Is Perlbal a valid choice these days?

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W. Flores

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Apr 24, 2018, 2:41:59 PM4/24/18
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I've created a small forum software in Perl Dancer+MySQL, and i'm trying to decide how to deploy it. Seeing that perlbal has not been updated in so long... it is still a good alternative for 2018 as webserver?

I don't expect massive traffic, but i will run it on a VPS so the lighter the better.





Thanks!

dormando

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Apr 24, 2018, 4:24:29 PM4/24/18
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Indeed development has stopped, but there aren't any show stopping bugs
that I know of.

If nginx works for you, that's probably a good place to be. if your
traffic is low and you know/like perlbal, why not?
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Ask Bjørn Hansen

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Apr 25, 2018, 1:48:01 AM4/25/18
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On Apr 24, 2018, at 11:41 , W. Flores <wla...@gmail.com> wrote:

I've created a small forum software in Perl Dancer+MySQL, and i'm trying to decide how to deploy it. Seeing that perlbal has not been updated in so long... it is still a good alternative for 2018 as webserver?

For a web server probably not … For a load balancer, maybe.  Perlbal was particularly productive in another time when our typical resource limitations had a different balance than now.

I don't expect massive traffic, but i will run it on a VPS so the lighter the better.

Your VPS is probably much more powerful than a typical server back in the day. :-)

I’d use haproxy for a lightweight load balancer.  Varnish or Traffic Server if you want caching.

Nginx is, to me, a weird web server and a bad HTTP load balancer.


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dormando

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Apr 25, 2018, 3:49:34 AM4/25/18
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Yeah, listen to this guy.

Antti Vähäkotamäki

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Apr 25, 2018, 6:59:30 AM4/25/18
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We have been running Perlbal in production for over 10 years, as a load balancer and an easily configured reverse proxy with this plugin: https://github.com/dicole/Perlbal-Plugin-Extredirector

Something like 4-5 years back we started noticing weird behaviour with predictably breaking pipelining requests, which we never fully got to understand. We solved the problem by putting nginx in front of everything, and bypassing Perlbal for a majority of our requests.

We still use the redirector plugin as the fallback to route traffic to a myriad of legacy machines, but over time nginx has replaced Perlbal almost completely for us. It even handles X-Reproxy-Url nowadays, which was the original reason why we chose Perlbal in the first place. We even do our TLS termination in nginx.

Due to the somewhat mystical pipelining bug I would be very cautious in recommending Perlbal for a new project. Also there is very little chance of anyone investing time to implement any kinds of websocket/HTTP2.0 support or whatever the modern web throws at you in the future.

As for serving static files and running PSGI apps we have been happy with lighttpd, but I have heard nginx is the more popular alternative also for that these days. Nginx is definitely not the friendliest piece of software to configure, and some of the more advanced features (which you probably will not need) require you to buy the plus version. However because it is so widely used, you can expect that you can google your way through any problems you might face.

I would thus say nginx is the safest choice to pick, and the skills you learn will probably come to good use also in the future. So many places use it to serve static files, do loadbalancing and reverse proxying, terminate HTTPS connections, and run PSGI apps.
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