Discover a New Level of Freedom: Jelastic Environment Export & Import Feature

| March 24, 2015

clouds-import-exportThe Jelastic Cloud is designed to ensure a real freedom of choice for developers: no proprietary APIs, no necessity to adjust applications’ code before hosting, a wide variety of stacks and features available. The same approach applies to the selection of a particular hosting provider - you are free to sign up at any platform amongst the dozens of available ones throughout the world. But what if your initial decision has proved wrong? Or the newly appeared provider’s hardware is placed closer to your target clients’ location, which ensures a faster response time? Maybe you would like to participate in a beneficial campaign, held at another Jelastic installation? Summing these up, what if you are bound to a hosting provider because of your running production environments and wouldn’t like to get into messy manual redeployment and reconfiguring your apps somewhere else? Now you have a solution! Keeping following the chosen course of the Cloud Platform with-no-constraints, Jelastic presents an awesome new Environment Export and Import feature, delivered within the recently released Jelastic 3.1 version.
This feature is intended to exempt you from any remained lock-in by allowing to easily migrate the hosted applications between the available Jelastic installations in order to choose the most suitable one according to your preferences - for example, due to the platform versions differentiation, pricing systems’ distinctions or variations of provided stacks and possibilities.
So, if you actually decide to change your current Jelastic provider, for now you just need to export your environments and import them to the preferred platform. This will only take a few minutes to be completed and, as a result, you’ll receive the identical same-named and ready-to-work environments.

You can also use the Environment Transferring feature in case you only need to change the account your environment belongs to, within the confines of a single hosting provider’s platform.

And below you’ll find out how to move your hosted applications to a different Jelastic installation in a few easy steps. Let’s get started!

Environment Export

First of all, you need to create a portable copy of the desired environment, i.e. export it. During this operation, all the information about this environment (i.e. its topology settings, deployed applications, links to the archives with configurations and private data it contains, etc) is packed into a single .json file. This file can be simply downloaded to your local computer for being further imported to a new account (the details on this are presented in the next article section).
1. Log in to your Jelastic account and choose the environment you would like to export. Then select the Settings button for it.

Note that the environment should have the Running status for being exported.

2. In the opened Settings tab navigate to the Export section and click on the same-named Export button inside.

Note that the availability of this option can depend on your account type and a particular hosting provider’s settings.

3. The Environment Export dialog will appear.
In the case the identical environment copy is not needed for the further work, you can choose which data should be exported here. Tick the appropriate options for that:

  • Topology Settings - environment configurations you’ve set through the Environment topology wizard (this point is obligatory and enabled by default)
  • Private Data - files in directories of your deployed application(s) and private data stored within your database server(s)
  • Configuration Files - all files accessible via Configuration Manager at your dashboard and settings of the deployed GIT/SVN projects (e.g. repositories links, access credentials, attached private SSH keys)
Note: For ensuring your application’s and data safety, it is recommended not to delete the environment you’d like to export before it is successfully imported to another platform.

exp dialog
Once the required for export data is defined, click the Export button to proceed.

Depending on the type of containers your environment contains, you should take into account the following points:

  • Docker and Windows-based containers are not exported currently
  • Data from the Elastic VPS and Maven nodes won’t be exported, though they will be still included to the topology of your imported environment, so you’ll be able to reconfigure these servers manually afterwards
  • Private SSH key, exported alongside the GIT repository settings, can’t be deleted from the imported environment and is not shown at the dashboard, though it will still be used for connection. Nevertheless, it will be substituted if choosing a new one within the GIT project’s settings window

4. Once the export is successfully finished, you’ll see a new clickable string (named due to the export time/date) appeared in the Exported Environment Copies list for downloading a file with the environment data. Click it to get the compiled .json file with a name according to your environment’s hostname to your local machine.
exp list
In addition, you’ll receive an appropriate email notification with the direct link to the list of your exported environments.

You can create as many exported environments’ archives as you need, but note that all of them will be stored in your disc space, that is charged according to your hosting service provider's tariff. If a particular file is no longer needed, you can delete it by means of clicking the button with red cross before the corresponding string.

Great! You have successfully exported your environment copy. Now you can proceed to its importing to the target platform in order to complete the migration.

Environment Import

So, you’ve got the locally stored .json file with the details on your exported environment. Let’s see how it can be imported for an automatic creation of a new environment with the same configurations and content at the different Jelastic installation.
1. Expand the New environment list at the top left of your dashboard and choose the Import option it contains.
2. Find and open the previously exported file through the popped up Open file window.
After that, you’ll see the Confirm installation window appeared with a corresponding environment information like its name, source platform and date of export. Here you can also specify a new name for it within the appropriate field (or leave the default, old one).
confirm import
Click Install to continue.
3. Wait until the environment is created, deployed and configured.

You can minimize this window and continue working with the Jelastic dashboard, while the importing process is performed in the background.import background

4. Once the import is completed, you’ll be shown the appropriate information window.
Here you can Open your new environment in browser to check the result, or Close this window to reconfigure your environment and application according to the new platform’s settings first (e.g. host names, IP addresses etc).
instalation complete
That’s all! You’ve just successfully migrated your environment to a different Jelastic installation. Also check your email inbox for additional information about the imported environment and new administrator credentials for the nodes it contains.
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