The Hadean Platform: Q & A with Co-Founder and CTO, Aidan Hobson-Sayers

The trial version of the Hadean Platform SDK is nearly here, so we sat down with co-founder and CTO, Aidan, to find out more about this exciting new product.

September 13, 2021

An Alpha SDK of the Hadean Platform is scheduled for release on September 14th. Co-Founder and CTO, Aidan Hobson Sayers, takes the time to answer a few questions about the platform, the technology and how to get your hands on the Alpha SDK release.   

Hi Aidan, thanks for finding the time to chat with us. So what exactly is the Hadean Platform? 

In many ways it’s what Hadean has dreamed of providing since our inception. It is a developer friendly platform that simplifies the development of distributed applications. Allocation of your resources, configuration and setup are all streamlined and you can monitor your applications in real time. Cost is fully optimised thanks to the platform’s dynamic provisioning and security is ensured by its configuration. Essentially, it is a friction-free route to cloud-native infrastructure.

How did the idea come into being?   

Back when I was working at my previous company, I’d been part of introducing Docker and starting the (slow) shift from “manual deployment with .tar” to containers. As part of prototyping, I just wanted a way to point at a bunch of machines and say “use these for deploying applications” and mimic the easy experience of docker run to start a container…but the contenders (Docker Swarm, Mesos and Kubernetes) were very underwhelming in different ways.

What do you hope the Hadean Platform will solve?   

My hope is to have something that people can get up and running with a demo application on a cloud or their own machines within 5 minutes, with all the tools that they need at their fingertips for profiling, debugging or general operations tasks. I want to help developers focus back on creating applications rather than fighting with tools.

Who is the Hadean platform built for?   

The current audience are developers who (like me) want to create an application that runs on more than one machine and know that starting things up manually is a bad idea, but also don’t want to wrangle YAML – in other words, people who want to use their programming language to describe the deployment of their application in addition to writing it.

How long has Hadean been in development?   

There have been a few incarnations of the Hadean Platform! About 5 years ago we had our own binary format, our own syscall implementations…essentially our own OS, running in userspace. We discovered that this wasn’t so great for supporting things outside of C and Rust (for example, our initial forays into gaming hit a snag when our binary format didn’t support C++)* and so altered our approach towards a more compatible approach. With that in place we then focused on building applications on top of the platform and improving it when necessary – so maybe 2 or 3 years of dedicated focus?

*(to note, C++ has some special sections it places in the ELF format for global initialisation which we didn’t support

What tools and platforms do you take inspiration from?   

I think the original docker run experience that Docker brought was amazing, and is very much something I want to mimic. I’m also a big fan of the Hashicorp suite of tools – minimal configuration and tuning to get up and running, just download a binary and away you go.  

What are your favorite parts of the Rust ecosystem?   

The popular serialization library in Rust, serde (https://crates.io/crates/serde), is incredible and I really miss it when I move to other languages…but that’s a pretty well known one.   

Outside of that, I’m generally a fan of crates that do things at build time – include_bytes! is a favorite of mine that’s built into the standard library. Some crates along these lines that I’ve used before are string-cache (https://crates.io/crates/string-cache) and phf (https://crates.io/crates/phf) – I particularly love the theory behind the phf crate!

What can we expect from future releases of the platform?

I personally am very excited about the profiling and debugging work we’ve got built into the platform. It’ll take us a bit to polish them for general release, but multiprocess multimachine debugging, with first class profiling when things are going slowly – I think they make for an incredible development experience.

Go to hadean.com/platform to download now.