[CS-FSLUG] Cloud applications and missions

Micah Yoder micah at yoderdev.com
Tue Apr 16 19:08:12 CDT 2013


Maybe I should think about it more for next year, when I'll have some 
better experience anyway.  I do want to go there again!


Good to hear you're playing with it!  Not sure how much installation 
advice I can give - I've only installed OpenStack once, on my desktop. 
:)  My knowlege is along the lines of designing applications that run in 
an OpenStack environment, specifically involving Linux cloud servers and 
newfangled database type stuff. :)

For installing OS, are you using the Alamo installer from Rackspace?  
I've not used it but it appears to be pretty simple. They've fine-tuned 
all the hundreds of parameters to what we (Rackspace) believe is the 
best configuration for general use.

On 04/08/2013 10:25 AM, Tim Young wrote:
> Hi Micah,
> Good to hear from you again.
> There are a number of ministries who use cloud servers, and I am sure 
> a session on that would be very well received.  This ICCM, we have all 
> of our general sessions filled in, but there are still some openings 
> in the security track.  So, if you could use the word "security" in 
> the title of your session, there would be a place for it.  Something 
> along the lines of "securely and effectively utilizing cloud servers" 
> would be awesome.  The one major change this year is that the sessions 
> are 75 minutes long instead of the normal 45 to 60 minutes.
> The "early bird" registration for ICCM will be closing before long, so 
> now is a good time to think about going.
> Would be great to see you again,
>     - Tim Young
> On 4/5/2013 6:57 PM, Micah Yoder wrote:
>> Hello again,
>> So as I've mentioned a long time ago I work for Rackspace, who is now 
>> of course a major cloud provider*.  As of a couple months I am 
>> certified Cloud Savvy, which is supposed to mean I have a clue about 
>> how to design applications in the cloud.
>> Many people who come from a dedicated hosting platform will spin up a 
>> cloud server and install stuff on it just like they did on their 
>> dedicated server, install their web application on it, and let it 
>> go.  If something acts up they troubleshoot it.  It is expected to 
>> last a long time.  They might take advantage of virtualization 
>> features like snapshots, but that's as "cloudy" as they get.
>> To properly take full advantage of the cloud and use it as intended, 
>> you need to get a completely different mindset when you're designing 
>> applications.  Some principles involve:
>>  -- Everything should be set up via automation, using something like 
>> Chef or Puppet. You should *never* manually install things or edit 
>> the configuration settings on production (or even staging) servers.
>>  -- Use the API, not the control panel, to set up servers and related 
>> cloud products.
>>  -- Design for failure. Stuff breaks. If the application can't access 
>> some database, it should if possible fail over to the replica. If 
>> that's not possible, fudge something so that the user doesn't notice, 
>> if at all possible. And do that quickly so the user isn't waiting a 
>> long time.  Also, use load balancers and take out flaky nodes.  If 
>> some cloud server goes weird in some way, you don't nurse it back to 
>> health, you kill it and fire up another one (with automation).  All 
>> automatically.  (One analogy is that cloud servers should be treated 
>> like cattle, not like pets!)
>>  -- Put different services on different sets of cloud servers
>>  -- Design security in at every layer
>> Just wanted to throw this out and ask if anyone is working with a 
>> missions organization that is designing a cloud application. If so, 
>> and you want to run something by me, let me know!
>> Also wonder if it might make sense for me to go to ICCM.  If I could 
>> be of significant help, I'd consider it.  With any luck I might even 
>> be able to get Rackspace to sponsor me going there.
>> * If you're a great Linux or network device guy and want to live in 
>> San Antonio or Austin, please let me know. We're having a very hard 
>> time filling our positions!
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