Pushing DNS into the Cloud

sad cloud cartoon with text 'there is no cloud, it's just someone else's computer

For the majority of the past five years, Pushover has run on one physical OpenBSD server. It does have a hot spare hosted with another company in another part of the country, but usually everything has been served from just one machine at a time. Its MariaDB database is replicated in a master-master configuration over a secure tunnel between the servers so that either node can become active at any time.

When I wanted to take the primary server down for upgrades or the server's network provider was having routing troubles, I would update DNS for various pushover.net entries to point at the other server's IPs where all of the components were already running. Within seconds, traffic would start hitting the secondary server and within a half hour, everyone would be using it, allowing me to take the primary server offline as long as I needed.

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RailsConf Day 2

Carl woke me up early this morning by jumping around on my chest. I got ready and drove back down to Chicago for day two of RailsConf.

The first session of the day for me was Obie Fernandez's Thoughtworks on Rails which was a broad overview of the rails projects that Thoughtworks has done for its customers after introducing it into their development environment. Nothing too technical, but useful to see the lifecycle for a rails app from the point of meeting with the customer to creating "stories" as they put it, to coding individual pieces, to quality assurance testing, to final deployment. I couldn't help but think about how many people are involved in these "normal" development processes versus things at DLS where one developer has to take a request from another staff member and develop, code, test, and deploy an entire app himself.

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I woke up at the crack of dawn and drove to the Wyndham in Rosemont for railsconf 2006. I registered and got some free crap, grabbed some food and found a seat in the ballroom. Dave Thomas gave a keynote presentation about the big three things that he thinks Rails needs to become better.

For my first session I opted for Introduction to Capistrano by Mike Clark, just because the other two didn't really look very interesting. Mike's presentation was pretty good and I picked up a few ideas for using cap that I hadn't thought of before (namely for basic system administration tasks not related to Rails).

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