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Pantheon Google Cloud Platform Proof of Concept

Tunneling to success:   Warecorp runs Drupal and WordPress inside of a Google Cloud Run instance

Warecorp and Pantheon go way back – nearly to Pantheon’s founding. Warecorp has been honored to play a pivotal role in the growth and evolution of the Pantheon platform. In 2022, Pantheon asked Warecorp to perform a proof-of-concept project to investigate the feasibility of alternative technology platforms for use of Pantheon. 

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Issues

Google Cloud Run provides a full scale-to-zero computing environment and low runtime costs. But that comes at the expense of longer startup time and limited ingress points. Warecorp set out to discover if Drupal and WordPress could run inside of a Google Cloud Run instance and also enable developer access in spite of limited ingress.

Solution

Warecorp researched alternative methods of ingress to allow developers to be able to use their standard toolchain. As Google Cloud Run exposes only a single port, a tunneling method was needed to wrap standard SSH traffic.

Results

After trying several technical approaches to either enable SSH traffic or tunnel SSH through HTTP, wstunnel was selected to redirect SSH traffic. While this requires additional installations and configurations on the part of the end user, an SSH tunnel via HTTP over port 80 was achieved.

This model – utilizing a CMS system embedded in a Google Cloud Run instance – is viable for a carefully selected subset of Pantheon’s customers. For example, it’s a good fit for high traffic sites that are mature and stable that want to control costs.



Challenges
  • Shared file system to host user-uploaded content (sites/default/files, WP - content/upload, etc.)
  • Timeout limits for long sessions
  • Single port exposed by Cloud Run service. Inability to run multiple services on the same instance (HTTP+ SSH)
  • Local development and complicated setup




Technology Used
  • Google Cloud Run
  • wstunnel



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