Laravel Vapor is an auto-scaling, serverless deployment platform for Laravel by AWS Lambda. It enables you to manage your Laravel infrastructure on Vapor along with scalability and simplicity of serverless. Are you a product owner, and Load Balancing and scaling is a challenge for your Laravel application?
If the answer is Yes! Then, no need to look anywhere else than Laravel Vapor. It is a serverless, scalable, and pay-as-you-go deployment architecture built on AWS Lambda and API Gateway. This article discusses the all-around aspects of Laravel Vapor, its new features, the learning curve, and its benefits. There would be an entire tutorial on deploying an existing application on Laravel Vapor for developers. So, wait no more. Let’s discuss everything.
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Laravel Vapor: Everything to Know About it
According to GlobeNewsWire, cloud computing demand will skyrocket by 2028. It is estimated to reach $1025.7 billion, a 15.80% growth ($429.50 billion) from 2021. It shows how much influence cloud computing will have on digital platforms development. And this dominance of cloud computing would significantly push Laravel Vapor to make the deployment process better and swifter.
What is Laravel Vapor?
In simple words, Laravel Vapor is a serverless version of Laravel. The PHP framework is built on top of AWS Lambda, which enables scaling without managing servers at your infrastructure. Laravel Vapor is version 6.0, built by ‘Taylor Otwell.’ Besides, this Laravel framework’s version has some prominent features, like zero downtime and automatic scalability.
Vapor abstracts the complexity of managing Laravel applications on AWS Lambda, along with interfacing the said applications with SQS queues, databases, Redis clusters, networks, CloudFront CDN, and more.
Vapor requires your application to be compatible with PHP 7.3+ and Laravel 6.0+. So, if your existing application is built using Laravel version 6.0 or older and requires servers, you must deploy it to the serverless Laravel Vapor.
New Updates in Laravel Vapor
We will discuss the benefits of deploying applications on Laravel, but before that, let’s discuss what’s new in Laravel Vapor 6.0.
🟠 Manage multiple teams on one account
With Laravel 6.0, you can start managing team members who weren’t a part of version 5.0 or older. You would be able to authenticate team members effortlessly. This feature encourages collaboration and lets you watch your team members.
🟠 Leverage scalability
Handling massive traffic was a problematic issue before the release of Laravel Vapor. But with Laravel Vapor, serverless architecture has changed the game, and managing colossal traffic flow is no more an issue.
🟠 Control over team members
As you know, this Laravel serverless version has introduced the “adding team” feature, which lets you control your team member’s activities.
🟠 Leverage vanity URL
To access a serverless application, you would require a vanity URL, which helps to make a custom domain that allows access to applications.
🟠 Get access to different environment metrics
You can track your application’s performance with access to different environment metrics. The metrics offer meticulous details about app behavior, resource usage, error rates, etc.
🟠 Allows reviewing and searching for recent logs
In the latest version of Laravel, you can even see logs from the dashboard that includes:
- App performance & behavior
- It helps you identify problems
- Access to database and application logs
- Allows to export logs to third-party logging services
🟠 Types of databases
Laravel Vapor introduces two types of databases; serverless and fixed-size databases, wherein the former doesn’t require any specifications, while the latter allows you to choose VCPU, RAM, etc.
🟠 Allows to build of Redis clusters
With the introduction of Redis clusters in Laravel Vapor, you can create and manage elastic Redis cache clusters without any performance glitches.
Companies Using Laravel Vapor: Use Cases
Let’s discuss the list of companies leveraging the new serverless deployment platform.
- Fathom Analytics
These companies prove that Laravel Vapor has potential, but what are its benefits, and how would it help when you build an application? Let’s find out.
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Why Should You Use Laravel Vapor?
Many reasons answer the query ‘Why should you use Laravel Vapor?’ because it doesn’t require the infrastructure to manage the servers. And serverless has its perks; not only is this platform affordable, but it also launches your project idea quickly. Creating an application or deploying your existing Laravel application on Vapor would be one of the best decisions.
