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Under the Hood: UForge AppCenter 3.6

Written by James Weir le 29 october 2015

Christmas comes early this year with the arrival of the latest version of UForge AppCenter, bringing you a bumper pack of new features and functionality. We've put a stake in the ground for supporting Docker, as you'll have seen from our previous blog posts. This release also includes a brand new plugin service for our enterprise partners that fundamentally changes how UForge AppCenter can be integrated with 3rd party services; and we've given our user interface a facelift.

Enjoy!

Read more Under the Hood: UForge AppCenter 3.6

Classified in : News, Cloud Computing, Technology, Microsoft Windows - Tags : uforge, uforge appcenter, docker, windows, migration, cloud migration, plugins - no comments


Adding "WordPress" to Windows Templates, couldn't be easier

Written by Nik Tetteh-Lartey le 31 january 2014

Seen our last blog on creating a Windows 2008 R2 XAMPP server template? If yes, then creating a WordPress blogging server is as easy as just adding an extra package!

What do we do?

After we have created our XAMPP server template we perform two additional steps.

  • Add the WordPress component to the XAMPP stack

  • Update our installation and configuration script
C:\uploads\mysoftware\JREWindows64bit-7.45\jre-7u45-windows-x64.exe /s
C:\uploads\mysoftware\MSVS-2008\vcredist_x64-2008.exe /q:a 
timeout 30
taskkill /F /IM TrustedInstaller.exe
C:\uploads\mysoftware\XAMPP-1.8.3\xampp-win32-1.8.3-2-VC11-installer.exe --mode unattended
timeout 20
C:\xampp\xampp_start.exe
timeout 20
C:\uploads\mysoftware\WordPress-3.8\bitnami-wordpress-3.8-0-module-windows-installer.exe 
  --mode unattended
timeout 20

 

That's all to it. Just follow the previous XAMPP blogs steps to generate, launch and access your WordPress Windows image.

Classified in : Technology, Tutorial, Microsoft Windows - Tags : template, windows, uforge, wordpress, php, mysql, perl, XAMPP, apache, tomcat - no comments


Anyone fancy creating a Windows Server "XAMPP" template!

Written by Nik Tetteh-Lartey le 31 january 2014

Getting started

Imagine we want to build a Windows server machine, containing a web development stack, including Apache web server, MySQL, PHP and Perl, the equivalent to the popular LAMP stacks, but with the Perl language added on, just for more flexibility! UForge factory will allow us to do this and more, as it will allow us to define our Windows machine as a "model" or so called server template, giving us the flexibility to add to or refine our machines capabilities and or functionalities, over time, by the simple clicking of a button. Let's get started. Firstly, we have to create a new server template which is based on our chosen Windows operating system and architecture.

  • Using the UForge UI, we create the template selecting Windows Server 2008 R2 as our preferred operating system.

  • This completed, we now proceed to defining the "OS profile" by selecting the Windows Server 2008 R2 distribution we'd like to use, in this case, Enterprise, Core, English.

Adding the software

The next step is to add the necessary middleware components. There are many options available here and a simple Internet search can give us some ideas. In this case we opted for Apache Friends community offering with a well-integrated middleware stack using an opensource software project called XAMPP. As we will find in the XAMPP online documentation, PHP needs some extra software i.e. the Microsoft Visual 2008 studio compiler, which is a redistributable package from Microsoft. Finally, we note, that Tomcat has one additional requirement; a Java runtime environment (JRE). So re-capping, we need to add two extra pieces of software, JRE, Microsoft Visual C++ and XAMPP itself. With UForge, adding these extra pieces of software to a template can be done using what is called My Software projects. Typically, for our XAMPP server template, we will create three of these My Software projects, but this is only a suggestion, we can, if we want, create more or less, depending on how we want bundle certain pieces of software and/or special files. Each project is named, with a version number and a description. We may also consider adding the corresponding software license file to the projects. As for the software itself, we simply upload the each piece of software to its corresponding My Software project.

Installation and configuration

The installation and configuration of our chosen middleware software components can be done in many ways, two of which are:

  • In the My Software project itself, by ticking the "Install this software" check box, and giving some parameters to pass for the installation process.
  • Using classic Windows bat configuration scripts files.

