Feeds

Floating website, hidden 'get' bills

Damon is 4 cents short of a free and cloudy solution

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.