DiscountASP.NET has been making customers happy for a very long time. Packaging up essential technologies for web sites and staying on top of new Microsoft technologies has been the secret sauce to their shared hosting success. Recently, the team at DiscountASP.NET launched a new cloud hosting solution called EVERLEAP. Because EVERLEAP makes use of some Microsoft Azure technology I thought I’d take a look at it.
A critical success factor for a hosting company is a simple, self-service portal experience. Customers need a clear and intuitive way to provision and manage their web content. Yet with the advent of cloud computing by some of the big players has created a lot of complexity. Many of the public cloud vendors offer a large and complex experience. Many customers are looking for simpler solutions – ones that are optimized for the web and relational databases. What is also needed is an easy to use interface and an easy way for developers and IT Administrators to support traditional web oriented workloads.
EVERLEAP is focused on simplicity and web performance, while still giving customers the abilities to use additional services when they are needed. But the advantage of EVERLEAP is that they focus well on providing customers who are more targeted in their IT needs. Starting with the portal, most users will feel right at home with a time-tested and proven user interface. Take a look for yourself at EVERLEAP’s elegantly designed Control Panel at http://www.EVERLEAP.com/cloud-hosting/features/control-panel/.
Underneath the covers it leverages the Microsoft Azure Pack, a robust solution provided by Microsoft that EVERLEAP uses to create its own fault tolerant, fully-managed elastic hosting platform in their own data center. EVERLEAP supports web sites, relational databases, ASP.NET, PHP, and even Classic ASP. Because most companies today are using GIT, FTP, and Web Deploy to get applications into production, EVERLEAP has streamlined the use of these deployment models. EVERLEAP customers expect more and that’s why you also get integrated support for SQL Reporting Services, SSL, email, DNS, and their tech support is also included. Performance is key and that is why you can see from the diagram below that web sites can be hosted by two or more load-balanced web servers. With just their basic hosting plans, each site can activate two load-balanced web servers.
Minutes to get to an ASP.NET site up
Signing up took less than 2 minutes. A free, 30-day trial is a great way to get started. Once you sign up, you will get an email that looks like this:
Simply login into the Control Panel using the password used during signup. The UserId is in the form of a number and will be sent to your registered email address. You will use the same password that you specify during sign-up
The homepage to the portal is simple, yet informative. For the purposes of this tutorial we will keep it simple and minimize the amount of interaction.
You are given the default web address for your website. In my case, it is 1355–1594.EL–ALT.com.
Because we will create an ASP.NET Web Application using Visual Studio, it makes the most sense to use the Web deploy option, because it is easy to download the publish profile and end up with a highly integrated experience.|
You will save the public profile somewhere on your local disk. Remember the location because you open this very same file from Visual Studio later in this tutorial.
The next step is to create a default Visual Studio project for ASP.NET Web Application. From the file menu, choose new project and then select ASP.NET Web Application. You will need to provide the name for the locally stored project, as well as a directory.
At this point, you need to indicate which website template you would like to use. MVC style applications are a popular architecture as they implement the model-view-controller paradigm. MVC style applications allow greater control over the generated output HTML. Web forms are an older but well-established technology with the rich ecosystem. Web API style of applications let you implement rest-based Web services easily. You can also indicate different types of authentication for your web app. There are many types of web-based applications that you can leverage here.
Be sure to clear the check box "Host in the cloud" because we will use Web deploy to release the web application into production within the EVERLEAP cloud services.
We will make a simple change to Index.cshtml that reads, "Hello EVERLEAP." It will serve as an indicator that we deployed successfully to production.
The next step is to import the previously saved Publish profile file, which was provided by the EVERLEAP control panel as a download to our local file system. By importing this settings file, you can quickly and easily deploy to production with just one Publish click.
The final step before actually clicking Publish it to enter and your password. This is the same password that you specified when you signed up for EVERLEAP services.
The Publish functionality will automatically redirect your browser to your application, which is now in the EVERLEAP cloud.
- EVERLEAP offers a strong value proposition because it provides a familiar interface and simplifies developing web-based database applications that run in the cloud.
- EVERLEAP takes advantage of the Microsoft Azure pack to provide a powerful and flexible backend cloud service
- EVERLEAP intuitively designed Control Panel portal experience takes the complexity out of managing cloud-based applications
- In just a few minutes we were able to deploy an ASP.NET Web Application using Visual Studio 2013 into production hosted in EVERLEAP data centers
You can find out more about EVERLEAP at http://EVERLEAP.com.
Starting with Turbo C and 8086 Assembler in the late 80s, Bruno has kept busy teaching and writing code in a multitude of platforms, languages, frameworks, SDKs, libraries, and APIs.
Bruno's depth of knowledge comes from years of experience in the field, where he can bring real-world knowledge and combine it with forward thinking that is required for his current role as a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft. Prior to evangelism, Bruno was a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer, helping customers in remote locations on a moment's notice to help with extreme troubleshooting scenarios, including problem isolation and correction, live and post-mortem debugging, on-the-fly application design and code reviews, performance tuning (IIS, SQL Server, .NET), application stability, porting / migration assistance, configuration management, pre-rollout testing and general development consulting.
As an evangelist, Bruno spends time writing code and giving live presentations on building cloud based applications, specifically using the Windows Azure Platform. He also takes a strong interest in Mobile Computing and is convinced that both mobile and cloud platforms, separately and together, are poised for huge growth over the next 10 years.
Bruno is very optimistic about the potential for new interactions with software using Kinect. The software industry has been languishing in aging approaches to human interactions and software. Kinect opens up an brave new world of possibilities to next generation software engineering.