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      How to Set Up a Scalable Laravel 6 Application using Managed Databases and Object Storage


      Introduction

      When scaling web applications horizontally, the first difficulties you’ll typically face are dealing with file storage and data persistence. This is mainly due to the fact that it is hard to maintain consistency of variable data between multiple application nodes; appropriate strategies must be in place to make sure data created in one node is immediately available to other nodes in a cluster.

      A practical way of solving the consistency problem is by using managed databases and object storage systems. The first will outsource data persistence to a managed database, and the latter will provide a remote storage service where you can keep static files and variable content such as images uploaded by users. Each node can then connect to these services at the application level.

      The following diagram demonstrates how such a setup can be used for horizontal scalability in the context of PHP applications:

      Laravel at scale diagram

      In this guide, we will update an existing Laravel 6 application to prepare it for horizontal scalability by connecting it to a managed MySQL database and setting up an S3-compatible object store to save user-generated files. By the end, you will have a travel list application running on an Nginx + PHP-FPM web server:

      Travellist v1.0

      Note: this guide uses DigitalOcean Managed MySQL and Spaces to demonstrate a scalable application setup using managed databases and object storage. The instructions contained here should work in a similar way for other service providers.

      Prerequisites

      To begin this tutorial, you will first need the following prerequisites:

      • Access to an Ubuntu 18.04 server as a non-root user with sudo privileges, and an active firewall installed on your server. To set these up, please refer to our Initial Server Setup Guide for Ubuntu 18.04.
      • Nginx and PHP-FPM installed and configured on your server, as explained in steps 1 and 3 of How to Install LEMP on Ubuntu 18.04. You should skip the step where MySQL is installed.
      • Composer installed on your server, as explained in steps 1 and 2 of How to Install and Use Composer on Ubuntu 18.04.
      • Admin credentials to a managed MySQL 8 database. For this guide, we’ll be using a DigitalOcean Managed MySQL cluster, but the instructions here should work similarly for other managed database services.
      • A set of API keys with read and write permissions to an S3-compatible object storage service. In this guide, we’ll use DigitalOcean Spaces, but you are free to use a provider of your choice.
      • The s3cmd tool installed and configured to connect to your object storage drive. For instructions on how to set this up for DigitalOcean Spaces, please refer to our product documentation.

      Step 1 — Installing the MySQL 8 Client

      The default Ubuntu apt repositories come with the MySQL 5 client, which is not compatible with the MySQL 8 server we’ll be using in this guide. To install the compatible MySQL client, we’ll need to use the MySQL APT Repository provided by Oracle.

      Begin by navigating to the MySQL APT Repository page in your web browser. Find the Download button in the lower-right corner and click through to the next page. This page will prompt you to log in or sign up for an Oracle web account. You can skip that and instead look for the link that says No thanks, just start my download. Copy the link address and go back to your terminal window.

      This link should point to a .deb package that will set up the MySQL APT Repository in your server. After installing it, you’ll be able to use apt to install the latest releases of MySQL. We’ll use curl to download this file into a temporary location.

      Go to your server’s tmp folder:

      Now download the package with curl and using the URL you copied from the MySQL APT Repository page:

      • curl -OL https://dev.mysql.com/get/mysql-apt-config_0.8.13-1_all.deb

      After the download is finished, you can use dpkg to install the package:

      • sudo dpkg -i mysql-apt-config_0.8.13-1_all.deb

      You will be presented with a screen where you can choose which MySQL version you’d like to select as default, as well as which MySQL components you’re interested in:

      MySQL APT Repository Install

      You don’t need to change anything here, because the default options will install the repositories we need. Select “Ok” and the configuration will be finished.

      Next, you’ll need to update your apt cache with:

      Now we can finally install the MySQL 8 client with:

      • sudo apt install mysql-client

      Once that command finishes, check the software version number to ensure that you have the latest release:

      You’ll see output like this:

      Output

      mysql Ver 8.0.18 for Linux on x86_64 (MySQL Community Server - GPL)

      In the next step, we’ll use the MySQL client to connect to your managed MySQL server and prepare the database for the application.

      Step 2 — Creating a new MySQL User and Database

      At the time of this writing, the native MySQL PHP library mysqlnd doesn’t support caching_sha2_authentication, the default authentication method for MySQL 8. We’ll need to create a new user with the mysql_native_password authentication method in order to be able to connect our Laravel application to the MySQL 8 server. We’ll also create a dedicated database for our demo application.

      To get started, log into your server using an admin account. Replace the highlighted values with your own MySQL user, host, and port:

      • mysql -u MYSQL_USER -p -h MYSQL_HOST -P MYSQL_PORT

      When prompted, provide the admin user’s password. After logging in, you will have access to the MySQL 8 server command line interface.

