To answer one part of your question:

> Additionally the application is started as root and for the app tier we
> use <user> and <group> to change the user. When we try to do the same
> thing in the web-loadbalancer tier the application fails to start. Is
> this normal/to be expected? Is it safe for the web-tier to be running as
> root?

In a *nix environment, it is likely that non-root users are not allowed 
to bind ports < 1024. That is, Resin cannot answer on HTTP (80) or HTTPS 
(443) request unless running as root. I'd recommend using port 
forwarding from 80/443 to some port > 1024 and then run Resin as non-root.


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