Thank You and Good Night


This is going to be a really short one. We had a big web site go live for a client this weekend. I’ve been up for 36 hours, but I did sneak in a 2 hour nap and the caffeine is beginning to run out. . .

Here are the highlights leading up to and through the launch, in no particular order:

  • migrated from a Windows based environment to 64 bit Linux. As an aside, one word on increased performance: wow
  • setup Nagios, NagiosGraph and Monit for the entire farm from scratch
  • create numerous Subversion repos to manage ongoing deployment and disaster recovery scenarios for the complete farm
  • implemented UseLargePage for both Tomcat and Terracotta. There will be another blog post and maybe a screencast over at the corporate blog explaining all the gory details. Gory getting there, but now I can save you a lot of time. (I sound like a late night infomercial.)
  • coordinated launch with website, Facebook application and multiple mobile applications
  • fallen deeply in love with pssh and it’s sister utilities

There were a handful of other items knocked out, but you may notice that Chef and Capistrano didn’t make the list. I’m not giving up on them, but due to the short amount of time to get this farm up and rolling (~ 14 days), I felt it was safer to use the tools we were more used to working with (scripts, Subversion, etc) than to throw anything else on the fire.

This week is the turnover to train ops on the new environment. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I always love teaching people that system administration doesn’t have to be hard.

I don’t read everything that Joel Spolsky writes, but the post on The Duct Tape Programmer has applied to me and the client team that I work with over this launch cycle on trying to keep it simple. Another way to look at it is take Larry the Cable Guy’s mantra: Git-ir-done (not to be confused with the version control system)

As evidenced in this video, it’s not necessarily going to be the prettiest thing in the world, but when the deadline is coming, all the extra junk is thrown out the window and you deliver a kick butt product. Yeah, sometimes you have to come back and do cleanup, but that’s just part of the job. Remember, your employer is not your mommy, so stop your whining 🙂

I’m headed to Dallas, TX next weekend to meet with some of the guys working on Broadleaf Commerce. I’ve been helping out a little on that project and I’m wanting to to see how I can get better plugged in.

Also, be on the lookout for a talk on Using Java based Web Services with the iPhone (and other smartphones) at the Charlotte JUG in October. I’m putting the talk together now and hopefully will have time on the flight this week to knock out a lot of the details.

And with that, I bid you a good night with help from my friends at Lawrence Welk:

PS. Just to put it in perspective, when I was growing up, the Saturday night ritual at our house was watching Hee Haw at 7pm and Lawrence Welk at 8pm. For some of you, that might help put a lot of things into perspective. . .