      First, we’ll create a new database for the application. Run the following command to create a new database named travellist:

      • CREATE DATABASE travellist;

      Next, we’ll create a new user and set a password, using mysql_native_password as default authentication method for this user. You are encouraged to replace the highlighted values with values of your own, and to use a strong password:

      • CREATE USER "http://www.digitalocean.com/travellist-user'@'%' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY "http://www.digitalocean.com/MYSQL_PASSWORD';

      Now we need to give this user permission over our application database:

      • GRANT ALL ON travellist.* TO "http://www.digitalocean.com/travellist-user'@'%';

      You can now exit the MySQL prompt with:

      You now have a dedicated database and a compatible user to connect from your Laravel application. In the next step, we’ll get the application code and set up configuration details, so your app can connect to your managed MySQL database.

      In this guide, we’ll use Laravel Migrations and database seeds to set up our application tables. If you need to migrate an existing local database to a DigitalOcean Managed MySQL database, please refer to our documentation on How to Import MySQL Databases into DigitalOcean Managed Databases.

      Step 3 — Setting Up the Demo Application

      To get started, we’ll fetch the demo Laravel application from its Github repository. Feel free to inspect the contents of the application before running the next commands.

      The demo application is a travel bucket list app that was initially developed in our guide on How to Install and Configure Laravel with LEMP on Ubuntu 18.04. The updated app now contains visual improvements including travel photos that can be uploaded by a visitor, and a world map. It also introduces a database migration script and database seeds to create the application tables and populate them with sample data, using artisan commands.

      To obtain the application code that is compatible with this tutorial, we’ll download the 1.1 release from the project’s repository on Github. We’ll save the downloaded zip file as travellist.zip inside our home directory:

      • cd ~
      • curl -L https://github.com/do-community/travellist-laravel-demo/archive/1.1.zip -o travellist.zip

      Now, unzip the contents of the application and rename its directory with:

      • unzip travellist.zip
      • mv travellist-laravel-demo-1.1 travellist

      Navigate to the travellist directory:

      Before going ahead, we’ll need to install a few PHP modules that are required by the Laravel framework, namely: php-xml, php-mbstring, php-xml and php-bcmath. To install these packages, run:

      • sudo apt install unzip php-xml php-mbstring php-xml php-bcmath

      To install the application dependencies, run:

      You will see output similar to this:

      Output

      Loading composer repositories with package information Installing dependencies (including require-dev) from lock file Package operations: 80 installs, 0 updates, 0 removals - Installing doctrine/inflector (v1.3.0): Downloading (100%) - Installing doctrine/lexer (1.1.0): Downloading (100%) - Installing dragonmantank/cron-expression (v2.3.0): Downloading (100%) - Installing erusev/parsedown (1.7.3): Downloading (100%) ... Generating optimized autoload files > IlluminateFoundationComposerScripts::postAutoloadDump > @php artisan package:discover --ansi Discovered Package: beyondcode/laravel-dump-server Discovered Package: fideloper/proxy Discovered Package: laravel/tinker Discovered Package: nesbot/carbon Discovered Package: nunomaduro/collision Package manifest generated successfully.

      The application dependencies are now installed. Next, we’ll configure the application to connect to the managed MySQL Database.

      Creating the .env configuration file and setting the App Key

      We’ll now create a .env file containing variables that will be used to configure the Laravel application in a per-environment basis. The application includes an example file that we can copy and then modify its values to reflect our environment settings.

      Copy the .env.example file to a new file named .env:

      Now we need to set the application key. This key is used to encrypt session data, and should be set to a unique 32 characters-long string. We can generate this key automatically with the artisan tool:

      Let’s edit the environment configuration file to set up the database details. Open the .env file using your command line editor of choice. Here, we will be using nano:

      Look for the database credentials section. The following variables need your attention:

      DB_HOST: your managed MySQL server host.
      DB_PORT: your managed MySQL server port.
      DB_DATABASE: the name of the application database we created in Step 2.
      DB_USERNAME: the database user we created in Step 2.
      DB_PASSWORD: the password for the database user we defined in Step 2.

      Update the highlighted values with your own managed MySQL info and credentials:

      ...
      DB_CONNECTION=mysql
      DB_HOST=MANAGED_MYSQL_HOST
      DB_PORT=MANAGED_MYSQL_PORT
      DB_DATABASE=MANAGED_MYSQL_DB
      DB_USERNAME=MANAGED_MYSQL_USER
      DB_PASSWORD=MANAGED_MYSQL_PASSWORD
      ...
      

      Save and close the file by typing CTRL+X then Y and ENTER when you’re done editing.

      Now that the application is configured to connect to the MySQL database, we can use Laravel’s command line tool artisan to create the database tables and populate them with sample data.

      Migrating and populating the database

      We’ll now use Laravel Migrations and database seeds to set up the application tables. This will help us determine if our database configuration works as expected.

      To execute the migration script that will create the tables used by the application, run:

      You will see output similar to this:

      Output

      Migration table created successfully. Migrating: 2019_09_19_123737_create_places_table Migrated: 2019_09_19_123737_create_places_table (0.26 seconds) Migrating: 2019_10_14_124700_create_photos_table Migrated: 2019_10_14_124700_create_photos_table (0.42 seconds)

      To populate the database with sample data, run:

      You will see output like this:

      Output

      Seeding: PlacesTableSeeder Seeded: PlacesTableSeeder (0.86 seconds) Database seeding completed successfully.

      The application tables are now created and populated with sample data.

