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Acorn Labs Launches New Service Making Cloud Computing More Accessible

Tech veterans release Acorn, a solution for simplicity and sharing among individual developers and teams.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Acorn Labs announced public beta availability of its cloud developer platform Acorn, a service that makes it simple for anyone to run software in their own cloud sandbox and easily share their creations. From the creators of Rancher and k3s, Acorn aims to make cloud computing accessible, collaborative and delightful for developers.

Acorn offers a free sandbox environment where users can deploy software for up to two hours at a time, as often as they like. Users can experiment with innovative technologies, learn how containers and server software work, and easily share their creations, all without cost barriers. This free plan is designed so even someone with little experience can launch a cloud application as easily as they install an app on their phone. The only thing users need to sign up for free access is a GitHub account.

"Cloud computing has become increasingly complex for large organizations, let alone individual developers and small teams," said Acorn CEO Sheng Liang. "With Acorn, we've eliminated that complexity. Users don't need to be experts in Kubernetes, Terraform, DevOps or AWS to take advantage of the power of cloud computing. Acorn puts the power of the most popular cloud computing solutions at your fingertips. The only question is what you will create from then on."

As users progress to production, Acorn's commercial plans provide flexible and scalable solutions tailored to the unique needs of organizations of all sizes. Built on AWS infrastructure, Acorn enables users to pay for infrastructure as they use it, without having to navigate the complexity of cloud computing platforms.

Introducing Acorn Links for Application Sharing

Acorn is also introducing a simple new way for anyone to publish and share application templates across any channel. Acorn Links are user-generated URLs that launch private instances of shared applications within a user's free private sandbox.

With Acorn Links, users can share application templates on websites, blogs, social media, videos or even through QR codes, and anyone can experiment with what they have created without sharing a credit card or being charged for server hosting.

Here are a few sample links to launch an app on Acorn:

"Countless app stacks are being created to leverage advances in AI. Yet setting up a cloud server and installing software on it is a significant undertaking, even for DevOps pros. For regular users, this challenge is incredibly daunting and, in some cases, insurmountable," said Acorn President Shannon Williams. "Acorn Links will change the status quo by democratizing access to cloud computing much like GitHub has made coding accessible to all."

Key Features of Acorn:

1.  Free Cloud Sandbox: Acorn's free sandbox environment allows anyone to experience cloud computing without barriers. Whether you want to build an amazing AI agent or just run a MERN stack, Acorn provides a powerful runtime environment in the cloud for everyone to experiment with. Sandbox environments give users the ability to run up to 4 GB of RAM at any given time for up to two hours. At the end of the two hours, workloads are stopped but can be recreated as often as a user desires.

2. Collaborative Cloud Development: Acorn accounts can run multiple projects and, with a Pro account, users can invite team members to their projects to collaborate on development and testing workflows. Teams can collaborate across multiple applications and environments, rapidly spinning up new testing and development environments. When a workload goes into production, Acorn's team management tools allow users to define role-based access control (RBAC) policies and enforce controls.

3. Production-Grade Infrastructure: While the Acorn sandbox is always free, by upgrading to a Pro account, users can deploy to pro regions and run their applications without any limitations. Acorn infrastructure is deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with resource billing based on consumption.

4. Acornfiles and Acorn Images: Workloads on Acorn are created by launching Acorn Images, which are built from Acorn Files. Acorn Images are OCI-compliant, work with any registry and will be familiar to anyone who has experience with containers. Like containers, Acorn Images are identical wherever and whenever they are deployed. In other words, all environments, whether they are development, testing or production, are consistent. This dramatically reduces errors and environment configuration challenges. Acorn Images are based on the open-source Acorn Runtime project (, which was released in 2022 and can be run on any Kubernetes cluster.

5. Production Operations Tooling: Every Acorn deployment includes an intuitive set of DevOps tools, including monitoring, logging, secret management and a powerful cloud-based management console. Users can access Acorn environments directly from a powerful command line interface (CLI) and easily integrate it with existing workflows or CI tools.

6. Acorn Dev Mode: Acorn Dev Mode can be used on any Acorn, allowing users to work directly on a running Acorn application. With Dev mode, Acorn users can synchronize real-time changes, attach debuggers and view live logs against a running app. Development teams can create dev instances of production environments in minutes and launch them in dev mode so they can immediately see their work. New developers can join projects and come up to speed quickly by creating dev environments identical to production.

7. Deploy to Your Own AWS Accounts: Acorn Platinum and Enterprise accounts can create Acorn Private Regions using their own AWS accounts. With Acorn Private Regions, teams are charged directly by AWS for whatever infrastructure and services they consume, while still having all the application management capabilities of Acorn. Acorn Private Regions make it easy for teams to utilize AWS credits and discounts. Acorn Private Regions also support direct Acorn access to AWS services such as RDS, SQS and S3, making cloud native development seamless.

Acorn is currently in beta, and standard accounts are available for everyone at Users who would like to test Pro, Platinum or Enterprise functionality can request free trial accounts from within the platform. Acorn Labs will be attending Kubecon North America from November 7-9 in Chicago at booth #D15, and at AWS Re:Invent from November 27-30 at booth #1684.

About Acorn Labs
Acorn Labs builds software, services and open-source projects that make cloud computing accessible, collaborative and delightful. Acorn is a cloud developer platform that offers a free sandbox environment, is suitable for production scale and provides the easiest way to share applications thanks to Acorn Links. Visit for more information. Acorn Runtime is an open-source project that powers Acorn and can run Acorn Images on any Kubernetes cluster. Visit ( to learn more.

Media Contact
Kelsey O'Shaughnessy
BLASTmedia for Acorn

SOURCE Acorn Labs