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Cloud Management Blog

Cloud Management Best Practices

Top Reasons Amazon EC2 Instances Disappear

The fact that Amazon says up-front that computers fail seems to be the number one concern and criticism of EC2, especially from people who have not used it extensively. I don't actually spend much time thinking about that because in our experience it's not something to worry about. It's essential to take into account when designing a system; whenever we set something up on a machine we...Read more

More Rails on Amazon EC2 with RightScale

We've had a number of users getting going with our Rails-all-in-one ServerTemplate , and from the questions we've received it's clearly time to cover some more advanced topics. Database Backups The template does include automatic database backups but you need to provide the necessary information to enable them. Edit the template before launching the server and fill in the `DB_MYSQLDUMP_BUCKET`, `...Read more

Deploying Many Rails Sites onto Amazon EC2

One of our customers is deploying many Rails sites onto EC2 - more precisely, many instances of virtually the same site. Basically it has a Rails application and tweaks it for each individual site it sets up. EC2 is a wonderful deployment platform for this type of business because there is little friction in adding customers, since it takes just one button press to get more servers. The overall...Read more

Launch your Rails App in Minutes on Amazon EC2 using RightScale

I previously showed off our Rails-with-Mephisto ServerTemplate so now it's time for the Rails-all-in-One ServerTemplate. It makes it easy to get your own Rails application running on Amazon EC2. We've made this template public, so any RightScale user can use it for free! Let me show how you can configure and deploy your own Rails app in just minutes by using our publicly available Rails All-In-...Read more

Setting Up Sites on EC2 with RightScale

The key to a successful site setup on Amazon EC2 are scalability and redundancy. RightScale makes this easy by providing ServerTemplates and multi-server deployments. To get started, let's take the simplest case: a single-server setup. We have a free Rails all-in-one ServerTemplate that is excellent not just to play around with, but also to use as development server, staging server, or even as...Read more

The 10-Minute EC2 Server

The new Rails All-In-One ServerTemplate we just made public makes it really easy to get your own Rails application running on Amazon EC2 . And it's all free to boot! The ServerTemplate is a collection of RightScripts that install Apache, mod_balancer, Mongrel, and MySQL, and a backup cron script all on one EC2 instance. All you need to do is to specify where your code is located and launch the...Read more

Setting Up MySQL with the RightScale MySQL Manager

Setting up a redundant MySQL master/slave database using RightScale has become easy using our recently introduced Manager for MySQL . Let's start by setting up the master. For this we define a "MySQL master" ServerTemplate. A ServerTemplate is pretty much what the name implies: a template for a fully configured server that can be launched with one click of a button. Each ServerTemplate is based...Read more

Surviving a MySQL Master Database Crash

Nothing is more heart-arresting than to find out that your database machine has died. Site down. Data gone. Life s... That's what happened to one of our customers yesterday morning, right when they were featured on some prominent sites. The Amazon EC2 instance hosting their master DB died. Fortunately they had tested the master-slave setup using our Manager for MySQL , so everything was set up to...Read more

Redundant MySQL Setup for Amazon EC2

In order to deploy websites and services onto Amazon EC2 everyone needs the same components, so we're building them. One of the most requested and most critical pieces is a good database setup, and MySQL is clearly the highest in demand. Not that a good PostgreSQL or Oracle setup wouldn't be of interest or wouldn't be equally possible, just that more people are asking us (and paying us) for MySQL...Read more

Recompiling Kernel Modules for EC2 Instances

Some time ago, I discovered that the version of the kernel that Amazon uses for its current infrastructure (linux 2.6.16) contains a bug in the lvm modules. This was a bummer to see since we are using LVM snapshotting facilities to realize sub-second database backups. The bug was only triggered under specific load conditions, but when we’re talking database backups nobody likes getting kernel...Read more

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