      To finish the application setup, we also need to create a symbolic link to the public storage folder that will host the travel photos we’re using in the application. You can do that using the artisan tool:

      Output

      The [public/storage] directory has been linked.

      This will create a symbolic link inside the public directory pointing to storage/app/public, where we’ll save the travel photos. To check that the link was created and where it points to, you can run:

      You’ll see output like this:

      Output

      total 36 drwxrwxr-x 5 sammy sammy 4096 Oct 25 14:59 . drwxrwxr-x 12 sammy sammy 4096 Oct 25 14:58 .. -rw-rw-r-- 1 sammy sammy 593 Oct 25 06:29 .htaccess drwxrwxr-x 2 sammy sammy 4096 Oct 25 06:29 css -rw-rw-r-- 1 sammy sammy 0 Oct 25 06:29 favicon.ico drwxrwxr-x 2 sammy sammy 4096 Oct 25 06:29 img -rw-rw-r-- 1 sammy sammy 1823 Oct 25 06:29 index.php drwxrwxr-x 2 sammy sammy 4096 Oct 25 06:29 js -rw-rw-r-- 1 sammy sammy 24 Oct 25 06:29 robots.txt lrwxrwxrwx 1 sammy sammy 41 Oct 25 14:59 storage -> /home/sammy/travellist/storage/app/public -rw-rw-r-- 1 sammy sammy 1194 Oct 25 06:29 web.config

      Running the test server (optional)

      You can use the artisan serve command to quickly verify that everything is set up correctly within the application, before having to configure a full-featured web server like Nginx to serve the application for the long term.

      We’ll use port 8000 to temporarily serve the application for testing. If you have the UFW firewall enabled on your server, you should first allow access to this port with:

      Now, to run the built in PHP server that Laravel exposes through the artisan tool, run:

      • php artisan serve --host=0.0.0.0 --port=8000

      This command will block your terminal until interrupted with a CTRL+C. It will use the built-in PHP web server to serve the application for test purposes on all network interfaces, using port 8000.

      Now go to your browser and access the application using the server’s domain name or IP address on port 8000:

      http://server_domain_or_IP:8000
      

      You will see the following page:

      Travellist v1.0

      If you see this page, it means the application is successfully pulling data about locations and photos from the configured managed database. The image files are still stored in the local disk, but we’ll change this in a following step of this guide.

      When you are finished testing the application, you can stop the serve command by hitting CTRL+C.

      Don’t forget to close port 8000 again if you are running UFW on your server:

      Step 4 — Configuring Nginx to Serve the Application

      Although the built-in PHP web server is very useful for development and testing purposes, it is not intended to be used as a long term solution to serve PHP applications. Using a full featured web server like Nginx is the recommended way of doing that.

      To get started, we’ll move the application folder to /var/www, which is the usual location for web applications running on Nginx. First, use the mv command to move the application folder with all its contents to /var/www/travellist:

      • sudo mv ~/travellist /var/www/travellist

      Now we need to give the web server user write access to the storage and bootstrap/cache folders, where Laravel stores application-generated files. We’ll set these permissions using setfacl, a command line utility that allows for more robust and fine-grained permission settings in files and folders.

      To include read, write and execution (rwx) permissions to the web server user over the required directories, run:

      • sudo setfacl -R -m g:www-data:rwx /var/www/travellist/storage
      • sudo setfacl -R -m g:www-data:rwx /var/www/travellist/bootstrap/cache

      The application files are now in order, but we still need to configure Nginx to serve the content. To do this, we’ll create a new virtual host configuration file at /etc/nginx/sites-available:

      • sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/travellist

      The following configuration file contains the recommended settings for Laravel applications on Nginx:

      /etc/nginx/sites-available/travellist

      server {
          listen 80;
          server_name server_domain_or_IP;
          root /var/www/travellist/public;
      
          add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN";
          add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
          add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff";
      
          index index.html index.htm index.php;
      
          charset utf-8;
      
          location / {
              try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;
          }
      
          location = /favicon.ico { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
          location = /robots.txt  { access_log off; log_not_found off; }
      
          error_page 404 /index.php;
      
          location ~ .php$ {
              fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
              fastcgi_index index.php;
              fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $realpath_root$fastcgi_script_name;
              include fastcgi_params;
          }
      
          location ~ /.(?!well-known).* {
              deny all;
          }
      }
      

      Copy this content to your /etc/nginx/sites-available/travellist file and adjust the highlighted values to align with your own configuration. Save and close the file when you’re done editing.

      To activate the new virtual host configuration file, create a symbolic link to travellist in sites-enabled:

      • sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/travellist /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

      Note: If you have another virtual host file that was previously configured for the same server_name used in the travellist virtual host, you might need to deactivate the old configuration by removing the corresponding symbolic link inside /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/.

      To confirm that the configuration doesn’t contain any syntax errors, you can use:

      You should see output like this:

      Output

      • nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
      • nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

      To apply the changes, reload Nginx with:

      • sudo systemctl reload nginx

      If you reload your browser now, the application images will be broken. That happens because we moved the application directory to a new location inside the server, and for that reason we need to re-create the symbolic link to the application storage folder.

