I’m excited to join
AppFog’s Chris Tacy at tonight’s Cloud Mafia meetup to share my experience and reasons for migrating to AppFog. My slides and speaking notes are below. Yes, that’s 35 slides for a seven minute talk. It should be a blast.
Hi! My name is Casey!
I work for GigaOM,
Really briefly, GigaOM is a news and market research company.
paidContent is one of our properties.
GigaOM Pro is our subscription-based market research library for technology verticals.
Yes, it has a paywall.
Most everything we’ve got is built on top of WordPress…
…and most of our properties are hosted on WordPress.com. That’s convenient because the economics of the news business really depend on minimizing infrastructure expenses.
…but GigaOM Pro, our market research business…
…with the paywall and private user database, can’t run on WordPress.com.
So instead, we
were hosting it on this one private server.
And there’s really nothing more terrifying than thinking about the risk to your business riding on the fate of a single server.
What we need isn’t a bigger server, of course.
We need two…
…or a whole line of servers.
News is a spikey business, and we need the ability to scale quickly, or risk downtime.
But let’s stop and consider for a moment how risky server management is.
This isn’t just about missed pageviews, we have subscribers and a user database to consider.
Owning any number of servers involves some very serious sysadmin tasks.
Managing servers to scale up and down with demand makes it even more complex.
So I don’t want to own or maintain the tractors.
I don’t want to be bothered by server management.
What I want is a bunch of “application processors” that run my code, and don’t need any other maintenance.
I don’t want to worry about makes it work, I just want to put it to use making the best apps I can.
Now, there are ideal apps that run in these environments,
…but our services are built on top of WordPress. And, while we love WordPress, it’s not an ideal app.
The biggest problem is the assumptions throughout WordPress core and in plugins about the availability of user-uploaded content on local disk.
Now that we’ve engineered around that, local disk feels as old as floppies.
So here’s the stack we just migrated to.
And this is what that stack looks like. PHPFog gives me a slider to scale the number of application processors we’re running.
New Relic gives me the visibility I need into how those processors are running.
And in AWS I can scale our DB capacity.
But the stack isn’t complete until we’ve implemented and fully tested our disaster recovery and business continuity solutions.
Under the hood, AppFog is
open source CloudFoundry, but from a developer point of view it really is the “application processor” that eliminates the operational complexity of building and shipping code.