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Node.js with Vagrant and Chef
@ Benetech
April 24, 2014
Chris Bumgardner
Why Vagrant?
 Speed and Portability
 Get a working uniform development environment
running in about 15 minutes while get...
Advantages to a VM Image
 Vagrant is small: just text files in source control
 A snapshot is typically around 0.5GB – 1G...
Installing Vagrant & VirtualBox
 Install Vagrant here:
http://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html
 Install VirtualBox here:...
Configuration Management via Chef
 Idempotent
 You can run Chef multiple times on the same system with
identical results...
Docker, Packer, etc: More DevOps
 DevOps tools appear daily.
 Chef alternatives: Puppet, Ansible, Salt, etc.
 Docker.io...
Mathoid using Vagrant
 https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid-vagrant
 Once running you can access at localhost:10042
 Bui...
Mathoid + Vagrant continued
 All configuration done in the Vagrantfile:
https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid-
vagrant/blob...
Vagrant: Things to Note
 Pick your base box carefully.
 Ideally has the configuration manager (e.g. Chef) installed that...
Vagrant: continued
 When switching networks on the host (e.g. changing WIFI
networks on your laptop) you may need to “vag...
Vagrant: continued
 When shell provisioning keep in mind:
 Your script is running as root. No need for sudo.
 Interacti...
Node.js: Lessons Learned
 Node.js runs all Javascript code on a single thread.
 So you can’t do heavy operations in the ...
Node.js: Lessons Continued
 Amazing ecosystem: always check for an existing npm
module before writing something new.
 I ...
Node.js: Lessons Continued
 Use clustering module: will run a copy of your Node
process on each available core.
 Think s...
Thanks!
 Chris Bumgardner
 https://github.com/cbumgard
 https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbumgardner
 Please don’t hesi...
Links
 http://www.slideshare.net/chrisbumgardner/benetech-nodejsvagrant
 https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid-vagrant
 h...
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Node.js, Vagrant, Chef, and Mathoid @ Benetech

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Node.js, Vagrant, Chef, and Mathoid @ Benetech