      Remove the old link with:

      • cd /var/www/travellist
      • rm -f public/storage

      Now run once again the artisan command to generate the storage link:

      Now go to your browser and access the application using the server’s domain name or IP address, as defined by the server_name directive in your configuration file:

      http://server_domain_or_IP
      

      Travellist v1.0

      In the next step, we’ll integrate an object storage service into the application. This will replace the current local disk storage used for the travel photos.

      Step 5 — Integrating an S3-Compatible Object Storage into the Application

      We’ll now set up the application to use an S3-compatible object storage service for storing the travel photos exhibited on the index page. Because the application already has a few sample photos stored in the local disk, we’ll also use the s3cmd tool to upload the existing local image files to the remote object storage.

      Setting Up the S3 Driver for Laravel

      Laravel uses league/flysystem, a filesystem abstraction library that enables a Laravel application to use and combine multiple storage solutions, including local disk and cloud services. An additional package is required to use the s3 driver. We can install this package using the composer require command.

      Access the application directory:

      • composer require league/flysystem-aws-s3-v3

      You will see output similar to this:

      Output

      Using version ^1.0 for league/flysystem-aws-s3-v3 ./composer.json has been updated Loading composer repositories with package information Updating dependencies (including require-dev) Package operations: 8 installs, 0 updates, 0 removals - Installing mtdowling/jmespath.php (2.4.0): Loading from cache - Installing ralouphie/getallheaders (3.0.3): Loading from cache - Installing psr/http-message (1.0.1): Loading from cache - Installing guzzlehttp/psr7 (1.6.1): Loading from cache - Installing guzzlehttp/promises (v1.3.1): Loading from cache - Installing guzzlehttp/guzzle (6.4.1): Downloading (100%) - Installing aws/aws-sdk-php (3.112.28): Downloading (100%) - Installing league/flysystem-aws-s3-v3 (1.0.23): Loading from cache ...

      Now that the required packages are installed, we can update the application to connect to the object storage. First, we’ll open the .env file again to set up configuration details such as keys, bucket name, and region for your object storage service.

      Open the .env file:

      Include the following environment variables, replacing the highlighted values with your object store configuration details:

      /var/www/travellist/.env

      DO_SPACES_KEY=EXAMPLE7UQOTHDTF3GK4
      DO_SPACES_SECRET=exampleb8e1ec97b97bff326955375c5
      DO_SPACES_ENDPOINT=https://ams3.digitaloceanspaces.com
      DO_SPACES_REGION=ams3
      DO_SPACES_BUCKET=sammy-travellist
      

      Save and close the file when you’re done. Now open the config/filesystems.php file:

      • nano config/filesystems.php

      Within this file, we’ll create a new disk entry in the disks array. We’ll name this disk spaces, and we’ll use the environment variables we’ve set in the .env file to configure the new disk. Include the following entry in the disks array:

      config/filesystems.php

      
      'spaces' => [
         'driver' => 's3',
         'key' => env('DO_SPACES_KEY'),
         'secret' => env('DO_SPACES_SECRET'),
         'endpoint' => env('DO_SPACES_ENDPOINT'),
         'region' => env('DO_SPACES_REGION'),
         'bucket' => env('DO_SPACES_BUCKET'),
      ],
      
      

      Still in the same file, locate the cloud entry and change it to set the new spaces disk as default cloud filesystem disk:

      config/filesystems.php

      'cloud' => env('FILESYSTEM_CLOUD', "http://www.digitalocean.com/spaces'),
      

      Save and close the file when you’re done editing. From your controllers, you can now use the Storage::cloud() method as a shortcut to access the default cloud disk. This way, the application stays flexible to use multiple storage solutions, and you can switch between providers on a per-environment basis.

      The application is now configured to use object storage, but we still need to update the code that uploads new photos to the application.

      Let’s first examine the current uploadPhoto route, located in the PhotoController class. Open the file using your text editor:

      • nano app/Http/Controllers/PhotoController.php

      app/Http/Controllers/PhotoController.php

      …
      
      public function uploadPhoto(Request $request)
      {
         $photo = new Photo();
         $place = Place::find($request->input('place'));
      
         if (!$place) {
             //add new place
             $place = new Place();
             $place->name = $request->input('place_name');
             $place->lat = $request->input('place_lat');
             $place->lng = $request->input('place_lng');
         }
      
         $place->visited = 1;
         $place->save();
      
         $photo->place()->associate($place);
         $photo->image = $request->image->store('/', 'public');
         $photo->save();
      
         return redirect()->route('Main');
      }
      
      

      This method accepts a POST request and creates a new photo entry in the photos table. It begins by checking if an existing place was selected in the photo upload form, and if that’s not the case, it will create a new place using the provided information. The place is then set to visited and saved to the database. Following that, an association is created so that the new photo is linked to the designated place. The image file is then stored in the root folder of the public disk. Finally, the photo is saved to the database. The user is then redirected to the main route, which is the index page of the application.

      The highlighted line in this code is what we’re interested in. In that line, the image file is saved to the disk using the store method. The store method is used to save files to any of the disks defined in the filesystem.php configuration file. In this case, it is using the default disk to store uploaded images.

