Pagodabox – Scalable PHP Platform

Just this week, Pagodabox went from beta to generally available. Pagodabox is a scalable PHP platform where you can host your PHP application and pay only as you scale when needed.

Simple Overview

Pagodabox offers PHP application hosting whose basic package is free for all. You only need to pay when the initial package won’t fit your application needs. The following is what you get for the basic pagodabox app:

Please note that for every account you get, you can create several apps on it and each apps have independent resources.

1. One pagoda instance

Each instance has a certain amount of resources allocated such as memory, cpu usage and requests per second. For every instance added, memory, cpu and requests per second also increases. However, this is not the recommended way of scaling the app but instead, increase the other resources such as database and others.

The basic pagoda instance gives your application 200MB. In most cases, it is more than enough for an application. You will have no bandwidth limit, but instead, as long as your instance memory can handle, you don’t have to worry about traffic.

2. Database

For the basic account, you got a 10MB cloud database space and 10MB memory. 10MB memory is not recommended for production but still usable for a small application. Recommended memory is 200MB, of course with a price. You can also increase the size of the database storage for a price which is cheaper than increasing the memory.

3. DNS alias

You can map your domain to pagodabox apps using DNS alias. You just need to set the DNS A record of your domain or subdomain to the IP address given in pagodabox admin panel. You can also set subdomains as well. It should be easy for a good domain host you have.

4. SSL

You can use the pagodabox subdomain for free SSL but for your own domain, you can pay a monthly fee for the SSL support.

5. Shared writable directory

Due to the fact that pagodabox applications are read-only, you cannot readily write files within your application. You may want to write to file when you need logging, caching or upload feature in your app. Most PHP frameworks logs to file and even required caching. With this, pagodabox allows the shared writable directory feature.

Due to pagodabox nature of being distributed, your files may be hosted on many boxes and writing to file may result in files not synchronized with all servers. To answer this need, those directories are setup as a network mount so that there will be only one location for these writable directories. Just make sure that those directories are not included/ignored in your repository.

When configured, you can also SSH to your shared writable directory perhaps fixing things or downloading your files.

6. GIT deployment

Pagodabox uses GIT for your repositories. Every time you pushed updates to the specified branch, your updates will be automatically deployed. The cool thing is that you can rollback your changes when something fails like user engagement drops or something really really bad happens.

I highly recommend it for testing your application. Once you know tried that its good, its up to you if you go for the bigger resources.

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