Web+: The Web App Service (Part 3)

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By Shantanu Kaushik

In the third part of this series about Web+, the web app service from Alibaba Cloud, we are going to discuss the deployment environment, metrics, and configurations applicable to Web+. We are also going to show you how to configure a deployment environment and application resource usage scenarios.

Just to give a brief background, we are discussing the Platform as a Service (PaaS) application environment by Alibaba Cloud. This service enables the user to quickly and efficiently deploy applications without any backend resource configuration or management. Most resources are automatically calibrated and managed with intelligent monitoring and configuration tools integrated with this service.

Let’s take a look at a visual representation of how Web+ works:

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Environment | Deployment Configuration | Strategies

The Web App service has a unique collaboration of resources, such as the Elastic Compute Service (ECS) and the Server Load Balancer (SLB), that is utilized to run an application.

The web app service allows you to simultaneously run the same or different versions of the same application in multiple different deployment environments. However, you can only deploy one version of the application in each environment.

With Web+, the deployment package version is a critical reference. When deploying an application, it is identified with the version information, and this reference is used to point to an executable code of the application. Why is this important? When integrating continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) or using traditional methods of application hosting, you need referential data that point to different versions of the same application.

This is a core functionality of Web+. Version control plays an important part in the whole development-deployment cycle, as it allows for application rollback or functionality management. Multiple versions of the same application can be uploaded to different deployment environments. This data can be used to assess an application and any important metrics.

Configuration | Strategy

When an application is scheduled for deployment, the web app service pre-configures the server-side resources to match the required resources for your application to run. These resources are available within the deployment environment for the application to leverage.

Web+ has three pre-configured modes for a user to select from; low cost, high-availability, and custom mode. As the names suggest, the low cost mode is meant to save costs with your deployment. This mode only provisions resources that are important or process-critical for your application to run smoothly. The high-availability mode ensures that all resources are provisioned for the application within the development environment to maintain high-availability. This mode can be used if you are anticipating heavy traffic situations and wish to maintain high-availability for your application. The custom mode lets users select the resources they wish to provision as they deem fit. It also lets you select the software counterparts.

The configuration of the deployment environment passes all of the necessary parameters, on submission of such configuration, Web+ and automatically redeploys the application based on the new configuration and parameters you’ve submitted.

Web+ has been designed to work with different products and services within the Alibaba Cloud multiverse cloud architecture. Before you begin to use Web+, you will need to configure Resources Access Management (RAM), the Auto Scaling functionality, and the Object Storage Service (OSS).

Follow these steps to activate the Web App Service on Alibaba Cloud:

  1. Make sure you have a valid Alibaba Cloud account

These steps will successfully activate the Web+ service on Alibaba Cloud. Resources, like ECS, SLB, and RDS, will now be at your disposal on this PaaS.

Environment Configuration Resources

The Web+ service provides the best-in-class reverse proxy service. This built-in system sits on the port 80 of the ECS instance and relays all requests on these ports. The ECS instances provisioned for use with the Web App service have to be configured to use internet addresses depending on your usage.

A Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) that is a dedicated private network can be configured to route traffic securely from the web to applications. In case you decide not to configure a VPC, the Web+ service automatically uses the default VPC. The Server Load Balancer (SLB) is used for the distribution of traffic and to ensure higher availability of resources. SLB also takes care of the single point of failure (SPOF).

Another environment resource is the usage and configuration of service ports. With Web+ you can configure specific ports for the application service routing. Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is also used with configuring containers. Configuration of a JVM is an essential component that enables you to reduce the garbage collection (GC.) It also provides reduced server response time.

You can extend the service capability of the Web+ service by using the built-in functionality of commands. These commands include the custom start or stop commands and lifecycle hooks. Using these ensures the best overall compatibility and functionality to match your business needs.

Quick Tip: Deploy an Environment | Web+ |Alibaba Cloud

After you log in to your Web+ console:

  1. Navigate to “Overview” and click on “Deploy”

You can also choose to start, stop, or restart an environment from the same overview page. Sometimes, restarting an environment takes care of problems that arise due to unexpected requests. You can also choose to rebuild, release, or delete an environment depending on your need.

Monitor Your Environment | Metrics | Web+

  1. Within your Web+ console, go to the “Overview Page”

This will show you all of the related metrics required to configure and optimize your environment for better productivity. Select the length of data your wish to access. Depending on your requirement, you can view the monitoring data from the last 5 minutes to 24 hours.

Alibaba Cloud Web App Service is among the best-in-class PaaS platforms. The environment and usability surpass the benchmarks set by the industry.

In the final of this series about the Web+ service, we are going to discuss:

  1. Deploying Jenkins with the Web App Service.

NEXT in Line

  1. Web+: The WebApp Service, Part 4 | On Alibaba Cloud

We will commence a discussion about the API Gateway and start the 3-part series on API Gateway by Alibaba Cloud.

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don’t necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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