      We will change this behavior so that the image is saved to the object store instead of the local disk. In order to do that, we need to replace the public disk by the spaces disk in the store method call. We also need to make sure the uploaded file’s visibility is set to public instead of private.

      The following code contains the full PhotoController class, including the updated uploadPhoto method:

      app/Http/Controllers/PhotoController.php

      <?php
      
      namespace AppHttpControllers;
      
      use IlluminateHttpRequest;
      use AppPhoto;
      use AppPlace;
      use IlluminateSupportFacadesStorage;
      
      class PhotoController extends Controller
      {
         public function uploadForm()
         {
             $places = Place::all();
      
             return view('upload_photo', [
                 'places' => $places
             ]);
         }
      
         public function uploadPhoto(Request $request)
         {
             $photo = new Photo();
             $place = Place::find($request->input('place'));
      
             if (!$place) {
                 //add new place
                 $place = new Place();
                 $place->name = $request->input('place_name');
                 $place->lat = $request->input('place_lat');
                 $place->lng = $request->input('place_lng');
             }
      
             $place->visited = 1;
             $place->save();
      
             $photo->place()->associate($place);
             $photo->image = $request->image->store('/', 'spaces');
             Storage::setVisibility($photo->image, 'public');
             $photo->save();
      
             return redirect()->route('Main');
         }
      }
      
      
      

      Copy the updated code to your own PhotoController so that it reflects the highlighted changes. Save and close the file when you’re done editing.

      We still need to modify the application’s main view so that it uses the object storage file URL to render the image. Open the travel_list.blade.php template:

      • nano resources/views/travel_list.blade.php

      Now locate the footer section of the page, which currently looks like this:

      resources/views/travel_list.blade.php

      @section('footer')
         <h2>Travel Photos <small>[ <a href="{{ route('Upload.form') }}">Upload Photo</a> ]</small></h2>
         @foreach ($photos as $photo)
             <div class="photo">
                <img src="https://www.digitalocean.com/{{ asset('storage') . '/' . $photo->image }}" />
                 <p>{{ $photo->place->name }}</p>
             </div>
         @endforeach
      
      @endsection
      

      Replace the current image src attribute to use the file URL from the spaces storage disk:

      <img src="https://www.digitalocean.com/{{ Storage::disk('spaces')->url($photo->image) }}" />
      

      If you go to your browser now and reload the application page, it will show only broken images. That happens because the image files for those travel photos are still only in the local disk. We need to upload the existing image files to the object storage, so that the photos already stored in the database can be successfully exhibited in the application page.

      Syncing local images with s3cmd

      The s3cmd tool can be used to sync local files with an S3-compatible object storage service. We’ll run a sync command to upload all files inside storage/app/public/photos to the object storage service.

      Access the public app storage directory:

      • cd /var/www/travellist/storage/app/public

      To have a look at the files already stored in your remote disk, you can use the s3cmd ls command:

      • s3cmd ls s3://your_bucket_name

      Now run the sync command to upload existing files in the public storage folder to the object storage:

      • s3cmd sync ./ s3://your_bucket_name --acl-public --exclude=.gitignore

      This will synchronize the current folder (storage/app/public) with the remote object storage’s root dir. You will get output similar to this:

      Output

      upload: './bermudas.jpg' -> 's3://sammy-travellist/bermudas.jpg' [1 of 3] 2538230 of 2538230 100% in 7s 329.12 kB/s done upload: './grindavik.jpg' -> 's3://sammy-travellist/grindavik.jpg' [2 of 3] 1295260 of 1295260 100% in 5s 230.45 kB/s done upload: './japan.jpg' -> 's3://sammy-travellist/japan.jpg' [3 of 3] 8940470 of 8940470 100% in 24s 363.61 kB/s done Done. Uploaded 12773960 bytes in 37.1 seconds, 336.68 kB/s.

      Now, if you run s3cmd ls again, you will see that three new files were added to the root folder of your object storage bucket:

      • s3cmd ls s3://your_bucket_name

      Output

      2019-10-25 11:49 2538230 s3://sammy-travellist/bermudas.jpg 2019-10-25 11:49 1295260 s3://sammy-travellist/grindavik.jpg 2019-10-25 11:49 8940470 s3://sammy-travellist/japan.jpg

      Go to your browser and reload the application page. All images should be visible now, and if you inspect them using your browser debug tools, you’ll notice that they’re all using URLs from your object storage.

      Testing the Integration

      The demo application is now fully functional, storing files in a remote object storage service, and saving data to a managed MySQL database. We can now upload a few photos to test our setup.

      Access the /upload application route from your browser:

      http://server_domain_or_IP/upload
      

      You will see the following form:

      Travellist  Photo Upload Form

      You can now upload a few photos to test the object storage integration. After choosing an image from your computer, you can select an existing place from the dropdown menu, or you can add a new place by providing its name and geographic coordinates so it can be loaded in the application map.

      Step 6 — Scaling Up a DigitalOcean Managed MySQL Database with Read-Only Nodes (Optional)

      Because read-only operations are typically more frequent than writing operations on database servers, its is a common practice to scale up a database cluster by setting up multiple read-only nodes. This will distribute the load generated by SELECT operations.

