[LRUG] Rails in the wonderful, wonderful Cloud

Sam Livingston-Gray geeksam at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 11:41:39 PDT 2009

> Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 12:11:38 +0100
> From: Mike Evans <mike at harmonypark.net>
> To: London Ruby Users Group <chat at lists.lrug.org>
> Subject: Re: [LRUG] Rails in the wonderful, wonderful Cloud
> Thanks for all the replies so far guys.
> Mark, it's a Rails focus and although the app is in its infancy there
> are grand designs (as always!) so being able to dial up the power in a
> virtualised environment to meet growth demands is attractive. Not
> being tied to particular physical hardware makes sense in terms of
> redundancy.  You're right that in reality two load-balanced servers
> would probably be as good in this regard but somehow it just feels so
> 2007. :)
> Also, a managed platform with an SLA sounds attractive relative to
> building up boxes ourselves.
> Anyone heard good things about FlexiScale?
> Mike


If you do decide to go with some solution that involves you having  
root on your own box (whether that box is colocated or some sort of  
VPS), you'll be able to bring more machines up with greater ease later  
if you invest some time now in setting up your initial boxes with an  
automated configuration tool.  Here in Portland, Oregon, I've met the  
authors of both AutomateIt[1] and Puppet[2], and both of those tools  
seem quite useful.  Both are Ruby-based, and free as in beer.   
(AutomateIt's author has a habit of bringing up new Slicehost-based  
sites almost at the drop of a hat.  I'm half-convinced he's actually  
quadruplets who never sleep...)

Both tools require you to start with a basic server that's  
bootstrapped with a Ruby interpreter, their library, and some  
description of where to go from there, based on what role that server  
is intended to fill.  (Puppet's author likes to talk about using "stem  
cell images").

 From there, AutomateIt takes more of an imperative scripting approach  
to installing your tools, whereas Puppet has a declarative DSL that  
lets you define (and modify) your idealized configuration at all  
times, and the puppetized servers check in periodically with a "puppet  
master" and make whatever tweaks are necessary to bring themselves in  
line with that configuration.

[1] http://automateit.org/
[2] http://reductivelabs.com/products/puppet/

Hope this helps,

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