Little T in the Cog linux

Archive for January 2018

Google App Engine


After a year and a half of running this site on my Raspberry Pi cluster I've now moved it to Google App Engine. The little cluster of Pi's performed admirably for a while now, but as I'm no longer getting free hosting where it is racked (due to me changing jobs) I can't justify the cost of 1U of rack space here in Auckland so have moved my sites. Most of my stuff is running on Digital Ocean who are an excellent cloud VM provider, but I thought I should finally upskill and get with the program by going serverless. As this website is a simple collection of static HTML content it was an ideal candidate to try this out with.

I've been really happy so far with how it's all worked - it was super easy to set up a new Google App Engine project and get code deployed there. The hardest part was working out how to serve static HTML as it's really geared more towards Node.js/PHP/Python apps and frameworks than static content. Some things still aren't working, for example a 404 on this site used to load my custom 404 page but as I can't set up redirects like I can with a web server I haven't managed to get that working, and so get served a generic 404 error. Also I've had issues running some PHP scripts that expose information about the environment it's running on, but this is probably more by design than an actual error.

The next thing to try will be something a bit more substantial that is backed by a database. I'd really like to move some forums I host to GAE but the product I've been using for years (SMF) doesn't seem like it will be easy to move as it assumes a few things, like directory layouts etc which don't easily translate to serverless. Perhaps it's time to find another forum to host :-)