With the advancement of cloud technologies, the options of PaaS (Platform as a Service) for web applications are aplenty. It also helps that there are many available selections to support Java.
Although Red Hat was placed in Gartner ‘Visionaries’ Magic Quadrant, Red Hat’s OpenShift platform is my preferred choice of PaaS at the moment.
OpenShift is a cloud computing platform as a service product from Red Hat. A version for private cloud is named OpenShift Enterprise.
The speed of developing and getting up and running for a product is absolutely crucial for a quick go-to-market advantage, hence any PaaS with the easiest use will have an upper hand over the rest.
For a newer platform like OpenShift, having a book like ‘Getting Started with OpenShift’ is one of the best way to get impatient beginners for a quick run hands-on experience with it. There are many other ways offered such as following the Getting Started – online version or simply the forums, but those are beside the point of this book review.
About The Authors
Steve Poutsy is a Developer Advocate for OpenShift. He has spoken at over 50 conferences and done over 30 workshops including Monktoberfest, MongoNY, JavaOne, FOSS4G, CTIA, AjaxWorld, GeoWeb, Where2.0, and OSCON. Before OpenShift, Steve was a developer evangelist for LinkedIn, deCarta, and ESRI.
Katie Miller is also a OpenShift Developer Advocate. Katie is a polyglot programmer with a penchant for Haskell. The functional programming enthusiast co-founded the Lambda Ladies online community and co-organizes the Brisbane Functional Programming Group. She is passionate about coding, open source, software quality, languages of all kinds, and encouraging more girls and women to pursue careers in technology.
About The Book
The book is meant as ‘A Guide For Impatient Beginners’ but I am glad to say it is not as brief a ‘Getting Started’ guide as any average technical books.
For anyone who doesn’t need any introduction about PaaS concepts, they can dive right in from Chapter 3 as the first couple of chapters provide conceptual details about PaaS and the basics about cloud computing.
There are 2 important terms in OpenShift, gears and cartridges.
Gears are secure containers for your code. Each gear is allocated CPU, memory, disk, and network bandwidth. A single gear can be used to create an entire web application complete with a private database instance. Multiple gears can be used to create multiple applications or configure your applications to automatically scale in response to web traffic. There are currently three gear types on OpenShift Online: small, medium, and large. Each size provides 1 GB of disk space by default. The large gear has 2 GB of RAM, the medium gear has 1 GB of RAM, and the small and small.highcpu gears have 512 MB of RAM.
Cartridges are plug-ins added to a gear. Cartridges are the plug-ins that house the framework or components that can be used to create and run an application. One or more cartridges run on each gear, and the same cartridge can run on many gears for clustering or scaling. There is quite a list of supported cartridges and OpenShift also supports D-I-Y cartridges, which means most of the popular technologies that you need are already supported by default. Example cartridges are the application servers (Jboss, Tomcat, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, Perl), databases (MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL), and integration tools (Jenkins, cron).
Due to the nature of cloud computing, secure access is important for the application to be accessed or managed. A sub-chapter is dedicated for this and there are sufficient resource in the online guide to get the setup done.
Advanced concepts are also covered in the later chapters of the book, such as storage (it’s shared hosting), websockets, backup options and team collaboration.
Table of Contents
What Is the Difference Between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS?
The Three Versions of OpenShift
Choosing the Right Solution for You
Things to Understand
Words You Need to Understand
Technology You Need to Understand
2. Creating Applications
Setting Up the Command-Line Tools
Creating Your First Application
Autoscaling and Why You Should Use It by Default
Reasons to Move to the Paid Tier
3. Making Code Modifications
Cloning Code to Your Local Machine
Modifying Application Code
Building and Deploying Your Code
Action Hook Scripts
4. Adding Application Components
Metrics and Monitoring
Finding Cartridges and QuickStarts
Adding Third-Party Cartridges
5. Environment and Application Management
Using SSH to Interact with a Database
Importing SQL in an SSH Session
Preconfigured Environment Variables
Custom Environment Variables
Overriding Preconfigured Environment Variables
Changing Application Server or Database Settings
Application Server Configuration Changes
Database Configuration Changes
Using Marker Files
6. Library Dependencies
Where to Declare Dependencies
Incorporating Your Own Binary Dependencies
Modifying Your Application to Use the Database
Code to Connect to the Database
Code to Close the Database Connection
Code to Query the Terms for the Insult
What We Have Gained by Adding a Database
SSH Port Forwarding
Talking to Other Services
8. Disk Usage
Where You Can Write “to Disk”
Determining How Much Disk Space Is Used
Copying Files to or from Your Local Machine
Other Storage Options
Managing Deployments and Rollbacks
Keeping and Utilizing Deployment History
Application Snapshots with RHC
Backing Up Your Database
Writing a Cron Script
Moving Data off the Gear
10. Team Collaboration
Managing Multiple SSH Keys
Domain Access for Teams
What We Covered
Other Areas to Explore
Appendix A. Basic Linux for Non-Linux Users
I’m going to make known that I do prefer OpenShift over many PaaS providers.
My preference of OpenShift over other PaaS competitors:
– Low barrier of entry, free tier with no credit card required
– A free tier provides 3 gears – that is 3 web applications hosting for free!
– Minimal technical restrictions, non-proprietary platform API or database
– Easy upgrade from free tier to paid tier, affordability
– Backed by a reputable technology corporation
My preferred key benefits from those listed on OpenShift website:
– Application portability
– Extensible cartridge system for adding services
– Automatic application stack provisioning and application scaling
– Choice of cloud infrastructure – preventing lock-in
– Minimized vendor lock-in – built on open source technologies
You can now download this book in ebook format for FREE or optionally you can purchase it from Amazon.com
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