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Add a Database to your own PaaS

This is the second part of our series on how to be your own PaaS provider using Dokku and RunAbove. The first part covered the basic installation and enabled us to deploy simple Play applications. In this part, we’ll deploy a more interesting application that uses a database.
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Run your own PaaS with RunAbove and Dokku

Last time, we looked at how we can run a Play application on Open Shift. Open Shift offers small instances (512MB memory) for free, but if you need more memory, it quickly gets rather expensive. For 1GB, the hour costs you 5 cents (that’s about 36$ per month). That’s too much for my hobby projects, so I started looking for alternatives. My requirements included 1GB of memory, a relational database that can hold more than just a few megabytes of data and ideally a deployment that isn’t any more work than a git push.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a PaaS provider that fit my needs, but I remembered reading about Dokku, the “Docker powered mini-Heroku. The smallest PaaS implementation you’ve ever seen”. Last week, I also learned about RunAbove, and that they not only offer really cheap machines, but also have pre-configured Dokku images (which I later realized isn’t such a big deal because it’s really simple to install):


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Play 2.3 Applications on OpenShift

This is a quick how-to guide to get your Play 2.3 applications up and running on RedHat’s OpenShift PaaS. OpenShift unfortunately doesn’t support Play out of the box, and there are some pitfalls that can be quite annoying.

Why OpenShift?

As I said, OpenShift – contrary to many other PaaS providers like CloudBees or Heroku – does not support Play directly, but you can use a third-party “cartridge” (that’s what they call the set of scripts and the initial template) to run Play. So why OpenShift? For a pet project, that I wanted to run as cheaply as possible, I needed a database with more than the usual 5MB / 10k rows you get with most free PaaS offerings. On OpenShift, you simply get 1GB of total storage, including your database.
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