add the information.
If your billing information is accurate, there may be some other issue causing the transaction to be declined. In such cases, we recommend that you inquire directly with your bank or credit card provider. They will be able to determine the exact cause of the failure by reviewing the transaction history associated with your card. Once you have established the cause of the problem, update the relevant information on your account page.

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