November 16th, 2014

Upgrade salt-master and minions on Ubuntu servers

Step by step guide to safely upgrading your SaltStack master and minions

We’ve noticed a bit of confusion and understandable trepidation around upgrading SaltStack with some of our customers. Salt is pretty darn important to your stack, so keeping it working is essential. To help, we’ve written up this HOWTO guide for easily and safely upgrading your master and minions.

We mostly work with Ubuntu and Debian based systems, so while the steps ...

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February 15th, 2014

Setting up Mailgun with SaltStack

Here at RevSys we've been moving away from Chef and using SaltStack for all our new server setups. Salt is still pretty new and while I run into bugs every now and again, they're releasing new versions with fixes at an impressive rate.

Today I want to show you how to setup a new server with Postfix and Mailgun in a reusable way. This tutorial assumes that you already have a working Salt ...

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May 1st, 2012

Three things you should never put in your database

As I've said in a few talks, the best way to improve your systems is by first not doing "dumb things". I don't mean you or your development staff is "dumb", it's easy to overlook the implications of these types of decisions and not realize how bad they are for maintainability let alone scaling. As a consultant I see this stuff all of the time and I have yet to ever see ...

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August 26th, 2010

Centralized logging for fun and profit!

Setting up a centralized log server using syslog isn't as hard as many may believe. Whether it's logs from Apache, nginx, email services, or even from your own Python applications having a central log server gives you many benefits:

Benefits to a centralized logs

  • Reduces disk space usage and disk I/O on core servers that should be busy doing something else. This is especially true if you want to log all queries ...

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June 17th, 2008

Installing Apache2::Request on a 64-bit system

I usually shy away from using 64-bit systems unless there is a clear need for it.  But with more and more hosting companies installing 64-but Linux distrobutions by default I sometimes have to suffer through.

Today I ran into a very small bug in installing Apache2::Request modules via the CPAN shell.  This simply installs the default libapreq2 library with the Perl bindings for you. When attempting to start Apache I received this ...

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June 17th, 2008

Django Software Foundation

The Django guys have scored another milestone today with the creation of the Django Software Foundation. Being a huge Open Source advocate I love hearing great news like this.  You can read more about the foundation at:

On an unrelated note, an article I wrote for LinuxPro Magazine last November about using Perlbal was recently put online.  You can read it at The Juggler ...

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February 29th, 2008

Building mongrel on Solaris

I keep running into this same situation, so I figured I would write a post for everyone's benefit.  When trying to build recent mongrels or some other gem dependencies such as fastthread on a Solaris system the automatically generated Makefile is all sorts of messed up. 

This testing was done on two different Joyent Accelerators, your milelage may vary on other Solaris installations.

The steps are pretty easy:
1. Attempt to install ...

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January 18th, 2008

Some interesting links

Hope all of my readers have recovered from the holiday season.  Here are a couple links I've come across recently, but neglected to write about during the holidays.

Zed Shaw, author of mongrel which is used by many Ruby on Rails applications, posted an interesting rant about the state of Rails development and the personalities of some of the major players. 

I've never been a huge fan of Rails because I ...

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