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BitPusher Presentation at Geeksessions 1.5
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BitPusher Presentation at Geeksessions 1.5


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A brief presentation on some of the practices and tools that allow BitPusher to work far more efficiently than in-house web operations teams.

A brief presentation on some of the practices and tools that allow BitPusher to work far more efficiently than in-house web operations teams.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. How BitPusher’s Six-Person Team Does the Work of a Dozen People and some of the tools we use
  • 2. What BitPusher Does
    • “ Infrastructure Management Solutions for Web Sites and Web Applications” in other words, outsourced web operations
    • Our business model is to be so much more efficient that we can do a better job, save customers a lot of money and still be profitable
  • 3. General principles for doing more with less
    • Only do things you do well
    • Have productive employees
    • Avoid work
  • 4. How to avoid work
    • Learn from your experience
    • Don’t change directions too much
    • Use standards and tools that fit
    • Avoid taking on inherently arduous tasks
  • 5. Infrastructure management processes
    • Be driven by the problems you actually have
    • Be thoughtful about risk and cost
    • Make work reusable whenever feasible
    • Keep track of annoyances, and address them
    • Make choices which allow for flexibility
    • Question choices and re-solve problems occasionally
  • 6. Infrastructure management tools
    • Warning: don’t expect too much
  • 7. Infrastructure management tools: monitoring
    • Nagios
      • Solid framework, lots of choices as to which abstractions to use and how.
      • Don’t over-engineer initially, but keep improving.
      • Configuration is all in text files, making it relatively easy to revamp.
  • 8. Infrastructure management tools: time-series graphs
    • Cacti or Munin
      • Allows you to understand system load, and know what’s normal and what’s not
      • Capacity planning
      • Cacti gives the best graphs, with flexible timeframes
      • Munin is easier to set up and automate
  • 9. Infrastructure management tools: initial system imaging
    • Kickstart (or AutoYaST, Jumpstart, etc.)
      • Focus on getting a good baseline
      • OK to have some manual steps (e.g., RAID setup) unless you image massive numbers of servers
      • End state is less important if you use a configuration management tool
  • 10. Infrastructure management tools: configuration management
    • Puppet
      • Solid model, lots of ways to use
      • Very flexible and powerful
      • Significant investment to learn and find your style; be prepared to redo things a few times
      • Makes sense for dozens of servers or more
  • 11. Infrastructure management tools: application deployment
    • Capistrano, homemade tools
      • Extremely important
      • Avoids hands-on work on production servers
      • Worth extra effort to get right; eliminate repetitive high-risk steps
  • 12. Infrastructure management tools: ticketing/issue tracking
    • Request Tracker (or any of many others)
      • In addition to whatever else you do with it, make sure it provides a way to track “loose ends”
      • Make sure to implement processes that get things handled on an appropriate time frame
  • 13. Contacting BitPusher
    • Daniel Lieberman: 415-346-6448
      • [email_address]
    • General sales contact: 888-9PUSHER option 1
      • [email_address]