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Community Blog Setting Up Your E-commerce Website with Simple Application Server

Setting Up Your E-commerce Website with Simple Application Server

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to set up an e-commerce website with Alibaba Cloud Simple Application Server (SAS).

If you're daunted by the prospect of setting up a blog or e-commerce site in the cloud, Simple Application Server from Alibaba Cloud is for you. The number of available configuration options has been pared to a minimum so you can be up and running in just a couple of minutes, even if you're not an IT expert and have never created a cloud server before.

Cloud computing has revolutionized modern IT. Companies are moving existing data centers to the cloud in order to save money and to become more agile. Organizations that previously constructed brand new data centers are now choosing the cloud instead, to avoid the large costs traditionally associated with planning, building, commissioning and managing a new installation.

Cloud providers such as Alibaba Cloud offer a wide range of features that allow even the largest company to replicate their complex data center off-site. Using our flagship product, Elastic Compute Service (ECS), customers can choose from a range of geographical regions and availability zones, and can also replicate key servers across zones/regions in order to provide resilience, fault tolerance and guaranteed availability. They can pay for servers by the hour or month, or use more complex billing arrangements such as buying preemptible instances, where you bid the maximum amount you're willing to pay and the server will automatically start running when the market price reaches the bid amount.

Cloud Computing Made Really Easy, with SAS from Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud ECS offers hundreds of combinations of server architecture, both as virtual machines and Bare Metal Instances, or even super-computing clusters. You can choose whether your server is optimized for raw compute speed, or memory, or Big Data. You have a choice of operating system, and dozens of preconfigured images.

If you know that your bandwidth requirements, i.e the outbound internet traffic from your server, will be relatively constant then you can opt to pay for this traffic by bandwidth. If traffic levels are less predictable you can choose a more flexible option, where you pay a small fee for each gigabyte used.

You can create one or more Virtual Private Clouds and virtual switches to contain your ECS cloud servers, and assign IP address ranges to each. These, along with firewall rules and security group settings, ensure that any servers which need to communicate with each other can do so.

And, perhaps even more importantly, vice versa. For added security, Resource Access Management is a fully featured identity and access control system that allows you to grant access to your cloud datacenter resources to individual employees or contractors on a highly granular level.

When high performance and 24/7 availability are crucial, you can create multiple servers and assign them to a load balancer which will automatically direct incoming traffic to the least busy node. If demand is going to be irregular, auto-scaling will automatically spin up additional servers when needed, and release them when demand drops.

As an alternative to cloud servers, you can run containers using industry standard technologies such as Container Service for Kubernetes. Or you can go serverless with Alibaba Cloud Function Compute.

And of course, no cloud-based data center is complete without databases. You can install your own RDBMS on one or more cloud servers, or you can use Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB RDS. For massive, unlimited storage, you might prefer Object Storage Service

All of these features, and more, make Alibaba Cloud the ideal choice for creating cloud-hosted datacenters. But what if you're not an IT expert? What if you are a small startup without dedicated IT staff, and you don't have the in-house skills to understand and configure everything we've talked about so far? Perhaps you simply want to create a small WordPress or e-commerce site and you don't want to pay a consultant to help you set it up?

The good news is that Alibaba Cloud has exactly what you need. The product is called SAS, or Simple Application Server. Unlike ECS with its multitude of options, SAS is incredibly quick and simple to set up, and you don't need to be an IT whizz. You can choose from a small set of carefully-curated server images that are already installed with all of the software you need, ready to run. These include WordPress and OpenCart. So once your SAS server is created, you're ready to go. In the case of WordPress, this means you can log straight into your new blog and start creating content.

Creating a WordPress SAS Instance

As an example, let's run through the steps involved to create an Simple Application Server cloud server running WordPress from scratch. You start by logging into your Alibaba Cloud account and choosing SAS from the console screen, and then clicking the button to create a new instance.

The new instance screen is very easy to understand and there are only four things that you need to choose before your server is ready to launch. First, the region in which your server will be hosted. Currently supported options are Silicon Valley, Sydney, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Singapore. If your business is based in China, choose Hong Kong. Otherwise choose the location that is closest to the majority of your users.

Next, you choose your server image. Pre-configured instances include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and Plesk. If you'd prefer a bare operating system with no other applications, ready for you to configure as you wish, you can choose from various versions of Linux and Windows Server. For this example we'd choose a WordPress image running on Linux.

OK, two steps down and two to go. In step three you choose your pricing plan. There are currently six available, and they all include everything you need for your server: CPU cores, memory, a solid state SSD disk, and data transfer. You can add an extra data disk if you want one, up to 16 TB, but for a simple site such as a blog this probably won't be necessary.

For Linux-based servers, even those with an application such as WordPress already installed, the price starts from just US $3.40 a month. This is perfectly sufficient for a site that gets a few thousand hits per day. Windows-based server pricing is higher but it includes the Windows Server licence.

The fourth and final step is to choose your subscription option. How many months do you want the server to run for? And once that period is up, do you want the service to renew automatically? By default, the subscription won't auto-renew, thus helping you to avoid any unnecessary expenses.

When you're ready, you click on the Buy Now button and after a minute or so your server will be up and running, and in the case of this example your WordPress site is now ready to use. The server will show up in the list of SAS instances on your management console.