      To demonstrate this setup, we’ll first add 2 read-only nodes to our DigitalOcean Managed MySQL cluster. Then, we’ll configure the Laravel application to use these nodes.

      Access the DigitalOcean Cloud Panel and follow these instructions:

      1. Go to Databases and select your MySQL cluster.
      2. Click Actions and choose Add a read-only node from the drop-down menu.
      3. Configure the node options and hit the Create button. Notice that it might take several minutes for the new node to be ready.
      4. Repeat steps 1-4 one more time so that you have 2 read-only nodes.
      5. Note down the hosts of the two nodes as we will need them for our Laravel configuration.

      Once you have your read-only nodes ready, head back to your terminal.

      We’ll now configure our Laravel application to work with multiple database nodes. When we’re finished, queries such as INSERT and UPDATE will be forwarded to your primary cluster node, while all SELECT queries will be redirected to your read-only nodes.

      First, go to the application’s directory on the server and open your .env file using your text editor of choice:

      • cd /var/www/travellist
      • nano .env

      Locate the MySQL database configuration and comment out the DB_HOST line:

      /var/www/travellist/.env

      DB_CONNECTION=mysql
      #DB_HOST=MANAGED_MYSQL_HOST
      DB_PORT=MANAGED_MYSQL_PORT
      DB_DATABASE=MANAGED_MYSQL_DB
      DB_USERNAME=MANAGED_MYSQL_USER
      DB_PASSWORD=MANAGED_MYSQL_PASSWORD
      

      Save and close the file when you’re done. Now open the config/database.php in your text editor:

      Look for the mysql entry inside the connections array. You should include three new items in this configuration array: read, write, and sticky. The read and write entries will set up the cluster nodes, and the sticky option set to true will reuse write connections so that data written to the database is immediately available in the same request cycle. You can set it to false if you don’t want this behavior.

      /var/www/travel_list/config/database.php

      ...
            'mysql' => [
               'read' => [
                 'host' => [
                    "http://www.digitalocean.com/READONLY_NODE1_HOST',
                    "http://www.digitalocean.com/READONLY_NODE2_HOST',
                 ],
               ],
               'write' => [
                 'host' => [
                   "http://www.digitalocean.com/MANAGED_MYSQL_HOST',
                 ],
               ],
             'sticky' => true,
      ...
      

      Save and close the file when you are done editing. To test that everything works as expected, we can create a temporary route inside routes/web.php to pull some data from the database and show details about the connection being used. This way we will be able to see how the requests are being load balanced between the read-only nodes.

      Open the routes/web.php file:

      Include the following route:

      /var/www/travel_list/routes/web.php

      ...
      
      Route::get('/mysql-test', function () {
        $places = AppPlace::all();
        $results = DB::select( DB::raw("SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'server_id'") );
      
        return "Server ID: " . $results[0]->Value;
      });
      

      Now go to your browser and access the /mysql-test application route:

      http://server_domain_or_IP/mysql-test
      

      You’ll see a page like this:

      mysql node test page

      Reload the page a few times and you will notice that the Server ID value changes, indicating that the requests are being randomly distributed between the two read-only nodes.

      Conclusion

      In this guide, we’ve prepared a Laravel 6 application for a highly available and scalable environment. We’ve outsourced the database system to an external managed MySQL service, and we’ve integrated an S3-compatible object storage service into the application to store files uploaded by users. Finally, we’ve seen how to scale up the application’s database by including additional read-only cluster nodes in the app’s configuration file.

      The updated demo application code containing all modifications made in this guide can be found within the 2.1 tag in the application’s repository on Github.

      From here, you can set up a Load Balancer to distribute load and scale your application among multiple nodes. You can also leverage this setup to create a containerized environment to run your application on Docker.



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      Object Storage Pricing and Limitations


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by
      Linode

      Note

      Object Storage is currently in a closed early access Beta, and you may not have access to Object Storage through the Cloud Manager or other tools. To gain access to the Early Access Program (EAP), open up a Customer Support ticket noting that you’d like to be included in the program, or e-mail [email protected] – beta access is completely free. This guide reflects the policies that will be enacted when Object Storage is made available to the general public.

      Linode Object Storage offers affordable and full-featured cloud storage for unstructured data and static sites. This guide will outline Object Storage pricing, storage limitations, and data transfer quotas.

      Pricing

      Linode Object Storage has a minimum monthly cost of $5, which provides 250 gigabytes of storage. Each additional gigabyte of storage will cost $0.02.

      Storage Limitations

      Currently, Object Storage accounts are limited 10 terabytes of storage, or 100,000 objects, whichever comes first. Accounts can have up to 10 buckets.

      Note

      Transfer Quotas

      Object Storage adds 1 terabyte of outbound data transfer to your data transfer pool. At this time, all outbound data, including data transfer to a Linode in the same data center, is billable. You are not charged for uploading objects (inbound traffic) to Object Storage. Any further outbound data is charged at a rate of $0.02 a gigabyte. For more information on network transfer pools, review our Network Transfer Quota guide.

