Deploy Applications

To deploy your application to your DEV, STAGE, PROD environment, follow the following docs.

Hint

we’re happy to support you with an automatic deployment process. Feel free to contact us!

Deploy to your server

First of all, make sure that you’ve configured and installed all desired Services (e.g. website, tomcat, caching etc). In the following documentation we’re talking about website deployments.

Warning

please make sure, that you’re using appropriate usernames. Don’t use confusing names like “examplestage” for PROD envs etc

Deploy your files

Git

We recommend to use Git to deploy your website to your server. Feel free to clone your repository - your server is prepared:

  • Git is installed
  • access to github.com is allowed (add Firewall Service rules to access other repos)

Hint

we’re also able to host a Git environment for you or even offer consulting to introduce Git in you company / agency. Please contact us for more informations

If you don’t use Git, there is the possiblity to copy the files over the “oldschool” way with rsync:

Copy files

Login into the old website / environment and issue this command:

### exclude the typo3temp (for TYPO3 websites)
rsync -avz --exclude=typo3temp ~/ newuser@server:~/

This will copy the complete home directory to the remote users home.

Warning: don’t copy old backup files to the new environment. Use “–exclude=backup” to exclude your backup directory.

Hint

SSH agent forwarding is reuquired

Hint

use appropriate exclude patterns to ignore all not required files

Hint

we use always SSH to copy files, even on the same server. This ensures that all files and directories belong to the appropriate user

Deploy your database

Copy database

Login into the old environment and issue this command:

mysqldump --single-transaction --ignore-table=exampledatabase.cache_pages --ignore-table=exampledatabase.cache_hash -uexampledatabaseuser -ppassword exampledatabase | ssh newuser@server mysql -unewdatabase -ppassword newdatabase

Hint: Skip big and not required tables with the “–ignore-table” parameter

Identify big tables
SELECT table_name AS "tables",
round(((data_length + index_length) / 1024 / 1024), 2) "Size in MB"
FROM information_schema.TABLES
WHERE table_schema = "<dbname>"
ORDER BY (data_length + index_length) DESC;

Warning: You have to create those ignored tables manually on the new website afterwards.

Deploy between environments

If you’ve your site ready on the “DEV” or “STAGE” environment, there are two options to switch / deploy between different environments:

  • switch environment on an existing website in your configuration
  • create a new website with the desired environment setting, copy files (and database)

Switch environment

With this option, you just change the environment for a particular website, for example from STAGE to PROD. If the former environment is still required, you have to add a new website and copy all data back, we recommend to use the second method by default.

  • rename “env” value from “DEV” or “STAGE” to “PROD”
  • remove “htpasswd” value which is not required anymore

Warning: dont use confusing names like “examplestage” and set the env to “PROD”

Go Live

Requirements

For a go live without any troubles and outages, please fulfill the following checklist.

  • Domains / Nameserver in your control
  • always use a low TTL like “300”
  • Mail hosting (checked, moved, created, installed etc)
  • Add DNS SPF Records (see E-Mail)
  • TLS certificate installed, ready and tested
  • Naxsi learning mode disabled on STAGE and PROD, whitelist rules are created
  • The server has a correct sizing
  • Disable application based logging

Testing

When you fulfill the requirements, make sure everything is in place as desired and ready for testing. Always simulate productive calls to the application, by adding all involved host names to your local hosts file. If you expect heavy usage, carry out load tests beforehand.

Hint

We are happy to assist you with architecture, sizing and load tests

Modify server hosts file

If you have to add entries to the servers hosts file for testing or other purposes (e.g. TYPO3 page not found handling), see Hosts File for details.

Go live!

Save the date

If you need our assistance, we’re happy to help you out! But we recommend to contact us at least 3 days before the go live.

Cache warming

Warm your cache before going live to avoid possible performance issues. There are a lot of possiblities. A simple cache warming could be done with a hostfile entry, a valid sitemap and wget / curl:

# HTTP
wget --quiet http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml --no-cache --output-document - | egrep -o "http://$URL[^<]+" | while read line; do curl -A 'cache warming' -s -L $line > /dev/null 2>&1; done

# HTTPS
wget --quiet https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml --no-cache --output-document - | egrep -o "https://$URL[^<]+" | while read line; do curl -A 'cache warming' -s -L $line > /dev/null 2>&1; done

Git

Use only the “live” branch on your PROD environment. Make sure that there are no local changes:

git branch -v
git status

Lookup your IP addresses

Connect to your server and note both IPv4 and IPv6 address:

$ facter ipaddress ipaddress6
ipaddress => 192.168.0.99
ipaddress6 => 2001:db8::99

Add records

Add DNS records within the DNS server of your choice.

example.net.     A       192.168.0.99
example.net.     AAAA    2001:db8::99
www.example.net. A       192.168.0.99
www.example.net. AAAA    2001:db8::99

Note

always add both A/AAAA DNS Records. Even if you have no IPv6 connectivity yet, others will, and IPv6 usage will spread

Hint

for more information about our dualstack infrastructure, see the Dualstack IPv4/IPv6 site

Check records

Right after you changed the records, you should query your dns server and compare the returned values against those from your lookup before:

dig A www.example.net @nameserver
dig AAAA www.example.net @nameserver

Reverse Proxy

If you want to make sure, that the old server/website wont deliver any requests anymore at all, add a reverse proxy on the old server which redirects all traffic to the new server. With this setup, you can switch servers without the uncertainties of the global DNS System.

If your old site is using Apache, add this virtual host:

<VirtualHost 192.168.0.22:80>
  ServerName        example.net
  ServerAlias       www.example.net
  ErrorLog          /path/to/error.log
  CustomLog         /path/to/access.log combined
  ProxyRequests     Off
  ProxyPreserveHost On
  ProxyPass         / http://new.host.name/
</VirtualHost>

Check HTTP

At last, check HTTP access for both IPv4 and IPv6 protocol to make sure everything went fine:

wget -4 www.example.net
wget -6 www.example.net

Check logfiles

Always check your logfiles after going live.

Remove local server name

Please remember to remove the local server name (like username01.snowflakehosting.ch). Otherwise this URL will be indexed by search engines and produce duplicate content.