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Rhaptos is the Plone-based open source software that powers the popular educational materials portal CNX.org which receives 1-1.6 million visitors every month from all over the world. As a very popular resource for so many people, it's imperative that the site is architected for high availability. With data centers in Houston near hurricane territory, it was critical to have a backup plan for where to host the site in the event that the data center was destroyed.
This talk is a case study for how Rice University together with external consultants came up with a virtualization of the Rhaptos platform, to be able to quickly launch new instances on Amazon EC2. The deployment was completely automated for both multi-server production environments as well as one-off demo and testing instances. We'll show you how this was done and the tools and methods we used to make a rock solid solution.