Problem: I've developed a web app, which is basically dedicated and single-user. I'm running it on my own bare-metal server. I'd like to get more users, but I'm not really interested in hosting these users, or in the problems that would come with scaling up the app on my own server.

So, what I need is a way to deploy the app such that potential non-technical users can easily take it away, and find someone else to host it for them. Does this make any sense? If so, what I'd really appreciate would be pointers on how to package the app for deployment, and who would be able to host the app for said non-technical users.

In more detail: the "single user" is actually a sports club, but there should never be more than a dozen or so simultaneous hits to the site. For 95% of the time, it's completely idle. The site is very limited - 20 or 30 HTML files, Bootstrap, a few thousand lines of JavaScript. The back-end has to be Linux. Basically, the app is no more than Apache, running CGI 'scripts' (actually compiled C++), and maybe 20MB of data files which are specific to the club, including a SQLite database. Database access is slow, so it's compute-bound when it's actually doing anything.

I now want to scale this up to multiple clubs, but I really don't want to think about the scaling issues, uptime, maintenance, and so on, hence the question. I guess the criteria are:

  1. The image download from my site has to be small - I can't serve up 5GB images including the entire OS
  2. The user would then have to deploy the image themselves, so it must be straightforward - ie. push a button, with no Linux setup. Definitely no Kickstart or similar - these people just want to see the app running; they don't want to install it
  3. The provider should preferably have a tool which lets me package the image. I guess I could package everything as an RPM or similar, but the user would need some technical smarts to install it
  4. I think it would make life difficult to have a shared Apache - it really needs to be part of the image

Any ideas? Thanks.

  • It'll probably be easier to manage the scaling issues than what you want to do. – ceejayoz Jul 22 '14 at 18:56

I would have to ask you why your OS is 5GB. Turnkey has many pre-made images ready for download. And they have appliances that can be stuck right into the Amazon cloud. Maybe you want to look into and see what they do to make their images.

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