Passenger / mod_rails

 
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tgscott
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:20 pm    Post subject: Passenger / mod_rails Reply with quote
Does 34sp have any plans to allow Passenger / mod_rails (http://www.modrails.com/) on reseller & shared hosting accounts?

If you guys can find some way to offer SVN client use on reseller & shared hosting accounts you'd have a very attractive solution for deploying smaller Rails applications. IMO the price and knowledge jump needed to run a VPN is a big put-off for smaller applications/companies.

34sp have been doing us proud for small PHP sites for years. I'd like to be able to say the same for Rails apps before too long!

Tom
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imknight
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
We offer Ruby On Rails on all our hosting accounts as standard, not using modrails though.

Is there any reason the current setup with RoR runing under fastcgi is problematic?

Also our VPS Rails solution since the recent introduction of the MiniVPS has come much closer to the costs of the reseller accounts.

We do not have any plans for SVN at this time on shared account servers.
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tgscott
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
FCGI is slow and unreliable compared to mod_rails and mongrel setups, for Rails apps. It's also troublesome for restarting the application (which is often necessary with RoR apps). Mongrel clusters are a bitch to manage, but they are fast and reliable. Mod_rails is pretty new to the scene but seems to be the solution everyone's been waiting for - as fast as mongrel and as effortless to use as mod_php.

It's a real shame SVN isn't on your list at the moment. So many hosting companies are offering it and on shared accounts now (at least on shared business hosting accounts), that it seems a fairly major omission. Rails apps have tons of files across many directories. Using FTP to deploy updates is far from ideal.

Going one step further - SSH is pretty essential for rails applications. The shell is used for running database migrations and other rake tasks. It's also used by Capistrano (http://capify.org/) which is the bees knees for deploying Rails applications. But you've already told me SSH on shared servers isn't likely to happen . Anyway, just thought I'd throw this into the mix.

Tom
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tgscott
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
forgot to say, you're right though - the MiniVPS is very affordable, however, it's still going to require a good bit of knowledge to configure for rails applications, and all the other server configuration and maintenance work.
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imknight
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
SSH is not likely to ever be available on shared hosting, there is just no real need for it.

mod_rails - seems to have pretty much the same requisites for restarting an application (restart apache or touch a specific file - this is identical to our current setups)

It seems to be only geared towards apache2 - where as we still have a number of apache13 servers and we like to keep where possible the same things across the board.

Has it been tried with mod_rewrite the documentation seems to insist on altering the documentroot of the main domain, really not something that can be done when using a closed source control panel that rebuilds the files on a regular basis (and also makes it very hard to work out some other things when this changes)

In regards to the MiniVPS -we can supply this fully up and running with RoR from the setup on a debain 4 base OS.
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tgscott
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've not used mod_rails yet, and my server knowledge is pretty limited, but on paper it's sounding very promising. I know that Dreamhost have recently switched over to using it, but they have their own control panel, so it sounds like that could make it easier for them.

Whilst I do agree that SSH is not so important for simple hosting packages, in the context of Rails hosting SSH is pretty much essential. Running Rake tasks, database migrations, test scripts, using the console, installing gems, deploying using capistrano, tailing log files, etc. are all common command line tasks when working with with rails applications. Without the command line, I wouldn't expect many people will host rails apps in a shared hosting environment, despite the cost savings.

Having deployed a few larger rails apps on a dedicated server (with 34sp) for one of my clients, i have found the sys admin overheads are significant and not realistic for smaller sites with limited budgets. As a consequence, we still have to use PHP for smaller sites. I'm hoping mod_rails will change this though.

However, I do appreciate that there are limits to what you can realistically do in a large, shared hosting setup, particularly when the costs are as low as yours are.

Tom
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imknight
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
As you have really just pointed out running a rails app is not as simple as they make out, it does require (at times) so intervention.

The use of SSH makes this easier but it can be done by other means, we have many users using RoR on our platform under mod_fastcgi with very little issues reported.

While there are other ways of running it - under the shared environment this setup works well - people do development offline, then simply upload there files making sure they keep our .htaccess/dispatch.fcgi files.

Our RoR vps is however based using mongrel etc as the preferred way to run it, but on the vps you have full control to do what you want with the shell.
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