Set up Alpha Instances
Note - see the screen shots in the FAQ section for additional help.
Creating multiple instances of the Alpha server is a simple and straight forward process. Once you build one, it is easy to build multiple.
You probably already have one Alpha instance fired up to support your application -- keep that instance in good shape in case you need to turn off the load balancer and return to your existing arrangement.
Each of your new instances that run under the load balancer will have these in common:
- They will each be on a different port
- They will not be bound to an IP address
- They will have SSL toggled off
- They will share the same Alpha License
- They will point to the same Document Root
- They will all be configured so each of the logs (access, error, stack and raw*) point to the same filename. We suggest c:\aa\logs\error.log, c:\aa\logs\access.log, etc.
In summary, other than the port number, each Instance has the same configuration.
*On a typical Alpha application, the first three logs listed here are toggled on but the 'raw' log is left off.
Create Your First Instance
- We suggest you create a subfolder to hold your Instances configuration files. We will use "c:\aa\instances" in this help document.
- Go to the c:\aa\instances folder and create an empty file named myapp_xx.xml, where 'myapp' is the name of your application and xx is the port number (you need a different configuration for each Instance). For example "accounting_84.xml".
- In AlwaysUp:
- select Application > Add.
- Enter a Name such as myapp_xx where myapp is your application nickname and xx is the port number you intend to use.
- In the Application field, point to the Alpha Anywhere executable, typically "C:\Program Files (x86)\a5V12 ApplicationServer\A5ApplicationServer.exe".
- In the Arguments field, enter this configuration string using the filename you created above: "-CONFIGFILE=C:\AA\instances\myapp_xx.xml"
- Launch the Alpha Instance by clicking on the new row and selecting the start button.
- If configured properly above, the empty xml file you created will now contain all of the requires configuration settings for Alpha Anywhere.
Adjusting the configuration for your new Instance
- Now that you have created your first instance, you need to make some minor adjustment to the configuration. Normally when you start Alpha Anywhere a small red icon appears in the lower right of your desktop, and you can double-click on that icon to bring up Alpha's configuration user interface. However when using AlwaysUp, this icon is not available. This leads to two options for making changes to the Alpha Anywhere configuration:
- You can right click on the Instance in AlwaysUp and select "Open this application in the current session". That will cause the red icon to appear, and you can double click to perform configuration.
- Or, you can manually edit the configuration xml file found now in c:\aa\instances\myapp_xx.xml.
- Use either approach and make the following configuration changes:
- Change the port number to the desired port, "84" for instance.
- Find the settings for each log file (access, error, stack and raw) and change them to c:\aa\logs\error.log, c:\aa\logs\access.log, etc. (Alpha's default log position is far to complicated).
Creating additional Alpha Instances
- At this point the simplest method to create additional Instances is to make duplicate copies of the first xml file you created. Copy that file, naming each myapp_85.xml, myapp_86.xml (as example port numbers). And also to create records in AlwaysUp to match each configuration file.