SSH, API, Redis...oh my!

By Rosalind Benoit

Render is a unified, full-stack development platform where you define what’s possible. Whether you’re a solo developer, growing startup, or established enterprise, Render provides just what you need to bring your ideas to life.

In September 2021, the month I joined Render, we unveiled our blog and refreshed our Dashboard and Billing experiences. Since then, our team has worked hard to launch several game-changing features that we’re finally ready to talk about:

With these latest drops, we feel excited to start 2022 as the modern cloud provider with support for many more use cases at scale and an incredible developer experience. Let’s dig in.

An API for Building with Render

Like Render itself, our new API was designed with the developer experience top of mind. Harnessing Render within your own scripts and pipelines is now dead simple. We chose to implement a RESTful interface that allows users to create or update a site, app, (and soon, databases) with just one CURL request. Other cloud infrastructure APIs are too low-level, and require extensive coding to create and configure resources after the API call. With Render, you can spin up full-fledged services in a single step, without managing servers or VMs. This makes it possible to build feature-rich multi-tenant cloud platforms like Shopify or Squarespace in days, not months.

So far, we’ve received great feedback from users like Nick Schrock, Founder of Elementl, the creators of Dagster. His team was looking for a quick, programmatic way to provision instances of Dagster software, both for paid user environments and as an easy path for people to get up and running with open source. Spinning up a Render environment is a simple way for Dagster to offer this functionality.

The overall experience working with the API is incredibly smooth. Writing to the endpoints is intuitive and works without surprises. I've recommended it to more than a few colleagues. The API has let us prototype services many times faster than building from scratch.

Stay tuned as we release tools that give developers more flexibility, control, and automation. We look forward to seeing the tools developers build with the API. We had a lot of fun building on top of our API in a company hackathon in November. On my hackathon team, we built an exploratory CLI using the API in just a few hours.

Native SSH Connectivity for Remote Access

Speaking of developer experience, our release of native SSH connectivity represents another essential step in making Render feel intuitive. We heard users’ requests to use this de facto tool to access and copy files to and from their services securely.

While we don’t recommend SSHing into production, our customers use Render for development and staging environments as well, and consider SSH invaluable. Connecting to your services with your favorite tools, like IDEs and debuggers, allows you to make Render part of your core development workflow. With this support in place, you can now use virtually any tooling that relies on or even requires SSH to interact with your Render services.

Render’s approach to supporting remote connections focuses on making it easy to connect to public and private services from any device; unlike Heroku, we do not require a CLI. We also don’t terminate sessions after an hour like Heroku Exec does, and we support copying files directly to a persistent disk with SCP. What’s more, we ensure that all your environment variables are present in every SSH session.

Redis for Efficient Caching and Queueing

We’re also delighted to announce that Redis, one of our most highly-anticipated products, has reached Early Access. Redis is one of the most popular open source projects in the world. While users could always run Redis as a private Docker service on Render, we heard you loud and clear: managing and scaling Redis in production is time-consuming, complex, and precisely the kind of undifferentiated DevOps work that Render should automate.

Its blazing fast performance means that developers use Redis for a variety of applications, from caching and session management to machine learning, real-time analytics, data integration pipelines, and media streaming. Render customers are already using Redis in Early Access to run background jobs that send emails and communicate with third-party APIs, and for one of Redis’ most prevalent use cases, caching.

Features like Redis make it even easier for software teams to migrate production workloads to Render from other clouds or legacy platforms like Heroku and get access to our fantastic developer experience.

Free DDoS Protection for Reliability

Last month, we shared an update on launching free DDoS protection for every application, API, and website hosted on Render. Implementing DDoS protection is time-consuming and expensive and requires deep expertise that few engineers have. With this feature, we continue to incorporate state-of-the-art security features into our platform to provide worry-free reliability and resilience for customer applications. Given the prevalence of DDoS attacks and the importance of uptime to our customers (and their customers), we consider this protection table stakes for any cloud platform.

Offering industry-leading DDoS protection as a perk is just one more way we’re defining “modern cloud provider.”

modern cloud provider noun 1. A cloud that unlocks your team’s potential to build great products by keeping pagers quiet and focus locked on what matters most to your business. 2. A full-stack Platform-as-a-Service built to host modern sites, apps, APIs, workers, databases, and cron jobs.

We can’t wait to see what you build on Render. Try it out today!

Interested in working with Rosalind at Render? Check out our open roles!

Rosalind Benoit

Rosalind Benoit leads Developer Marketing at Render. She enjoys cycling, rock climbing, and Haruki Murakami novels. You can contact Rosalind at @dnilas0r or rosalind@render.com.

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