Managing your Environments in Reclaim Cloud

Difficulty: Beginner
Additional Reading: Creating New Environments in Reclaim Cloud

Environment Groups

Let’s look at managing environments that you have created in Reclaim Cloud.

When you first login you will see all of your environments listed here. One great way to categorize them is using Environment Groups. In the top left here you can expand this dropdown menu to find all of your groups and switch between them. In addition to your own groups you will have a list of users that have shared environments with you as well. You can also filter environments by region. If I click a specific group I only see environments in that group. Groups also can have a parent child relationship allowing you to create deep categorization of your projects. Edit a group here and add any environments to that group that you’d like. If you want to go back to the full list just click directly on the main Env Groups button to display all. These groups also show up as tags in the main user interface that you can click to display only environments in that group.

How Environment Groups are Managed

Now let’s look at how environments are managed here. I have a few applications installed here and we can see the display name, environment URL, the region identified by a flag, the current status, tags (which show our different environment groups), and resource usage both disk storage space utilized as well as our number of cloudlets in use and the maximum amount of cloudlets we have allowed it to dynamically scale to.

Moving our mouse over an environment we see options to open the project in a web browser, adjust the settings for this environment, change the structure or “topology” of the environment (for example adding additional disk space or a load balancer), cloning the environment, stopping it (if its status is running), and deleting the environment.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 3.46.53 PM

If we click the arrow to the left of an environment we can see all the nodes that make up this environment and help our application to run. In some cases like with this Docker application I have a single node running. In others like this advanced WordPress cluster I have 7 different nodes in 4 groups: a load balancer, two application servers, 3 database nodes, and network storage. You’ll see that each node provides tags with versions of the software running on it as well as resource usage for that particular node and group.

Individual Node Menu

For each group as well as each individual node if we move our mouse over it we will again get a menu of options to interact with the node. Let’s look at each of these in detail:

For web servers and load balancers we again see the option to open in browser.

This next icon is for addons which allow you to install additional functionality for a particular node. It’s dependent on what node you are running what will display here. All nodes can have an environment scheduler to allow you to schedule hibernation periods for particular nodes. Load balancers and web servers support Let’s Encrypt for free auto-provisioned SSL certificates (which is useful if you are using a custom domain). Other addons will appear here as well depending on what you are running that might be worth exploring for additional functionality.

Restarting a Node

The next icon is for restarting a node. You can restart individual nodes or a whole group of nodes. When selecting as a group Reclaim Cloud gives you the option to restart all nodes in that group simultaneously or allow for a graceful restart by executing it sequentially with a delay to avoid downtime. Restarting nodes is often necessary if you have edited configuration files for the software running on the node, for example an Nginx configuration.

Configuration Files

The wrench icon provides quick access to configuration files like that so you don’t have to hunt around a server looking for where they are stored. The list here will have some common ones across all nodes as well as ones specific to whatever node engine you are running. This is also a quick way to edit any file on the server and acts as a web-based file manager. In a clustered environment this interface will also provide the option to update the same configuration file for all nodes in the clustered group.

Logs

Moving along we have logs for quick access to error reporting of the application running on the node.

Resource Monitoring

Reclaim Cloud has resource monitoring built in that you can access here on a per node and node group basis. It’s a great way to get historical insight into the resource usage of particular nodes.

SSH Console

A web-based SSH console is provided for all nodes allowing you to quickly run command line arguments on that node.

Redeploying a Node

This icon represent redeploying a node and is primarily used when you want to update the tag (and therefore the underlying version) of the software on that node. You can redeploy while keeping volume data and you can do that gracefully in a cluster with multiple nodes to avoid downtime when redeploying to a new version.

Additional Options: SFTP, SSH, Volumes, Entry Points

Finally the gear icon gives you access to additional options like direct SFTP and SSH information for a particular node to allow you to interact remotely with that node using your own terminal. To do this you’ll want to make sure you have an ssh keypair generated and that you’ve uploaded the public key to your profile. For node groups you’ll also see options here for updating docker environment variables, links, volumes, and entry points.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 3.49.22 PM