Tech

Web hosting with OnApp Cloud: double the speed and feel that customer love!

Cloud providers: what percentage of your customer VMs are running websites? How many more  VMs would you sell if you could double the performance of those sites? And what if you could do that free of charge?

One of the unique features released in version 6.0 of OnApp was the inclusion of our Accelerator technology, free of charge. OnApp Accelerator is our patented content optimization and delivery technology: it takes web content in VMs hosted in your OnApp cloud, and automatically optimizes, compresses and distributes it to 20 CDN locations around the world.

The result? Your customers’ website visitors get content optimized and delivered to them from their closest location – in as little as half the time. They’re happy, your customers are happy, and it’s a great way to differentiate your cloud service without needing any knowledge of CDN at all.

Best of all, OnApp Accelerator is free to OnApp v6.0 customers. There is no additional license fee, and we cover the CDN bandwidth cost.

You can read more about OnApp Accelerator here, and check out a performance comparison here.

How to enable OnApp Accelerator

So how do you take advantage of this awesome cloud feature? The OnApp support team will happily assist you in upgrading to 6.0 and enabling accelerator – but it’s actually pretty easy to do it yourself. Here’s a quick guide to getting your cloud, and your clients, accelerated…

Before getting started

There are a handful of pre-requisites you will need to have in place first:

  • OnApp Cloud v6.0 or higher – get in touch to learn more or discuss your upgrade options
  • OnApp Accelerator needs to be enabled for your license key – contact your account manager who can do that for you, and while you’re doing that, let them know the location of your soon-to-be-accelerated cloud
  • A CDN location (the same as your cloud) needs to be added to your OnApp Control Panel – your account manager will do this for you based on the cloud location you give them
  • Location Groups need to be set up in your OnApp Control Panel – see the instructions below
  • You should ensure that the “OnApp CDN Appliance” template is in the “CDN” Template Group, and that it is included in your Bucket access control

Setting up Location Groups

You will need to configure a Location Group to house all of your Compute Resources, Datastores, Networks and Backup Zones for your accelerated cloud location.

  • Log in to https://admin.onapp.com
  • Select your active OnApp license, and click “Cloud Locations”
  • Add the location of your OnApp Cloud:

OnApp Accelerator cloud location

  • Go to the overview page of your license and make a note of the “API Access Token”:

  • Log in to your OnApp Control Panel
  • Browse to Settings > Configuration, and in the “OnApp Dashboard API” section enter the API Access Token you made a note of:

Save the configuration, browse to Settings > Location Groups and click the Refresh button. In a few moments, your new location will appear.

OnApp Accelerator location groups

Select the city and add all of your resources to the location. These should include:

  • Compute Resource Zones
  • Data Store Zones
  • Network Zones
  • Backup Zones
  • CDN Locations

Auto-creating the Accelerator appliance

Go to Settings > Accelerator Dashboard and you can see a list of your applicable networks. Simply turning on the “Acceleration status” will automatically build the Accelerator appliance that makes content acceleration work.

OnApp Accelerator dashboard networks

Final steps…

  • Next, edit /onapp/interface/config/on_app.yml and ensure that “rabbitmq_host” is set to the management IP of your OnApp Control Panel – NOT 127.0.0.1
  • Then, run
service onapp restart
  • Finally, run the following rake command on the control panel server:
cd /onapp/interface ; rake hypervisor:messaging:configure

Testing your new Accelerated sites

Now that Accelerator is enabled, all of the content on any virtual machine on the accelerated network is accelerated automatically. If there is a specific virtual server you don’t want to be accelerated, you can browse to the specific VM and turn off “Acceleration allowed”.

A simple way to test that your content is being accelerated successfully is a simple curl of your website. You are looking for the “x-accelerated-by” section: as long as it says “InviCDN”, then your website is being successfully accelerated:

OnApp Accelerator curl test

If you are not an OnApp customer and would like to utilize this technology on your own cloud, please get in touch for more information. If you are an existing customer and would like help getting it enabled, please reach out to your account manager. Thanks!