      Note

      The 1 terabyte of transfer from Object Storage is not prorated. If you use Object Storage at any point during the month, 1 terabyte of transfer will be added to your pool.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      Bucket Versioning with Linode Object Storage


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by
      Linode

      Note

      Linode Object Storage is currently in a closed early access Beta, and you may not have access to Object Storage through the Cloud Manager or other tools. To request access to the Early Access Program (EAP), open up a Customer Support ticket or e-mail [email protected] Beta access is completely free.

      Because Object Storage is in Beta, there may be breaking changes to how you access and manage Object Storage. This guide will be updated to reflect these changes if and when they occur. To view the changes that happen to this guide over time, visit the source text for it on GitHub.

      Linode Object Storage allows for bucket versioning so that you can retain different versions of your objects within buckets. This makes it easy to save older versions of objects, as well as quickly revert to an object’s previous state.

      In this guide, you will learn about:

      Before You Begin

      You should familiarize yourself with the basics of Linode Object Storage by reading the How to Use Linode Object Storage guide.

      You’ll also need to have a bucket with which you want to enable bucket versioning. Follow the Create a Bucket section of the How to Use Linode Object Storage guide if you do not already have one.

      Bucket Versioning

      Bucket versioning works by saving separate versions of objects in a bucket. When bucket versioning is enabled, an object that is uploaded to a bucket won’t overwrite a previous copy of that object. Instead, each version of the object is given a different ID number and saved.

      When attempting to view the object over HTTP or to download the object without supplying a version ID, the latest version of the object is returned. If you delete an object with bucket versioning enabled, a delete marker is inserted into the bucket to report that the object has been deleted, but the bucket will retain all previous versions of the object. Any further retrieval operations will return the most recent version of an object.

      Caution

      Every version of an object counts towards the monthly billable storage quota. While saving a few revisions is probably not something to worry about, large version controlled buckets with many thousands of objects will see a noticeable increase in storage space demands, and should be monitored carefully.

      Cyberduck

      Cyberduck is a GUI application that supports a wide variety of file transfer protocols, including S3-compatible Object Storage. For basic Cyberduck functionality, such as creating buckets and uploading objects, consult our How to Use Linode Object Storage guide.

      Note

      To use bucket versioning with Cyberduck:

      1. Enable bucket versioning for your bucket. Right-click or control-click on the bucket and select Info from the bucket’s context menu, or select File > Info from the menu bar.

        Select "Info" from the bucket's context menu.

      2. A settings menu will appear. Select the S3 menu heading.

        The "Info" settings menu.

      3. In the Versioning section, check the checkbox labeled Bucket Versioning.

        Select the S3 menu heading to view the S3 specific bucket settings.

      4. Your bucket will now retain previous versions of the objects within it. To test this functionality, create an example text document on your computer and add some text to it:

        test.txt
        1
        
        This is version 1 of the object.

        Upload this file to your bucket by dragging it into Cyberduck, or by selecting File > Upload from the menu bar.

      5. Now, edit the same file on your computer and make a small change. We will use this change to demonstrate bucket versioning.

        test.txt
        1
        
        This is version 2 of the object.

        Save the change and upload the file to your bucket just as you did in the previous step. Cyberduck will prompt you this time to confirm that you’d like to upload the file. Though the dropdown menu says Overwrite, the file will not be overwritten.

        Confirm that you'd like to upload the file to your bucket.

      6. You now have two objects in your bucket, though initially you may only see one. To view the different saved versions of your object, select View from the menu bar and click on Show Hidden Files.

        You should now see two files in your bucket, with the hidden file that you’ve just revealed being grayed-out. This grayed-out file is the older version of the file that you uploaded first.

        Note

        You may have to click the Refresh button in Cyberduck’s toolbar to see the hidden files.

        Viewing the hidden files, there are now two files in the bucket.

      7. Double click the grayed-out version of the file (the one with the earlier modified date) to download the file. Once opened, you’ll see that the file contains the contents of the first revision.

      8. To revert to a previous file revision, right-click or control-click on an object and select Revert. This will create a new object in the bucket, preserving the state of the previous two objects. At this point the current object will contain the contents of revision one, the second object will contain the contents of revision two, and the third object will contain to the contents of revision one. You can see, then, how bucket versioning works to maintain a stateful history.

        Note

        Each file has its own permissions. If you’d like to view objects via HTTP, then you’ll need to manually set the permissions for each object to Everyone each time you upload or revert to a different version of the object, as described in the How to Use Linode Object Storage guide.

      AWS CLI

      Because Linode Object Storage is compatible with S3, several tools that are designed to work with S3 can be adapted to Linode Object Storage, like the AWS CLI.



      Installing the AWS CLI

      The AWS CLI can be installed using pip, the Python package manager, on macOS and Linux:

      pip install awscli
      

      If you are using Windows, you can download the CLI by visiting the AWS CLI homepage.

      You’ll need to configure the AWS CLI before you can use it. To do so, run the configure command:

      aws configure
      

      You’ll be prompted to enter your AWS access key and AWS secret access key, but you can enter your Linode access key and Linode secret access key here instead. You can leave the other fields blank.

