Cloud Configuration Made Easy: Cloudways Introduces 6 Basic Server Settings On Click&Go Console

by Ayaz Ahmed Khan  May 19, 2014

At Cloudways, we believe in providing a cloud platform which gives our customers as much control of their servers as possible. With every new release of Click&Go, we move closer to providing a completely open, accessible, and controllable environment to our clients.

Very recently, we introduced what we call Basic Server Settings on Click&Go Console. It is available inside the Server Management tab.

The stack we provide on our customer’s server is composed of robust and time-tested technologies, which include: the Apache web server, Varnish cache, Nginx web server, PHP5-FPM, MySQL and Memcached. While we have done our best to configure and arrange this stack in the best possible way for our customers, so they may squeeze the maximum juice out of their servers, we believe in allowing our customers the ability to configure settings across this stack.

Towards that end, we’ve introduced the Basic Server Settings feature, which allows our customers to configure a handful of very common and useful settings across the stack. We have done this by providing a very intuitive and user-friendly UI that makes the task of tweaking a server stack less scary.

We provide the following set of parameters that can be customized by customers to their liking.

Execution Limit

Often, certain requests made against a server take a while to execute. The execution time, so to speak, can vary for any number of reasons, including the time it takes for PHP to process the request, the time it takes for MySQL to run the query, etc. Some requests might take a lot of time, and others, not so. It’s the requests that linger for a while that might decrease the overall response of your website, causing your visitors to wait a while before certain pages are served. In order to control the maximum amount of time allowed for a request to take, the Execution Limit parameter is provided. When you provide a value in seconds for this parameter, what we do is to configure that value for a number of parameters across PHP, Nginx, and Varnish. This ensures that a consistent maximum execution time is set across the portions of the stack where it matters the most.

Upload Size

It is not uncommon to run into server errors when uploading a file of a certain size. It’s also not uncommon to tweak the max upload size settings on the server to allow for larger upload sizes. With the Upload Size, you can control just that aspect of your stack. When you specify a size in MBs, we configure PHP and Nginx to increase the maximum allowed size for requests.

Memory Limit

Limiting the maximum memory a request can take while it is being processed is very critical to keeping a server functioning efficiently. With the Memory Limit parameter, you have the power to set a value in MBs to control how much memory you wish requests to your server are allowed to take. When you select a limit, we apply it across the PHP portion of your stack, right where it matters the most.

Display Error

The Display Error parameter will appeal to developers in particular. If you are debugging your application to figure out what might be causing that almost infuriating issue you’ve been having since a while, you would want to enable the Display Error feature. Once you enable it, we configure PHP to display errors inside of eating them up, so you may know exactly what is breaking where. However, we do not recommend this setting to be enabled on production servers as it may cause debugging information to display on pages served to visitors.

Error Reporting

The Error Reporting parameter complements the Display Error parameter, and as with latter, appeals to developers more. If you wish to enable the Display Error parameter, but want to control the level of errors that are reported, then this parameter is what you’ll need to tweak. By default, we offer three standard combinations that suit three different types of environments. For the most part, the Default combination will work best for most of our customers, but if you’d like to change it to suit your production or development environment, then we provide two combinations for those as well. Please note that if the Display Error parameter is disabled, the Error Reporting parameter does not come into effect.

Timezone

The Timezone parameter provides you the ability to change the Timezone PHP uses for all its date-related functions. By default, the timezone is set to the server default value. This parameter only applies to the PHP part of the stack.

Cloudways leverages convenience

We believe that the set of parameters we’ve chosen make for a best of both world’s approach in terms of allowing our customers the ability to tweak the most common settings across the stack and not making the experience confusing and scary in the process.

We do also believe that more advanced customers would want to control many more aspects of their servers and the stack that runs on them. And for exactly that, we’re working towards releasing a more advanced version of our settings feature.

If you feel there’s a certain part of the stack you would like to readily tweak and we’ve not covered it yet, please drop us a note. We’d be happy to take in your valuable feedback and work on it.

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About Ayaz Ahmed Khan

Ayaz Ahmed Khan works as Senior Research and Development Engineer at Cloudways.

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