play start mysuperwebapp
Upgrading Play 1.0 applications without downtime
You have your Play 1.0 application deployed on production. It is a real success and you have loads of users. You are really happy, and because Play! is quite fast you do not have any performance issues yet :) However, you are receiving feature requests. Being agile developers, you implement them quickly, test them in acceptance and you are ready to let your users enjoy them. But, your web applications is so successful that you do not really want to plan any downtime…
Tough choice: new features to keep your users happy or 100 per cent uptime? Well it is quite simple to do both using Play! This is because Play! is fully stateless.
My Play! web applications always use a front end proxy. Apache being the most popular I will illustrate how to do it with this web server. The basic idea is to run two Play! instances of your web application and let the front-end proxy load-balance them. In case one is not available, it will forward all the requests to the available one.
Let’s start our the same Play! application, deployed two times: one on port 9999 and one on port 9998.
What I actually did is to copy the my application two times and to edit the application.conf in the conf directory to change the port numbers.
For each web application directory:
Now, let’s configure our Apache web server to have a load balancer.
In Apache, I have the following configuration:
<VirtualHost mysuperwebapp.com:80> ServerName mysuperwebapp.com <Location /balancer-manager> SetHandler balancer-manager Order Deny,Allow Deny from all Allow from .mysuperwebapp.com </Location> <Proxy balancer://mycluster> BalancerMember http://localhost:9999 BalancerMember http://localhost:9998 status=+H </Proxy> <Proxy *> Order Allow,Deny Allow From All </Proxy> ProxyPreserveHost On ProxyPass /balancer-manager ! ProxyPass / balancer://mycluster/ ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:9999/ ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:9998/ </VirtualHost>
The important part is
balancer://mycluster. This declares a load
balancer. The +H option means that the second Play! application is on
stand-by. It will take over if the first one fails. This is exactly what
Every time I want to upgrade mysuperwebapp, here what I am doing:
play stop mysuperwebapp1
The load-balancer then forwards everything to mysuperwebapp2. In the meantime I update mysuperwebapp1. Once I am done:
play start mysuperwebapp1
And I can now safely update mysuperwebapp2 the same way.
Apache also provides a way to view the status of your cluster. Simply
point your browser to
/balancer-manager to view the current status of
Because Play! is completely stateless you do not have to manage sessions between the two clusters. You can actually easily scale to more than two Play! instances. As we have seen, that is really easy to do.