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Open Source E-Commerce Platforms on Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server: OpenCart

In this tutorial, we'll show you how easy it is to set up an e-commerce platform with Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server (SAS) product range.

With Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server, we'll spin up and configure a free and open source shopping cart solution, OpenCart.

What Is Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server?

Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server is a lightweight cloud server product range that has rapid, easy-to-use application management. You can speedily spin up servers and applications in a region near you and your customers.

SAS provides a rich selection of images, including pre-installed web application images on Linux and Windows, such as Joomla web application solutions and Ghost publishing solutions. Product packages provide compute, storage, and networking. SAS integrates with other Alibaba Cloud products and services to meet your needs.

Applications include a monitoring overview of how your application is performing, domain name integration, firewall management and server maintenance, including easy access log files.

E-Commerce with Alibaba Cloud's Simple Application Server

The speed and ease with which you can set up an e-commerce solution using Alibaba Cloud's SAS range makes it an excellent choice for web developers and business owners who are setting up e-commerce websites for the first time. SAS gives you the option of setting up and managing your store from anywhere in the world.

There's a range of network, SSD storage, and compute options depending on your requirements and a choice of application images too. You're not limited to those, as a number of lightweight OS images are also offered that you can build your own custom e-commerce solution from.

What Is OpenCart?

OpenCart is an online store management e-commerce system. LAMP or WAMP, Windows or Linux, it has a MySQL database that stores data and HTML for rendering your product information on the Internet. Your customers can buy your products with just a few clicks.

OpenCart supports different languages and currencies and it is freely available under the GNU General Public License.

The application is easy to set up and getting started is straightforward. Seasoned web developers enjoy its simplicity and reliability and it is a popular choice with business owners who are launching their online stores for the first time.

OpenCart has more than 13,000 extensions and growing. An extension is a small software package that plugs in to your OpenCart application and offers extra functionality. Many OpenCart extensions are free and you can, of course, roll out your own extensions and even sell them too.

Even though OpenCart is ready for use once set up and installed, its thousands of extensions give you the freedom to enhance your online e-commerce business offering.

Q&A with Cloud Expert on Building E-Commerce Website with Magento & SAS

In the lead-up to this month's webinar "Launch and Scale Your E-commerce Website with Magento", our presenter Wen Chen-yu of the Training and Certification Team shares his tips and knowledge on how to launch and scale an e-commerce website using Magento and SAS.

What is Simple Application Server (SAS) and what type of customer does this service suit?

Chen-yu: Simple Application Server is a Platform-as-a-Service product built on Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS). And the advantage of buying SAS, is that you not only get ECS but also an integrated console that you can use to configure everything on your server. It provides you with an all-in-one solution to launch and manage your application, set up domain name resolution, and build, monitor, maintain your website with just a few clicks. It makes private server building much easier, and it is the best way for beginners to get started with cloud computing and those that want to open a blog or online website. They may also want to choose SAS because it’s a lower financial investment.

What is the advantage of using Alibaba Cloud Simple Application Server compared to other products such as Elastic Compute Service?

Chen-yu: So, if comparing the two products (ECS and SAS), SAS essentially gives you a more integrated platform. It allows you to manage a number of cloud server features from the one console. For example, if you are only using ECS then you have to manage external configurations such as DNS and the server application, as well as the SSH remote login and other consoles. But with SAS, you can do all of these tasks from within the same console. So, it makes things easier and more cost-effective.

Related Products

Simple Application Server

Simple Application Server is a new generation computing service for stand-alone application scenarios. It provides one-click application deployment and supports all-in-one services such as domain name resolution, website publishing, security, O&M, and application management.

Elastic Compute Service

Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) provides fast memory and the latest Intel CPUs to help you to power your cloud applications and achieve faster results with low latency.

Related Documentation

Correlation analysis on E-commerce store items

Compared with Redis, the features of ApsaraDB for Redis are similar. You can use ApsaraDB for Redis to perform a correlation analysis on E-commerce store items.

The correlation between items is the case where multiple items are added to the same shopping cart. The analysis results are crucial for the E-commerce industry and can be used to analyze shopping behaviors. For example:

  1. On the details page of a specific item, recommend related items to the user who is browsing this page.
  2. Recommend related items to a user who just added an item to the shopping cart.
  3. Place highly correlated items together on the shelf.

You can use ApsaraDB for Redis to create a sorted set for each item. For a specific item, the set consists of items that are added with this item to the shopping cart. Members of the set are scored based on how often they appear in the same cart with that specific item. Each time item A and item B appear in the same shopping cart, the respective sorted sets for item A and item B in ApsaraDB for Redis are updated.

Real-time situation awareness and geographic distribution of orders in e-commerce scenarios

This topic provides a use case to describe how to use Realtime Compute to implement real-time situation awareness and geographic distribution of orders.

Background

Real-time situation awareness and geographic order distribution help enterprises optimize the allocation and release of product categories in a timely manner. The following use case describes how a food e-commerce enterprise uses Realtime Compute to implement real-time situation awareness and geographic distribution of orders.

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Deploy an E-commerce Website

In this Clouder course, you will learn how to launch an e-commerce website using Alibaba Cloud's SAS service and configure Magento to fit your need.

Magento powered by Websoft9(LAMP | CentOS7.4)

Websoft9 Magento is a pre-configured, ready to run image for running Magento on Alibaba Cloud.Magento is the World’s #1 Commerce Platform,it is the most popular commerce platform in the world

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