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From André Warnier ...@ice-sa.com>
Subject Re: "High Level" question. Managing dynamic vhost deployments...
Date Fri, 27 Apr 2012 08:27:40 GMT
Dave Shevett wrote:
> Hey folks - I've gotten great help on the list before, I'm looking for 
> some guidance on how to approach this...
> 
> I have a hosted service that deploys / provisions vhosts running a 
> prepackaged .war app.  I'd like to be able to 'spin up' a vhost on the 
> fly, without restarting tomcat.
> 
> What I'm doing now is:
> * Create a directory in /etc/tomcat6/Catalina/vhostname/
> * Create a ROOT.xml in that dir that has <Context 
> docBase=[sharedwarfilename]...> for the vhost
> * Edit server.xml to make a new Host entry
> * Restart tomcat
> 
> The app goes live (there's an Apache httpd front end with a wildcard on 
> the domain that's using ajp: connections to Tomcat, so 
> foo.domainname.com will look for a vhost of that name on the Tomcat 
> server).
> 
> This works, but is a pain because it requires a tomcat restart and a 
> manual file edit.
> 
> What I want to do be able to do is bring up a vhost, maybe via the 
> Tomcat manager, without doing a restart.  I can deploy a .war file easy, 
> but the vhost entry wouldn't wake up.
> 
> My understanding is I can make the vhosts go active via a script or tool 
> that uses JMX calls to Tomcat to configure up the vhost, but my 
> understanding is this configuration is mutable - if Tomcat restarts, all 
> the vhost configurations disappear, and I have to 'reprovision it'.
> 
> Is it possible to spin up and down vhosts like this without restarting 
> tomcat, and if so, what's the preferred methodology that makes it 
> reproduceable, if the configuration is only in memory, and will 
> disappear if/when tomcat restarts?
> 

I read somewhere that there exists an old African proverb which says : if you want to eat

an elephant, you have to do it one little piece at a time.

It seems that you have already most of the parts done, and are just missing the 
"persistent" part of the <Host> entries in server.xml.
It would seem like a fairly easy task, with a bit of scripting, to have a template 
server.xml with some kind of an "include" tag (à la <!-- here come the Hosts -->),
and 
whenever you create a new Host dynamically, adding it to some table, and rewriting the 
server.xml with the appropriate <Host> entries inserted in the template.
This way, whenever you restart Tomcat, it would "remember" these Hosts.
The script to re-create the server.xml could be inserted in your Tomcat startup mechanism.

Not discounting the other excellent and more elaborate suggestions received on the list, 
you may want to have a look at such a simple alternative.

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