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 – 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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Life as a Service – Can technology fully commoditize the access to our skills, thoughts, ideas – even our lives?

Image from http://purwadhikanusantara.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/cloud-world-a-service-centric-world-english/I’d like to propose a new paradigm to describe the impact of the cloud and related services on our world. I think we’re unconsciously changing our lives to adjust to a world in which many things are delivered to us as a service – that is in bits and bytes according to our needs, schedule and budget. Unfortunately we’re still not aware what its implications are and if we need to be wary of the changes or welcoming them. It seems to me we’re developing a hunger for more and more services and we’re slowly adopting service oriented lives.

It used to be that in order to get something done in our lives we had to spend considerable time to obtain and learn the tools needed for the task, prepare an environment to do the work in and then hopefully get enough time left to complete the task. But then some folks realized they can start delivering the tools and means to us so we ended up with broadcasting services like TV or radio, pizza or newspaper delivery, etc. We still had to turn on the TV and choose what to watch or open the pizza box and eat, but we no longer had to put the preparation time compared to say going to cinema or a restaurant.

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