In this example, we'll illustrate how to perform our chosen middleware software installation and configuration with bat installation scripts. We will create two scripts: one to be executed at first boot, and one to launch XAMPP service on every boot. The installation script is a simple Windows executable bat file, Note: this first boot script contains all the installation, configuration and service setup processes:

C:\uploads\mysoftware\JREWindows64bit-7.45\jre-7u45-windows-x64.exe /s
C:\uploads\mysoftware\MSVS-2008\vcredist_x64-2008.exe /q:a
timeout 30
taskkill /F /IM TrustedInstaller.exe
C:\uploads\mysoftware\XAMPP-1.8.3\xampp-win32-1.8.3-2-VC11-installer.exe --mode unattended

This script installs the JRE, Microsoft Visual Studio and XAMPP stack. Looking at the script launching the XAMPP management stack for every boot, it contains only the XAMPP stack's component startup scripts:

C:\xampp\xampp_start.exe

Adding the Windows bat script files to the template is easy, we just use the UForge UI's Configuration view, as the following clearly depicts.

Et voila ... that's it!

We're done, our UForge Server Template is complete, at least for this iteration of its life. Note we can easily update this server template, at any time, to improve and perfect it, over its overall life-time. So, what's next for our newly created Windows 2008 R2 Server XAMPP server template?

Image Generation and Launch

We specify some desired machine sizes and select our preferred "physical, virtual or cloud" format to create the image in, after which we are ready to launch and start it. 

 

Note using our template description for instructions, we'll be able to connect to the XAMPP console using our favorite web browser.

You can also launch the XAMPP Control Panel in the Windows image.

So what are you waiting for? Try it out for yourselves, now! Just sign-up at UShareSoft for your free account and get cracking with modelling and building your very first Windows server template, you can even use our Marketplace templates as basis of yours.

Classified in : News, Technology, Tutorial, Microsoft Windows - Tags : template, windows, uforge - 2 comments


Curtain's Up on UForge 3.4

Written by James Weir le 29 october 2013

We are happy to announce that UForge 3.4 release is ready! This release includes a major new service - Migration. We've also moved to RBAC and made some huge improvements to supporting Windows.

Migration (Beta)

The new Migration service (launched in Beta) allows you to deep scan a live system (whether the system is virtual, cloud or physical) and import this scan as a model (i.e. server template) into UForge. This is a game-changer in the way customers create server templates in UForge. Live systems are simply teleported into UForge and transformed into a model, allowing you to re-generate images to any other target platform (traditional migration) as well as having access to the model of the live system - i.e. all the package information, licensing etc. This allows you to retrieve information on a live system for auditing purposes, or lets you tweak and change the model (updates) prior to migrating the system. Debian and RPM-based systems are supported, with Windows coming in the near future. For more information read this article, for a demo, see this video.

Role-Based Access Control

Up until now resource access has been enforced on a user per user basis. UForge resource access management has now been overhauled. Administrators can now create roles that manage entitlements that describe access to various UForge resources. These roles can then be assigned to one or more users. UForge RBAC is handled by Apache Syncope which has been embedded into the UForge platform. This module includes identity and access management, opening the door for UForge to integrate seamlessly with IAM use cases.

Windows Improvements

Ever since the arrival of UForge 3.0, users have been able to create templates using Windows as a guest OS (not available with UForge online). With this upcoming release it will now be possible to have more control of your Windows templates, including:

  • adding boot scripts to configure the instance on first (or every) boot.
  • silent installation of 3rd party software by automatically executing the installation with parameters.
  • include Windows activation keys in the template.

Sticky Packages

UForge calculates package versions and dependencies during an image generation based on a date. This allows the user to roll-forward or roll-back operating system packages in an OS profile. The negative impact on using the mechanism is that the user couldn't specify a particular package version to be part of the generation; depending on the build date of the package, an earlier or more up to date version of the package would be chosen instead. UForge now provides a mechanism to select a particular package version, known as making a package “sticky”. This increases the flexibility the user has in choosing package versions as well as protecting against destructive upgrades. This article provides more information on package dependencies.

User Usage & Statistics

The new UForge 3.4 has been updated to allow you to get usage statistics per user. We've also put in place the necessary mechanisms to integrate a third party billing system with UForge, allowing you to bill end users based on their user of UForge Factory. In addition, you can set quotas for the number of templates, generations, and migrations a user can carry out.

 

Classified in : News - Tags : UForge Release, Migration, RBAC, Windows, Statistics, Billing, Cloud Computing - no comments