  1. 1. Node.js with Vagrant and Chef @ Benetech April 24, 2014 Chris Bumgardner
  2. 2. Why Vagrant?  Speed and Portability  Get a working uniform development environment running in about 15 minutes while getting a coffee.  This often takes hours or days for a modern environment getting specific libraries, tools, and versions for a specific operating system.  Open source and mature. Around since 2010.
  3. 3. Advantages to a VM Image  Vagrant is small: just text files in source control  A snapshot is typically around 0.5GB – 1GB. Hard to host and transfer.  A snapshot is binary: changing a version of a library is hard, but in Vagrant it is just a configuration change.  Abstraction: Vagrant can run on top of different providers, such as AWS, Docker or Azure in addition to a local virtual machine.  https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant-aws  https://github.com/10thmagnitude/vagrant-azure
  4. 4. Installing Vagrant & VirtualBox  Install Vagrant here: http://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html  Install VirtualBox here: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads  Cloud boxes are automatically downloaded and installed with Vagrant 1.5+  Be sure to upgrade Vagrant if you have an older version.
  5. 5. Configuration Management via Chef  Idempotent  You can run Chef multiple times on the same system with identical results.  Not the case with shell scripts: running more than once will usually lead to unpredictable results.  Cross-platform  Chef supports Linux, Mac, Windows  Shell scripts are system dependent  Existing ecosystem of cookbooks: don’t reinvent the wheel.  Chef Solo: runs on local machine, does not require server infrastructure.
  6. 6. Docker, Packer, etc: More DevOps  DevOps tools appear daily.  Chef alternatives: Puppet, Ansible, Salt, etc.  Docker.io  Promising tool that contains and virtualizes processes.  Think of Vagrant but for a specific process.  Example: turn a server application into a portable image.  Packer.io  Automates creation of machine images.  A meta layer above a tool like Vagrant.
  7. 7. Mathoid using Vagrant  https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid-vagrant  Once running you can access at localhost:10042  Built on Ubuntu Precise 12.04 64-bit base box. Found 14.04 not compatible yet with Mathoid.  First time you “vagrant up” it has to download the base box (~300MB). Boxes are cached locally however.  Added Chef cookbooks as Git submodules. Requires just an extra two commands the first time you clone the repo, makes for a cleaner repository.
  8. 8. Mathoid + Vagrant continued  All configuration done in the Vagrantfile: https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid- vagrant/blob/master/Vagrantfile  Non-provisioning changes to Vagrantfile, such as networking configuration, will take effect on a “vagrant reload” (halt + up).  Provisioning changes will not run unless you destroy and re-up, or do a “vagrant provision”.  This Vagrantfile is a combination of shell, file, and chef provisioning.
  9. 9. Vagrant: Things to Note  Pick your base box carefully.  Ideally has the configuration manager (e.g. Chef) installed that you will use for provisioning.  Avoid anything else if possible. For example a base box with Node.js built in will be trickier to upgrade to a new version than if you add Node.js as a Chef cookbook.  You can always see installed boxes via “vagrant box list”  When creating a Vagrantfile test incrementally via “vagrant provision”  Vagrant commands you should learn:  init, up, ssh, suspend, resume, halt, destroy  reload: halt + up
  10. 10. Vagrant: continued  When switching networks on the host (e.g. changing WIFI networks on your laptop) you may need to “vagrant reload” for the guest VM networking.  If you want to access files from your host machine inside the guest vm, be sure to use NFS:true in your synchronized folder setup.  Gives ~10x performance accessing files. Noticeable if running a webserver like Node.js in the VM on files on your host.  Requires nfs-common installed.  Requires password on “vagrant up”. Fix for that at: https://gist.github.com/GUI/2864683
  11. 11. Vagrant: continued  When shell provisioning keep in mind:  Your script is running as root. No need for sudo.  Interactive prompts will hang and timeout. Make sure to add flags like “-y” to command-line calls like “apt-get”.  You can enable a GUI from the Vagrantfile if you want to do graphical work in the VM  Provisioning usually requires download files from many sources: occasionally there will be intermitent problems downloading from certain sources.  Check out Vagrant Shares. New in 1.5. Allows giving others outside your local network access to your running machine.
  12. 12. Node.js: Lessons Learned  Node.js runs all Javascript code on a single thread.  So you can’t do heavy operations in the JS layer.  Consider message queues or pub/sub like Redis.io  Thinking asynchronously takes getting used to. Learn libraries like async at the start: https://github.com/caolan/async.  Flow control is very important.  Also greatly helps exception handling.  Control your versioning carefully for dependencies.  Follow semantic versioning: http://semver.org/.  If your versioning isn’t specific enough a deployment can break.  Often best to package dependencies during deployment.
  13. 13. Node.js: Lessons Continued  Amazing ecosystem: always check for an existing npm module before writing something new.  I strongly recommend Grunt for building your project, and Bower for client-side web package management.  http://gruntjs.com/  http://bower.io/  Yeoman generators are a great way to bootstrap a project: http://yeoman.io/  Daemonize your app with tools like forever: https://github.com/nodejitsu/forever
  14. 14. Node.js: Lessons Continued  Use clustering module: will run a copy of your Node process on each available core.  Think stateless: in general for web apps, and especially here so you can scale out.  Follow CommonJS module for code organization: http://www.commonjs.org/specs/modules/1.0/  Don’t expect to share a lot of code between the browser and the server. However the lack of context switching (all JS all the time) is the real benefit.
  15. 15. Thanks!  Chris Bumgardner  https://github.com/cbumgard  https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbumgardner  Please don’t hesitate to contact me 
  16. 16. Links  http://www.slideshare.net/chrisbumgardner/benetech-nodejsvagrant  https://github.com/cbumgard/mathoid-vagrant  http://www.vagrantup.com/downloads.html  https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads  https://github.com/mitchellh/vagrant-aws  https://github.com/10thmagnitude/vagrant-azure  https://gist.github.com/GUI/2864683  https://github.com/caolan/async  http://semver.org/

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