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I'm interested in using Rackspace Cloud Servers API to build myself a dynamically scalable hosting service. The Cloud Servers API allows me to add and remove server instances programmatically.

System Requirements

There would be a single shared server in most cases, but it might also be a dedicated server and upon bandwidth exceeding a certain target, a new server would be provisioned, with the web directories replicated or restored from somewhere (could use Cloud Files, or svn, git, etc). Could use puppet or some custom script for configuration files.

Ideally, each domain or group of domains would have bandwidth quotas that once exceeded would trigger the deployment of a new server with only the files for that domain for a period of 1 hour. If bandwidth is still exceeded after that target, the server would remain in effect another hour, and so on until it was no longer necessary at which point it would be removed from service.


If anyone has already deployed such a system or can provide some assistance doing so, it would be very appreciated!

Key questions:

1. How can I determine the bandwidth usage across multiple instances?

2. How can I avoid having DNS caching issues when a given server is only up for an hour (can I use a proxy server here)?

3. What is the best way to ensure fast deployment of files to each newly deployed server?

4. Using a dynamic cluster like this, how can I support FTP ( I prefer not to use FTP, but some projects might require it).

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm using Amazon EC2 but this recommendatios could apply to Rackspace or other providers:

  1. How can I determine the bandwidth usage across multiple instances? Metrics, I'd recommend setup a monitoring server with Cacti, Ganglia and Nagios to measure bandwidth, cpu, memory , etc.

  2. How can I avoid having DNS caching issues when a given server is only up for an hour (can I use a proxy server here)? Put load balancing behind the proxy servers. If your provider doesn't have his own solution you can use HAproxy or nginx to do the load balancing.

  3. What is the best way to ensure fast deployment of files to each newly deployed server? I'm using rsync and is working fine but still I'm looking for other solutions.

  4. Using a dynamic cluster like this, how can I support FTP ( I prefer not to use FTP, but some projects might require it). Your provider should offer a way to make access lists for IP addresses and ports (Amazon allows to create ACL through their API ).

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