5 Things We Have Learned Using IBM Cloud Products

Published by Ancsa on

Starting a new business is never easy, especially when you would like to launch in the online store business. Even if you have a good idea and a well-thought-out marketing campaign, you can still fail on choosing the more costly solution for hosting your webshop. We know that setting up an online store can be scary at first, especially when you are not a techy, but even if you are, there are some pitfalls that you should avoid, when deciding how to build up your infrastructure.

First of all, how you host your website, whether you buy in-house servers or resort to cloud hosting, it is not something that you can decide easily, if you’re new to the business. It is like choosing to rent a few floors for your office or buy the entire building. Each of them has their own benefits and disadvantages. The hosting needs of small and large companies can vary considerably. Also do not forget that

what your project needs today, may not be true in the future.

If you don’t do a full revision on your hosting needs from time to time, you can easily end up having high costs for hosting your website.

For own server hosting there are some aspects that smaller companies can’t ignore. At the beginning it requires a large investment and without the certainty of a successful business and an IT expert on staff, who can manage your infrastructure, this could mean an even bigger loss of money. Also these servers take up large spaces, need lot of electricity, cooling and a secure location to be able to operate effectively, not to mention the importance of data security which can become a liability without the aforesaid IT expert.

Of course, there is no 100 % guarantee for a business to become profitable, but imagine the founders of Facebook instead of renting a server (for $85/month) would have bought their own for hosting purposes. If it wouldn’t have become so popular they wouldn’t be able to afford it in the long run and

today's one of the most well-known social media platform would have died before it went over with a bang.

If you need a simple service like hosting an ecommerce site we would recommend you to go with the second option. Next step is to choose a cloud host provider.

About a month ago there was an IBM Cloud contest about creating a UI design and building a proof of concept of a web app that allows users to graphically visualize their IBM Cloud resources. We set up an IBM Cloud account to explore these resources. Considering the easy usability of the platform we’ve decided to go with their services for hosting an online store.

Next we will walk you through step by step how to set up these IBM Cloud products, which we used for our webshop.

Steps to deploying your own Opencart on Kubernetes on IBM Cloud:

Click the Catalog button on the top

Select Service from the catalog

Search for Kubernetes Service and click on it

 You are now at the Kubernetes deployment page, you need to
specify some details about the cluster

Choose a plan standard or free, the free plan only has one
worker node and no subnet, to provision a standard cluster, you will need to
upgrade you account to Pay-As-You-Go

To upgrade to a Pay-As-You-Go account, complete the
following steps:

In the console, go to Manage > Account.

Select Account settings, and click Add credit card.

Enter your payment information, click Next, and submit your

Choose classic or VPC, read the docs
and choose the most suitable type for yourself

Now choose your location settings, for more information

please visit Locations

Choose Geography (continent)


Choose Single or Multizone, in single zone your data is only

kept in on datacenter, on the other hand with Multizone it is distributed to
multiple zones, thus safer in an unforeseen zone failure

Choose a Worker Zone if using Single zones or Metro if


If you wish to use Multizone please set up your account

with VRF or enable
Vlan spanning

If at your current location selection, there is no available
Virtual LAN, a new Vlan will be created for you

Choose a Worker node setup or use the preselected one, set
Worker node amount per zone


Choose Master Service Endpoint, In VRF-enabled accounts, you

can choose private-only to make your master accessible on the private network
or via VPN tunnel. Choose public-only to make your master publicly accessible.
When you have a VRF-enabled account, your cluster is set up by default to use
both private and public endpoints. For more information visit endpoints.


Give cluster a name

Give desired tags to your cluster, for more information

visit tags

 Click create


Wait for you cluster to be provisioned

Your cluster is ready for usage

The Block Storage plug-in is a persistent, high-performance
iSCSI storage that you can add to your apps by using Kubernetes Persistent
Volumes (PVs).

Click the Catalog button on the top

Select Software from the catalog

Search for IBM Cloud Block Storage plug-in and click on it

On the application page Click in the dot next to
the cluster, you wish to use

Click on Enter or Select Namespace and choose the default
Namespace or use a custom one (if you get error please wait 30 minutes for the
cluster to finalize)

Give a name to this workspace

Click install and wait for the deployment

We will deploy Opencart on our cluster

Click the Catalog button on the top

Select Software from the catalog

Search for Opencart and click on it

Please select IBM Kubernetes Service

On the application page Click in the dot next to
the cluster, you wish to use

Click on Enter or Select Namespace and choose the default
Namespace or use a custom one

Give a unique name to workspace, which you can easily


Select which resource group you want to use, it’s for access

controll and billing purposes. For more information please visit [resource

Give tags to your opencart workspace, for more information
visit tags

Click on Parameters with default values, You can set
deployment values or use the default ones

In the deployment values set some must have values

First set your opencart hostame, this is the domain you will

Next set the opencart username

Set the opencart admin password

After finishing everything, tick the box next to the
agreements and click install

The opencart workspace will start installing, wait a couple
of minutes

Your opencart workspace has been successfully deployed

Verify Opencart installation

Go to Resources in
your browser

Click on Clusters

Click on your Cluster

Now you are at you clusters overview, here Click on Actions
and Web terminal from the dropdown menu

Click install — wait couple of minutes

Click on Actions

Click Web terminal → a terminal will open up

Type in the terminal, please change NAMESPACE to the
namespace you choose at the deployment setup:

$ kubectl get ns

$ kubectl get pod -n NAMESPACE -o wide

$ kubectl get service -n NAMESPACE

Running Opencart service will be visible

Copy the External ip, you can access the website on this IP

Paste it into your browser

Opencart main page will be visible


So after setting up Opencart on kubernetes, here are the five things we have learned about using IBM Cloud solutions, that we would like to share.

1. It is quick, we mean really QUICK

If you follow the steps we described before, you will see how fast it is to start your own webshop. It takes only a few hours to set up all these resources.

2. Easy to use

Cloud service providers supply a wide range of products and services. We know how tiring it can be to find the ones, that you need. So stop looking because IBM Cloud makes it easy.

3. Flexible

Even if at first you do not properly assess your hosting needs or there is an increased demand around the holidays you can easily add more storage to your server without long-term commitment. It’s only a few clicks away.

4. Predictable

With the help of the cost estimator you can calculate your expenses in advance. Select services from the IBM Cloud catalog that you need and you will get a more precise estimate of your hosting costs.

5. Lower expenses

We’ve already established that in-house servers need a larger investment at the beginning, after that you also have to finance the running operational costs like power, cooling and the wage of a system administrator. With cloud hosting the initial costs are lower and with the pay-as-you-go account you only need to pay for the billable services that you use.

Categories: Infrastructure


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