Eliminates the server management factor
Unlike traditional architecture, Vapor Laravel wouldn’t require you to spend on setting up infrastructure to manage your servers. Plus, you must pay for the resources you use, and since everything is on the cloud, you don’t even need to pay for managing servers. Ultimately, it even reduces IT overhead expenses.
No more downtime issues
The Laravel vapor allows you to create custom metrics, which enables the performance measurement of your application. The Vapor by Laravel is so powerful that you would never face downtime issues just like with the traditional server-based architecture.
Backup data automatically
Laravel’s Vapor (v6.0) has several backup options that prevent data loss and work as disaster recovery. And when required, it allows you to recover data as well. Vapor comes up with dedicated S3 buckets to store uploaded files, and it won’t even require a physical server, irrespective of the asset size.
Hassle-free traffic management
Colossal traffic flow on your application is what you expect, and performance glitches or applications failing to respond to every request is what the user experiences. Laravel Vapor’s automatic scalability feature handles ample requests in real-time without lagging on performance.
Launch before your competitors
Staying ahead of the competition is one of the ways to get traction with your target audience. With Laravel Vapor, the time to market for your application is minimal. You would efficiently launch your application before your competitors.
Enhance user experience
It is a must when it comes to launching applications. A smooth and easy-to-navigate interface hooks users to your application. With Laravel Vapor, it is possible to build applications that deliver a mind-blowing user experience.
Serverless vs Traditional Architecture
As you have seen, Vapor by Laravel comes with ample benefits for you, out of which one advantage is serverless architecture. Now, we will discuss how the serverless one differs from the traditional one and its benefits. Let’s see what’s the difference between serverless and traditional architecture.
||Cloud providers manage servers.
||Developers have to manage servers along with developing digital platforms.
||Pay for servers only when in use.
||Requires paying for servers even when not in use.
||Automatically scales without requiring to add of more Servers.
||It needs adding servers as and when required to scale Your Laravel apps.
||The Cloud provider is accountable for maintenance, updating, and securing Laravel apps.
||Developers are solely responsible for maintaining, updating, and securing servers.
||Simplified development with essential manual intervention.
||Developers are required to deploy apps built using Laravel.
So, these are the fundamental differences between serverless and traditional architecture. After knowing the crucial difference, I hope you will leverage serverless architecture. Therefore, we have discussed how to get started with Laravel vapor.
How to Deploy Laravel Application with Laravel Vapor?
Before discussing how to deploy Laravel App with Laravel Vapor, let’s know the requirements for leveraging Laravel Vapor.
The Laravel applications should be compatible with Laravel 6.0+ and PHP 7.3+.
Note: To manage your project, you must have a vapor subscription by creating an account on Laravel Vapor.
If you are collaborating on the project, you are not required to create a Vapor account.
Besides, Laravel Vapor requires that your application use services like AWS Lambda and AWS API Gateway.
I hope you have a Laravel application ready to deploy on Laravel Vapor; if not, let’s create a demo application together.
Step 1: Create a new Laravel project
Install Laravel installer or composer. In this example, we have used the Laravel installer.
Laravel new vapor-demo
Step 2: Set up your database
We have used MySQL to set up a database. You must set up a new database in your database server. Once you set up your database, update the “.env” with your database credentials.
Step 3: Time to create a sample application
For understanding purposes, we’ll just have one model and one controller called “Task” and “TaskController,” respectively.
Let’s begin with the “Task” model.
PHP artisan make:model Task -m
The above command creates a model named “Task” and its migration file. Now it’s time to edit the file by adding the fields you want to add for your “Task,” then run the migration.
PHP artisan migrate
Now that we are done migrating, it’s time to create the “TaskController.”
PHP artisan make:controller TaskController --resource
Running this command will create “TaskController” with the necessary CRUD methods.
Step 4: Deploying Laravel app to Laravel Vapor
For deploying, you must install “Laravel Vapor CLI.”
Composer global requires laravel/vapor-cli
After installing Vapor, run the “vapor login” command to connect to your vapor account.
