Operating Dev

Blurring the line between software development and operations

Operating Dev - Blurring the line between software development and operations

Scaling down – running cost-effective campaigns on the AWS cloud

[Originally posted on the TriNimbus blog]

If you ever had to handle a big marketing campaign on a website or a promotion on your SaaS product, you probably know that sizing your servers to handle the anticipated load is notoriously hard and costly. Typically, you need to get beefy hardware to power up a number of servers and deploy a load balancer to equally split the traffic between each server so you get a system that can handle millions of views in a small time range like hours.

If you read my post on the OperatingDev blog or the Precursor Games case study on theTriNimbus site, you know that we recently worked with Precursor Games to design and implement a scalable deployment architecture for their crowdfunding campaign. We chose to deploy the system on AWS and our aim was to ensure the servers can handle up to a million page views in the first few days. Continue reading

When a disaster hits – rising from the ashes

Image from http://www.eci.com/blog/77-hedge-fund-disaster-recovery-requirements-part-one.htmlSo far in the Disaster Recovery series I have discussed the importance of DR planning for building resilient organizations regardless of size and described the steps needed for building a basic DR plan using the cloud. This article will complete the series by looking at the process of recovery and the thoughts that go into proactive planning and recovery actions.

The most critical part of DR — and hardest to implement — it is the procedure to rebuild your infrastructure in a different location should a disaster hit. As you can imagine, the cost of a secondary infrastructure in a traditional data centre is prohibitive for many companies to even start thinking about DR.

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When a disaster hits – a simple plan is better than none

Image from http://businessforums.verizon.net/t5/Verizon-Small-Biz-Blog/Disaster-Planning-Is-Your-Business-Ready-for-Friday-the-13th/ba-p/233125The previous article in the Disaster Recovery series talked about the importance of implementing a proper DR plan for every organization, including startups and small businesses, as a way of building resilience into the organization at the technology level.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can implement a basic DR plan leveraging the cloud for cost effectiveness. The example below uses AWS as a cloud provider but any cloud infrastructure may work if they provide the features discussed below.

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When a disaster hits – building a resilient business

Image from http://flagshipnetworks.com/SOLUTIONS/DISASTERRECOVERY/tabid/87/Default.aspxIf you’re a startup or a small business, you’re probably thinking that disaster planning and recovery processes (DR as usually referred to by IT) are for the big guys. If you’re currently taking a risk and running your systems with no redundancy or a reasonable recovery plan you’re not alone.

Many companies have no experience nor can they afford to implement a proper DR strategy beyond a simple database or file backup – which often doesn’t even leave the premises where the main servers are run and is thus vulnerable to the same problems the overall system is exposed to.

If you are building a business that can survive long to see its products used by many customers, you need to put DR into your toolkit of good business practices to follow. It will pay itself the next time an investor knocks on your door, even if a disaster never hits.

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Cloud vision – anno 2016

Image from http://www.cloudifysource.org/2012/11/02/moving_enterprise_workloads_to_the_cloud_on_a_massive_scale_cloudify_way.htmlIt is the year 2016 and Amazon is getting ready for their fifth re:Invent conference. The conference attracted a lot of attention already – after all one of the keynotes will be broadcast from aboard MV Ushuaia as Amazon is ready to launch their newest data centre, built next door to the Palmers Station on Anvers Island in the Antarctic Peninsula region. With this, they will now have data centres on all continents on our planet! (Some say they are building one under water in the Pacific too but these are only rumors for now.)

The interest for the conference has been growing since the first one in 2012 and Amazon decided this year to hold simultaneous events in several locations around the world. The audiences will follow the broadcast of the keynote from Antarctica using the latest video streaming service the AWS team plans to officially announce at the conference – AWS Cineplex – which is seriously threatening Netflix as the main provider of online movie streaming.

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Fault-tolerance and scalability for the masses

I was initially thinking to name this post “Eating your own dog food” but thought that talking about fault-tolerance would be more appropriate given that the technologies I am going to talk about are produced by someone else, not me. Still, the concept of dogfooding is an important one in the context of DevOps and Operating Dev and my goal was to use this blog to demonstrate not only the concept but to also put my money where my mouth is and provide some insight along the way.

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