      To use bucket versioning with the AWS CLI:

      1. Turn on bucket versioning with the put-bucket-versioning command. Supply the Linode Object Storage endpoint and bucket name to the this command. In the below example, the bucket is named bucket-versioning-example:

        aws s3api put-bucket-versioning --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com --bucket=bucket-versioning-example --versioning-configuration Status=Enabled
        
      2. The above command won’t prompt any response. To check on the status of bucket-versioning, issue the get-bucket-versioning command, again supplying the Linode Object Storage endpoint and your bucket name:

        aws s3api get-bucket-versioning --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com --bucket=bucket-versioning-example
        

        You should see output like the following:

          
        {
            "Status": "Enabled",
            "MFADelete": "Disabled"
        }
        
        

        Here you can see that bucket versioning has been successfully applied to the bucket because the Status is set to Enabled.

      3. To test bucket versioning, create an example text document on your computer and add some text to it:

        test.txt
        1
        
        This is version 1 of the file.
      4. Upload the file to your bucket using the put-object command, again supplying the Linode Object Storage endpoint and your bucket name:

        aws s3api put-object --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com  --bucket=bucket-versioning-example --key test.txt --body test.txt
        

        In the above command, the key is the name you would like to give the object after it is uploaded, and the body is the local filename of the object. These can be different.

        Note

        When retrieving the file you will need to give the object’s key rather than it’s local filename.

      5. You should see output like the following:

          
        {
            "ETag": ""9a7b64c98b066602b21f869ae7cd673a"",
            "VersionId": "4ACJQUNQ1ORV2oZ1SRE7l2M7nTjD1pv"
        }
        
        

        Take note of the VersionId, which will be referenced later.

      6. Now, modify the local file to indicate that this file is a different version than the one you previously uploaded:

        test.txt
        1
        
        This is version 2 of the file.
      7. Upload the modified version of the file to Object Storage:

        aws s3api put-object --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com  --bucket=bucket-versioning-example --key test.txt --body test.txt
        

        You should see output like the following:

          
        {
            "ETag": ""38b0d2ff1c03df82aea67222983d337e"",
            "VersionId": "cdw7Lz4CPdm3wAJwBIJ6NhOUDqZo-Y7"
        }
        
        

        Note that the VersionId has changed to reflect the newer version of the object.

      8. You now have two versions of the object in your bucket. To view these objects, use the list-object-versions command:

        aws s3api list-object-versions --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com --bucket=bucket-versioning-example
        

        You should see output like the following:

          
        {
            "Versions": [
                {
                    "ETag": ""38b0d2ff1c03df82aea67222983d337e"",
                    "Size": 6,
                    "StorageClass": "STANDARD",
                    "Key": "test.txt",
                    "VersionId": "cdw7Lz4CPdm3wAJwBIJ6NhOUDqZo-Y7",
                    "IsLatest": true,
                    "LastModified": "2019-09-18T11:51:33.070Z",
                    "Owner": {
                        "DisplayName": "a9354920-007a-4480-9271-06d3ff7f8426",
                        "ID": "a9354920-007a-4480-9271-06d3ff7f8426"
                    }
                },
                {
                    "ETag": ""9a7b64c98b066602b21f869ae7cd673a"",
                    "Size": 6,
                    "StorageClass": "STANDARD",
                    "Key": "test.txt",
                    "VersionId": "4ACJQUNQ1ORV2oZ1SRE7l2M7nTjD1pv",
                    "IsLatest": false,
                    "LastModified": "2019-09-18T11:51:23.041Z",
                    "Owner": {
                        "DisplayName": "a9354920-007a-4480-9271-06d3ff7f8426",
                        "ID": "a9354920-007a-4480-9271-06d3ff7f8426"
                    }
                }
            ]
        }
        
        

        Each version of the test.txt object is represented in the output.

      9. To download a previous version of an object, use the get-object command and supply the version-id of the earliest copy of the object:

        aws s3api get-object --endpoint=http://us-east-1.linodeobjects.com --bucket=bucket-versioning-example --key=test.txt --version-id=4ACJQUNQ1ORV2oZ1SRE7l2M7nTjD1pv test_old.txt
        

        Be sure to include an output filename for the downloaded object as the last parameter. In the above command the output file is named test_old.txt.

        You should see output like the following:

          
        {
            "AcceptRanges": "bytes",
            "LastModified": "Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:51:23 GMT",
            "ContentLength": 6,
            "ETag": ""9a7b64c98b066602b21f869ae7cd673a"",
            "VersionId": "4ACJQUNQ1ORV2oZ1SRE7l2M7nTjD1pv",
            "ContentType": "binary/octet-stream",
            "Metadata": {
                "version-id": "r71GBm28-B2ynT89nAdAEIpXXZwUtqr"
            }
        }
        
        

        Open the downloaded file and confirm that the first version of the file was downloaded properly.

      10. To restore to a previous version of an object using the AWS CLI, you can download the version you want to restore to and then re-upload that file. Alternatively, if there is only one newer version of the object, you can delete the newer version of the object and Object Storage will automatically serve the next most recent version.

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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