Now that you have logged into your account, it’s time to deploy your existing Laravel application. For that, run the “vapor deploy” command.
Doing so would upload your existing Laravel application to the AWS Lambda and ensure the configuration of basic API Gateway settings.
Step 5: DNS Upgrade
Upon deployment of your Laravel application to Laravel Vapor, update your DNS settings so that it can point toward a new API Gateway URL. Run the vapor list command to find out the URL of your application.
Running this command would pop up a list of apps with their URLs. Since your DNS is updated, your recently uploaded Laravel application will be accessible through a new URL.
Congratulations, here you go with Laravel Vapor and its deployment feature. To solidify the authority built on Vapor by Laravel, here is the best use of Laravel for creating projects on Vapor.
What are Some Best Uses of Laravel Vapor?
Vapor is a new version of Laravel, opening up many opportunities. There would be a few sets of possibilities that were untouched before Laravel v6.0. So, let’s understand how Vapor could be leveraged.
Amazon web services (AWS) are agile and contain up-to-date workflows. If you fail to cope with AWS, you will be confused about streamlining AWS-empowered microservices. AWS complexity is one of the challenges that Vapor overcomes by allowing to publish of Laravel applications through different AWS endpoints. Instead of a bad user experience, distributing the traffic through the AWS API gateway public would enhance your user experience. Another benefit is that there would be no timeouts, irrespective of the traffic size, and the system would manage the traffic. It provides horizontal scalability wherein bandwidth automatically increases with the increase in traffic.
Store data using AWS
Laravel v6.0 leverages AWS infrastructure to deploy its applications. Since it is integrated with AWS, there’s no need to manage physical servers at your infrastructure. Vapor seamlessly integrates with AWS cloud’s simple storage service (S3) through which developers have access to store and access the app’s files and assets. AWS’s cloud storage is scalable, meaning it scales up and down, depending on the requirement. Besides, the services are cost-effective, meaning you pay for what you use. Moreover, this service is accessible across the globe, irrespective of your location. Lastly, the cloud servers are highly secured, which eliminates the chances of data loss.
Redis caching & database storage for the optimization
Performance of your laravel application is one of the key areas. This can be uplifted if your laravel app is deployed on Vapor. There are two ways to optimize your laravel app’s performance, i.e., Redis caching & database storage. These techniques, when combined with Vapor, would deliver unexpected results. Redis caching stores data in memory, which allows easy access rather than making your app run a query every time you search for the same data.
On the other hand, database storage enables storing and retrieving data through a scalable source.
Environment & Deployment
Firstly, the latest version of Laravel (Vapor) enables deploying the application to different environments, including production, development, and staging. And if something goes wrong, the serverless platform also allows it to roll back to its previous environments. Deploying on different environments would test the waters of different segments. Rolling back to the previous environment allows you to rectify and fix errors.
Managing servers is not child’s play; it demands a lot of resources, infrastructure, and to and fro. Laravel Vapor makes your server management a thing of the past. It swiftly deploys your existing Laravel application to AWS Lambda and API Gateway. The serverless architecture of Laravel Vapor lets you focus on application development since it manages the rest of the things. From deployment to debugging and optimization, Laravel could be your one-stop solution, irrespective of solo development or working under a team.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Laravel Vapor works on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning it doesn’t have a fixed price. The payment depends upon your usage. It is far better than other architectures because that would even demand payment for the non-utilization of resources.
Yes, Laravel Vapor has the capability of working with a custom domain. To make it possible:
Update your DNS settings
Configure SSL/TLS certificates
It works if the application leverages AWS services like AWS Lambda and API Gateway. Besides, a few features of your application might not function with Laravel Vapor. That’s where debugging becomes essential before deploying any application on Laravel Vapor.
Several methods exist to debug your Laravel application, such as leveraging log streams and function invocation under the AWS console. Besides, you can even use the “vapor logs” commands to enable the view of your logs. Lastly, you can even leverage Xdebug by collaborating with Laravel Vapor to debug your application.