[CS-FSLUG] Cloud applications and missions

Josiah Ritchie josiah at josiahritchie.com
Tue Apr 16 19:17:37 CDT 2013

Nope, don't think I've even heard of Alamo. Is that available for general
consumption or only within the Rackspace environment?


On Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 8:08 PM, Micah Yoder <micah at yoderdev.com> wrote:

> Tim,
> 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!
> Josiah,
> 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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