Philosophy

The Flying Circus is a managed, agile platform for hosting Python web applications.

We provide virtual Linux machines enabling developers to use any software they like in an environment they know but without having to administer an operating system.

We provide widely-used open-source web application components like nginx, haproxy, varnish, PostgreSQL, and more. All of them are managed with a production-proven configuration but you also have the freedom to adjust their configuration to your needs.

All of the Flying Circus is managed: we take care of all the operational issues like monitoring, installing updates and patches, backup, user management, etc. so that you can focus on building your application and take care of your customers.

Also, we love every single VM and make sure it is healthy and is performing well at any time.

Our approach

Our approach to the Flying Circus is based on a set of principles, methods, and practices sometimes referred to as DevOps.

To us, the most important aspects are:

Automation

We automate almost everything: from provisioning physical or virtual machines, to installing packages together with their monitoring configuration, to complete operating system updates.

This speeds up the initial configuration and helps keeping your configuration up-to-date even if your application has been running for months or years.

It also ensures that you profit from new features and bug fixes without having to buy new stuff or hiring us to configure it.

However, if you need something quick, we’ll make sure that the automation does not get in your way and will figure something out for you.

Virtualisation

Hardware is expensive, dirty, unreliable, and inflexible. That is why we provide you with virtual machines instead: many things become cheap, clean, reliable and flexible.

We take care of all the complicated things related to hardware and in return you get all the good things from virtualised environments:

  • allocating the resources (CPU power, disk, memory) that you actually need and only paying for what you use
  • adjusting the allocated resources in a timely manner usually in a few minutes or hours
  • isolating services in separate machines increases reliability, cleanliness, and flexibility
  • hardware failures become irrelevant, hardware improvements become available without reinstalling the system
Continuous improvements

When operating a web application today, chances are that you are already continuously improving it.

However, if a server is set up once it will get old and the time will come when your application can not evolve any longer in that crufty, old setup.

We continuously keep both your virtual machines and our configurations up to date and introduce new features and technology so that your application will always find a modern, secure environment to work in.

In our heavily automated environment we express almost all of our infrastructure as programming code and thus can leverage similar tools that you know from developing your application:

  • checking everything into revision control
  • making heavy use of testing and quality assurance before rolling anything out into production
  • being able to revert back to or take a look at previous releases
  • providing change logs

Also, we’d like to hear from you about what you are missing or what you dream of - there is a good chance that we can help building that.

Monitoring

Something that works today may not work tomorrow.

As any application today consists of many parts working together seamlessly nobody can personally keep track of the status of the overall system.

We therefore monitor many parameters of all systems and applications and keep you informed of their current status as well as giving you accesss to the historic data about their availability and their performance.

In addition to the automatically deployed system checks your application can be monitored closely given that you provide the necessary information to us.

Security

Running your application with a service provider implies that your data (and the data of your customers) is stored at a location that you do not have direct access to.

To keep your data secure we adhere to industry standard practices as well as Germany’s laws about privacy and data protection (one of the most strict laws on this issue in the world).

Specifically this means:

Our tools

Our platform runs on top of Linux with KVM virtual machines and uses a structured approach to automated systems management and operation with Puppet.

A detailed list of used hardware and software can be provided on request.

Our offers

For details about our commercial offerings based on the Flying Circus hosting infrastructure, please visit our homepage.