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Redhat Openshift 1 year of awesome free service

December 20, 2012

I have had this site hosted on Redhat Openshift for almost an year. Considering I got this hosting free (and you can too) I was a bit apprehensive of whether I should move the site elsewhere. I let it be here anyway. It was surprising that not only do I get awesome performance but the uptime has been incredible. I was going to set this blog up on an AWS EC2 micro instance.  However micro instance being what it is would have costed as much as a Linode VPS and would be a time shared CPU. This can get very annoying as you find that on and off the site would be slower.

Redhat openshift offers a free micro instance equivalent, the difference being that you are probably on a much bigger Instance since the PaaS run atop of AWS cloud making this setup akin to a VPS. This makes more sense instead of spending on a Small instance or settling for micro. In fact I don’t recommend Micro instance at all for any purpose other than testing, compiling or other such process where on-demand CPU is not necessary.

Comparatively my Linode VPS which costs me $40 a month is not doing as well in terms of performance when I use it to host Wordpress sites. I am still not clear as to why the memory usage and swap is higher on Linode VPS (perhaps the CPU is over subscribed) but this Openshift instance is at 512 MB Ram and doing just great.

If you are a developer who does not want to get into the hassle of setting up servers and services and just want to get down to coding your stuff I recommend you give Redhat Openshift a try. You will not be disappointed. Specially if you build sites for your clients.

Considering the way things are changing with PaaS and Cloud , the price being what it is, I am thinking why do I still put up with my Dreamhost account which is barely usable and hosts 1000s of users and sites on a single server. I coulld not even do a basic PHP development and test on it. Same goes for pretty much any webhost or reseler like Godaddy, Media temple and blah blah.

Since I also use Google App Engine for development and learning it is worth adding why you would choose Redhat over App Engine. Familiarity is possibly number 1. Known that App Engine support MySQL now but it remains that you have shell access to your instance on Openshift much as you would on your own instance. You can also access some basic metrics and new services are being built all the time on Open Shift. Check out the Websockets beta here recently launched.

My favorite Python web framework Flask is effing supported as well . I cannot describe how much pain is involved in hosting these python apps on just about any distro. I think I am going to setup my Flask sites over at Openshift. Ofcourse Django is supported. I have tried neither of them.

Now that I am confident about Openshift here are the things I would like to learn to get to production deployment of my Python projects.

  1. How do I add SSL certificates
  2. How do I enable autoscale ( I suppose this is just to do with your AWS account and ofcourse you have to Openshift Enterprise for it it seems)
  3. How do I use my existing RDS with openshift (and securely)
  4. I am sure there is a whole bunch of things I haven’t thought of yet.

All of the above is in the docs somewhere.

Concern: Given that Redhat’s own Enterprise support is not highly regarded among devs and ops, I wonder what does Openshift “Enterprise” will do for us?

OpenShift Enterprise

truth is I do not have experience with Redhat Enterprise Support or with OpenShift Enterprise Sservice. Question is, should I be the one to take the first hand experience myself? Or to bet my job on it? That is going to be some daring. xD

You are welcome to connect with me. Abhishek Dujari
This is my archived blog where you will find content about early days of Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Development and Sysadmin.