Sun, Joyent offer free Web hosting to Bebo developers

Hosting arrangement aims to promote Sun's OpenSolaris to develop, debug, and deploy Bebo social apps

Sun Microsystems is partnering with cloud services provider Joyent to give Bebo developers one year of free Web hosting for their applications.

Bebo is a social media network, featuring user-generated content. The hosting arrangement offered via the Sun Startup Essentials program gives Sun an opportunity to promote its OpenSolaris open source OS, which the developers can use to develop, debug, and deploy Bebo social applications. Developers can build applications using Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails and host them on the Joyent cloud computing environment.

Sun made the announcement at a Bebo's DevNite developer event in the US on Tuesday evening.

Developers also can use Sun's Web 2.0 Scalable Performance Toolkit, featuring an open source workload generator and Apache Olio technology for evaluating the suitability, functionality, and performance of Web technologies. Still in development, the toolkit also features reference implementations, performance tools, and best practices. It supports Ruby on Rails and PHP.

"It's basically a toolkit for you to test out different technologies," said Marina Fisher, Web Scale architect at Sun.

Bebo, which was purchased by AOL earlier this year, also is offering engagement metrics and tools for developers. These tools include analysis of time spent and details on the percentage of returning users to applications.

Bebo applications include systems such as games and movie reviews. The company on Tuesday also revealed that JavaScript support is being offered in a beta version for its platform.

Bebo also announced its BEST (Bebo's Engage to Succeed Today) Developer Challenge for new applications. The contest is open to new applications uploaded to Bebo as of Tuesday. Winners will be announced at a Bebo developer event early in 2009. Prizes will be offered by Sun and winners also receive on-site promotion on Bebo.

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