Tech

Would you like apps with that? Add value to your cloud with OnApp Application Servers

Jim Freeman

Jim Freeman
Senior Cloud Architect

We talked in a recent blog post about the importance of friction, as well as features, for cloud service providers. Well, I’d like to talk about an OnApp feature that definitely makes your cloud more frictionless… AKA, easier to buy for your customers. Let’s talk about Application Servers!

Every service provider wants to give customers an easy way to deploy the most popular applications in their cloud – but nobody wants to spend the time needed to make separate “easy-to-deploy” templates for each one.

With OnApp, you don’t have to. An Application Server is a specialized type of virtual server/VM that makes apps easy to install, update and manage in your OnApp cloud.

With Application Servers, your end users can deploy hundreds of the most popular web and system applications in just a few clicks, through OnApp’s “single pane of glass” UI. Here’s how they work.

 

1. Preparing your cloud

First of all, you need to make sure your OnApp cloud license is enabled for Application Servers – contact your account manager to get started. Then, you just need the OnApp Application Server template downloaded (it’s available from the OnApp template library); and to make sure the Application Server has access to a network with free public IPs.

2. Deploying an Application Server

An Application Server is built in exactly the same way as a standard virtual machine – but via the “Create Application Server” wizard, which is available under the “Application Servers” sidebar menu item. Once this has been created successfully, you will be able to view all of your Application Servers under the same sidebar menu.

3. Adding applications

Open up an Application Server and you will see it looks almost identical to a standard Virtual Server, but with an ‘Applications” tab at the top of the page.

 

Installing different apps is easy to do via the Applications tab. The apps available are listed by category, as there are way too many to list on one page! When you select the application you want, OnApp will display a description of that application.

 

Select an application and you will be presented with a small wizard that’ll get it installed for you. You can install as many applications as you want on a single Application Server.  Once your apps are set up, you can view all of your applications with their access and administrator URL.

4. Managing your Application Server, and applications

Application Servers are managed in the exact same way you would manage a standard virtual server through the OnApp UI – adding disk space, adding IP addresses or monitoring usage, for example.

OnApp also makes it easy to manage the individual applications running on the Application Server. From the ‘Applications’ tab you can add FTP users (for example, to enable someone to go into WordPress and customize the theme);  manage domains (for example, to point your own domain name to your WHMCS or Magento application); and manage backups of any of your installed applications.

For some applications you can also enable “Auto Update”, and the Application Server VM will keep this application up to date, as well as enabling plugins and performing the initial setup – for example, in the case of WordPress, creating a blog title, description and setting up your administrator user.

You can also access functions for DBaaS (managing your Application Server database) and EmailaaS (managing your Application Server email configuration) – again, all via the OnApp UI.

 

And that’s it – simple, streamlined application installation and management, as an integrated part of your cloud. Only with OnApp! If you’d like to know more, get in touch for a demo. Thanks!