The Adventures of Greg DevOps Travel Make Lifehack

A week of work on Zortit

It has been a hectic week working on our webapp. I planned to put up regular updates but have been so busy coding that I haven’t been able to keep up with it. Here’s a big update of what we’ve had going on for the last week or so. We’re coming up on the home stretch with the contest deadline looming on friday..

Cherie has been hard at work. She’s been working on creating the product description, writing a rough draft of a marketing plan, doing competitive research, putting together a board of advisors, and coordinating the efforts of our graphics team.

Our graphics artist, Chris Barela, got us a great logo last week and we’ve gotten some great website mockups. HTML/CSS guru Jean Leitner has been hard at work converting the mockups into code. Here’s the new logo:


Our application runs in the AWS cloud. We’re using EC2 instances. We’re using S3 to cache some web API results. There are other AWS services we use which I won’t dive into here.

Right now our app is running as a single EC2 instance, however I’ve partitioned the components out on this instance so that they can be spread across machines. On the front end we’re using HAProxy, with apache/mod_passenger (aka mod_rails) running rails instances, with MySQL as the database. We’re using memcache for a performance speedup, as well as S3 as a cache. I’m doing deployments via Capistrano which works pretty well.

‘I have a dream’ of having instances come up and self configure. Sometime in the future (probably when things are burning down) I’ll set up iclassify and puppet, and perhaps even configure user auth via LDAP. And then systems will spin up, register with iclassify and I’ll be able to provision them mostly automatically. I’d hoped to use pool party, but it’s in re-write right now – perhaps when it is finished.

I also got nagios set up to monitor from an existing machine, and during the process found one of my nameservers was broken - funny things you find out when you start monitoring things!

We’ve been using trac to collaborate - and we’ve managed to proxy tickets from email into trac’s bug tracking. So testers can click a mailto link when something breaks on the site. Very neat! Trac also has a subversion browser I’ve used on occasion and I’ve been posting links to system management pages and whatnot there.

So that’s where we’re at. More news as it happens!