Feeds

Floating website, hidden 'get' bills

Damon is 4 cents short of a free and cloudy solution

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Speedy setup

damonlaunchNEWinstance3

After a couple of days I hadn't managed to set up commercial WAR hosting at all, and yet had spent $50+ and considerable time with Google and email and chat.

Manually getting my new minimal WAR file into AWS was easy: "Launch New Environment" in the AWS Elastic Beanstalk view online, choose a host name in the elasticbeanstalk.com domain, upload the WAR right from the webpage (browse and select from your local filesystem) and a couple of other clicks and you're away.

(I initially selected 64-bit t1.micro env, but 32-bit would do fine and in fact be a little more space-efficient.)

From there the site was running in under five minutes, with fairly clear status reporting in the AWS Management Console in my browser.

Using the fixed URL I could easily provide a DNS CNAME alias from my preferred domain name.

A slight irritation is that each tweak away from the default settings (eg, heap min and max sizes, min and max instances for auto-scaling, etc) requires intervention on the AWS page and then a few minutes' wait.

Killing my app off entirely and creating a new 32-bit environment took only a few minutes more, as did deploying a new version, again all via the AWS Web interface.

Accessing the AWS-hosted page yields something like:

Hello world again @ 1302901056368! (Client IP address X.X.X.X)

showing the un-proxied IPv4 address of my laptop, as desired.

The AWS management console seems robust and reliable, and handles the inevitable complexity quite well (it is capable of hosting multiple versions of multiple applications in multiple locations, etc, etc), and is a similar effort to push out new versions to my hand-rolled solution.

(AWS seems to be running the Oracle JVM from its acceptance of the -Xconcgc flag for concurrent garbage collection.)

What happens next

I will continue to develop a test deployment in AWS, notwithstanding bill risk.

For this I will need to tweak my application to avoid treating CPU as an all-you-can-eat "free" resource, and to take a slightly different approach to caching (and especially pre-caching of content before the first likely user request) so that I can afford to lose everything when an instance goes away. I'll keep AWS load balancing turned off to avoid breaking current wired-in assumptions in my code that one DNS host name fronts one JVM instance.

But I'll also continue to look out for cost-capped alternatives to AWS, cheaper and easier to manage than my current dedicated servers, at least until AWS creates a money-limiting emergency stop mechanism. And before that point it doesn't make much sense to do the refactoring needed to take advantage of AWS facilities such as CloudFront that I already have working – albeit less elegant – solutions for. ®

References

1) Find "Launching New Environments" in the AWS Elastic Beanstalk here.

2) "Configuring Containers" explains how to change JVM parameters such as heap size and where to add my favourite -Xconcgc flag.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
A beheading in EMC's ViPR lair? Software's big cheese to advise CEO
Changes amid rivalry in the storage snake pit
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.