FlashDrive automatically builds your Django app from your code.
In order to do that FlashDrive uses buildpacks to detect and build automatically your app.
FlashDrive is using the Heroku buildpack and the heroku-django package (a Django package for Python) to build Django applications.
To be able to build your app, FlashDrive needs several files to be placed inside the root directory of your app :
FlashDrive uses gunicorn and heroku-django to run Django applications, make sure to declare both inside your requirements.txt file.
Create your app on FlashDrive
Create a new app and link it with your repository using SSH keys.
Read this article for a detailed procedure or check this video :
The Procfile informs the engine of the type of app you are running (web or worker) and prepares the infrastructure accordingly. Make sure to use the same server type as during the app creation (web or worker) or you will need to manually alter the networks settings of the app.
web: gunicorn myproject.wsgi
The requirements.txt file is mandatory for your app to build. It will automatically add all required extensions via pip at the app-building phase.
FlashDrive uses Environment variables to store sensitive credentials like database login and password, as opposed to regular Django applications that uses hardcoded credentials. Make to declare all credential variables like
DATABASE_LOGIN before you build your app the first time.
Create persistent storage
One of the major improvements of FlashDrive in comparison to others app hosting solutions is the ability to create Virtual Disks available for any copy of your app inside the same stack.
Virtual disks allow you to store data safely and securely, without the need to use an additional S3 bucket, and every app size gets free disk space depending on its size (see our pricing for more information).
In addition to that, Virtual disks are backup every day with 10 days history and ransomware protection at no additional cost.
Read this article for more information about virtual disks and how to add one to your app.
Add a domain name
Please check this article for a detailed method on how to use your domain name with FlashDrive apps.
Define environment variables
Note: Environment variables set in your app settings are injected during the build process. If the build of your app needs to use an env variable make sure to set it before requesting the build.
FlashDrive lets you externalize the configuration of your app : the FlashDrive cluster will automatically injects the data when the app start or restart.
Environment variables can include any external data your app needs to run like external resources, databases addresses, encryption keys, etc…
To add an environment variable, access your app settings and click “Add ENV Variable” :
Enter the key (like DATABASE_USER) and the value and click “Add”. FlashDrive will automatically add your environment variable and restart your app after a one-minute delay (to let you add more env variables if necessary without restarting the app each time a new variable is added).
Provision a database
FlashDrive Marketplace includes all popular datastore engines including Mysql, Postgres, MongoDB and Redis.
To add a database to your app, click on Marketplace and select the database you want to run, then create the new app database inside the same stack as your Python app.
Once the app is running, visit the database app’s settings and retreive the “internal name” :
Use this internal name as you would use a server address, for instance for MySQL this name replaces the usual “localhost”. Some scripts require you to add the database port at the end of the server address. FlashDrive uses a common port for each database software, for MySQL it will be 3306 and you can write it like that inside your scripts: internal-name:3306
Postgres usually uses credentials sent inside the login URL, like that : postgres://<user>:<password>@<internalname>:5432/<database>
The login and password information is available inside the Environment Variables of the database app.
Reach your app from another app
Inside your app stack, you can reach any other FlashDrive app member of this stack on any port. FlashDrive automatically routes the traffic internally and opens the appropriate port. By opposition, your app is only reachable on ports 80/443 from outside of FlashDrive.
To reach your app internally, retrieve the internal name from your app settings page :
This name can be used to reach your app from another app inside the same stack. Use it in any form that works with your script :
Note : https:// is not available, all the traffic inside apps is already encrypted by the cluster.
FlashDrive uses at rest encryption for the app virtual disks, build images, and encrypted transport from inside the cluster. To make sure the traffic is encrypted between your app and the browser of your users you can set up SSL certificates for any domain name connected to the app (including the FlashDrive’s default domain name).
Scale your App
From your app settings you can scale your app vertically and horizontally: by upgrading the app size (refer to our pricing for app sizes details) or by adding more nodes.
Additional nodes will run another copy of your app inside another FlashDrive server located inside the same cluster (same geographical location). Traffic is automatically sent to the least occupied node by FlashDrive’s load balancer.
Note: Apps that use Virtual Disks will share the same file structure and read/write on the same disk. It’s fine in most cases for intensive read activity but can create bottlenecks and corrupted data if several nodes of the same app write on the same file at the same time. If your apps use intensive reads on virtual disks consider upgrading the app size instead of adding more nodes.
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